Non-medical cannabis is now legal in Canada.
As the government retailer, the Liquor Distribution Branch is the only entity offering online sales via its online BC Cannabis Store.
The LDB opened its first brick-and-mortar BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops on October 17.
Non-medical cannabis will only be sold in standalone cannabis retail stores, and will not be sold alongside other products, such as liquor.
Public and private stores are allowed to sell dried cannabis, cannabis oils that comply with federal requirements, and seeds. Stores may also sell cannabis accessories, as defined in the proposed federal Cannabis Act, i.e., rolling papers or wraps, holders, pipes, water pipes, and bongs used in the consumption of cannabis.
The LDB is currently investigating suitable locations throughout the province for its future network of BC Cannabis Stores. The LDB will actively seek to establish its stores in rural, urban and Indigenous communities that have introduced guidelines and bylaws clearly dictating where cannabis retailers – public and private – may operate. Local governments interested in welcoming BC Cannabis Stores into their communities are invited to view the BC Cannabis Stores guide for local governments.
Where to buy non-medical cannabis
British Columbians from across the province can now legally purchase non-medical cannabis from the LDB’s online BC Cannabis Store.
The LDB’s online BC Cannabis Store ensures British Columbians have access to a regulated, safe product, regardless of where they live in BC.
The online store features a comprehensive product assortment, which will continue to be refined to cater to customer demand and updated as additional products become available.
Comprehensive social responsibility and public education content are also a feature of the website, to ensure consumers of all experience levels are making an informed decision when purchasing cannabis.
In the development of its online store, the LDB has taken extensive precautions to protect the privacy of all customers. The site has been developed to meet privacy and security requirements under the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops
The LDB’s first BC Cannabis Store, located in Kamloops, opened its doors on October 17. The store is staffed by about 20 knowledgeable cannabis consultants, who can provide customers with product information relevant to specific cannabis products, as well as provide education information about social responsibility and public safety. The store, located within the Columbia Place Shopping Centre, initially features more than 85 dried flower strains of cannabis, plus a selection of oils, capsules and pre-rolls approved by Health Canada.
The LDB is actively investigating additional locations throughout the province to roll out its network of BC Cannabis Stores.
Roll-out of BC Cannabis Stores
The LDB is actively investigating suitable locations across the province to establish additional BC Cannabis Stores, and is committed to a careful and efficient rollout of its network of public cannabis stores.
We are particularly focused on securing suitable locations within the Vancouver and Vancouver Island areas in an effort to cater to the province’s most discerning markets.
A number of factors are creating challenges for the LDB in securing locations in these areas, particularly in Vancouver and Victoria, including distance requirements from existing private retailers that are expected to receive licensing, schools and community centres.
Municipalities are responsible for determining zoning bylaws for the retail of non-medical cannabis within their communities. The LDB is actively seeking opportunities to establish its stores in municipalities that pass resolutions in favour of public stores.
Additional licenced cannabis retail stores will open in the coming months, as private cannabis retailers proceed through the regulatory and permit process overseen by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch. Private and public retailers will be allowed to sell dried cannabis, cannabis oils, capsules and seeds that comply with federal requirements. These stores may also sell cannabis accessories, as defined in the federal Cannabis Act, such as rolling papers, pipes and bongs.
British Columbians will be able to choose to purchase non-medical cannabis from privately run-retail stores and government operated retail stores. As the government retailer, we will also sell non-medical cannabis online.
It won’t happen overnight. We are aiming to open the first government-operated retail store in time for legalization on October 17, but first we must establish our wholesale distribution system for non-medical cannabis, with the goal to make it operational by the time the government legalizes non-medical cannabis later this year.
The government is following the recommendations set by the federal government’s task force, which cautioned against co-locating alcohol and cannabis, a position supported by BC’s medical health officers. They believe co-location might be seen to condone and encourage co-use of cannabis and alcohol, which is particularly dangerous with respect to impaired driving. Also, that placing and selling cannabis in liquor stores would lead to a larger proportion of the population being introduced to cannabis, including many who might not otherwise encounter it.
Non-medical cannabis retail stores will comply with zoning bylaws, safety codes and business licensing requirements in the municipality where they want to do business. Public engagement and consultation will be predicated by regulations unique to those communities. For example, a government or private non-medical cannabis retailer may have to apply to have their preferred location rezoned. That application would trigger a notification process, and perhaps require the approval of council.
A list of licensed retailers will be posted on the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch’s website. A licensed retailer will be required to display their licence where it is visible to the public.
Keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors will be a top priority. Unlike liquor stores, minors will not be permitted to enter non-medical cannabis retail stores, even if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. The same identification-checking requirements that currently exist for liquor retailers will apply to cannabis retailers, and all staff will be required to complete a provincial training program.
Public and private stores will be allowed to sell dried cannabis, cannabis oils that comply with federal requirements and seeds. Stores may also sell 'cannabis accessories', as defined in the proposed federal Cannabis Act, i.e. rolling papers or wraps, holders, pipes, water pipes, and bongs used in the consumption of cannabis, etc.
No, the proposed federal Cannabis Act does not permit the commercial production of edibles at this time. The federal government has stated that cannabis edibles and concentrates will be regulated within 12 months of legalization.
LDB will distribute pre-packaged product only, with labelling compliant with federal standards, in ready-to-sell formats (no bulk products). The product brands belong to the licensed producers. Retailers will not be authorized to re-package the product with their own branding. Information about specific size formats will be confirmed at a later date.
The LDB will offer cannabis seeds for sale to the public. Details on how sales will be available (in store or online) will be announced at a later date. The LDB will not be selling seedlings.
Once legalized, someone will be able to legally buy cannabis in one province and bring it into another province, but they cannot possess more than the limit for the province they are entering. In BC, that limit will be a maximum of 30 grams.
Yes. The LDB, as the public retailer, will be the only entity permitted to sell non-medical cannabis products online.
Initially, all government-operated cannabis retail stores and the online sales portal will carry the same product assortment. In the future, store-specific assortments are a possibility.
Online retail orders will be delivered by contracted, secured companies and ID-verification processes will be put into place to ensure the product is not being sold to minors.