WATCH: After much anticipation, the B.C. government outlined how recreational marijuana will be sold and licensed in the province. Tess van Straaten has the story.
When recreational cannabis becomes legal in the summer, adults at least 19-years-old can buy marijuana at either private or government-operated retail stores.
You just won’t be able to buy a six-pack or cigarettes from the same place.
B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth announced new policies as the province prepares for the legalization of cannabis in July.
Adults of legal age will be able to buy pot from a licensed retailer, but buying alcohol and tobacco from the same store is banned.
The B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch will operate new standalone retail stores.
The province will launch an early registration process in the spring for individuals and businesses that want to apply for a cannabis retail licence.
The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB) will be responsible for licensing private stores and monitoring the retail sector. Non-medical cannabis retail will not be co-located with any other businesses, such as liquor stores or pharmacies.
The provincial government said it may consider exceptions in the future but, for now, a non-medical cannabis retail store must be a self-contained business. There will be exceptions for rural stores, similar to rural liquor stores, with more information on this to come.
Public and private non-medical cannabis retail stores will be allowed to sell dried cannabis, cannabis oils that comply with federal requirements and seeds. These stores may also sell cannabis accessories, as defined in the proposed federal Cannabis Act, such as rolling papers, holders, pipes, bongs, etc. Cannabis edibles are expected to be available within 12 months of legalization, as determined by the federal government.
The operating rules governing public and private retail stores will be similar to those currently in place for liquor.
“As a result of months of engagement, additional research and analysis, we continue to build the Province’s regulatory framework and have set policy direction on other key aspects of how non-medical cannabis will be regulated in B.C.,” Farnworth said.
“These decisions include safeguards for the retail sales of non-medical cannabis and are driven by our priorities of protecting youth, promoting health and safety, keeping the criminal element out of cannabis and keeping our roads safe.”
Adults will be allowed to grow four cannabis plants per household, but they cannot be visible from public spaces off the property.
Home cultivation is banned in dwellings used as daycares and landlords and strata councils will be able to restrict or prohibit tenants from home cultivation and any smoking of recreational marijuana.
The allowable amount of recreational marijuana is 30 grams in a public place, but the province is banning smoking and vaping pot in areas frequented by children, including community parks, beaches and playgrounds.
The province is also coming down on driving while impaired by drugs, creating a 90-day prohibition for drug-affected driving.
There will also be zero tolerance for the detection of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, for drivers in the Graduated Licensing Program.
Any use of cannabis is banned for all vehicle occupants.
Marijuana transported in a vehicle will have to be sealed and not accessible to any vehicle occupants.