VICTORIA, B.C. — The provincial government has released the first look at regulations that will be in effect after legislation to legalize cannabis goes into effect next year.
A total of 48,951 residents responded to the province’s online feedback forum earlier this fall, while 141 local and Indigenous governments and a range of other interested stakeholders made submissions. In accordance with the feedback, the government said that the minimum age to possess, purchase and consume cannabis will be set at 19, the same current minimum age to purchase alcohol and tobacco.
“Looking at the responses received, it’s clear that British Columbians support the priorities of protecting young people, health and safety, keeping the criminal element out of cannabis and keeping roads safe, which will guide the Province in developing B.C.’s regulatory framework for non-medical cannabis,” said Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.
When it comes to selling cannabis, B.C. will adopt the government-run wholesale distribution model also currently in place for alcohol sales, with the BC Liquor Distribution Branch acting as the wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis in the province. The government said that it anticipates establishing a retail model that includes both public and private retail opportunities, with more details to be released early next year.
“We thank all British Columbians who provided their input during the important public and stakeholder engagement process,” said Farnworth. “We will continue to consider your opinions as we further develop policy and legislation that is in the best interests of this province, ensuring a made-in-B.C. approach to the legalization of non-medical cannabis that will keep our roads and communities safe, protect young people, and promote public health and safety.”
Additional details on amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act when it comes to cannabis impairment is also due to be released next year.