British Columbians will soon be able to purchase non-medical cannabis from privately run and government-operated retail stores. As the government retailer, we will also be the only entity offering online sales via an e-Commerce platform.
Non-medical cannabis will only be sold in standalone cannabis retail stores, and will not be sold alongside other products, such as liquor. Before we open our first retail store in the fall, we must establish a wholesale distribution system for non-medical cannabis, with the goal to make it operational by the time the federal government legalizes cannabis on October 17. The public retail model will be phased in over time.
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.
The Liquor Distribution Branch 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.
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.