Marijuana plants grow at LifeLine Labs in Cottage Grove, Minn., in a June 17, 2015 file photo. File photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

UPDATE: Pot shops speak out on B.C.’s proposed rules on age, retail plan

Minimum age set at 19, and public and private retailers will sell it in stores.

Anyone 19 years old and up will be able to buy recreational marijuana in B.C. once it’s legalized next July.

The province has announced it would set the legal minimum age at 19, in line with alcohol and tobacco.

“We know the largest consumers of cannabis are young people in that 19- to 30-year-old age range,” said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth. “If you set [the age] to high, at say 25, you’re not going to be able to get rid of that black market.”

READ: Health Canada hints at government’s plans for legal pot

Also like alcohol, wholesale distribution of recreational pot will be handled by the BC Liquor Distribution Branch.

The drug will also be sold by both public and private retailers, although Farnworth said the government hadn’t yet decided whether or not they would place marijuana on the same shelf as booze.

“Every other province is going through a provincial system,” he said, “and it allows us a significant control, which the public has said is important.”

Farnworth did not go further into taxation, zoning, local government input or what exactly the retail model will look, saying those details will come early next year.

The province is “acutely” aware, he added, that a too-high price won’t be able to knock out the black market.

READ: B.C. cities want more money, and more talk, on legal pot

He did express optimism that the federal government had “backed off” its 50-50 taxation split, but said B.C. was not relying on revenue from taxation yet, citing startup costs and indecision from Ottawa.

Tuesday’s announcement comes after several weeks of public consultation that collected input from nearly 50,000 British Columbians, as well as submissions from 141 local and Indigenous governments.

Troy, the manager of Vancouver’s Lime Life Society who did not want his last name published, said the proposed regulations are overbearing for an industry that he says has done fine on its own.

“The plan to sell it in liquor stores is completely unfeasible and unreasonable,” he told Black Press. “Unfortunately, it’s people making decisions about products and services they don’t know much about, or aren’t educated on.

“Hopefully, anything they do will be challenged with Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenge.”

The federal bill to legalize and regulate marijuana, introduced in early 2017, received final approval in the House of Commons last week.

It now moves to the Senate, where it is likely to face heavy opposition from Conservatives who argue legalization should be delayed because the process is being rushed.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Massive waves destroy chunks of Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail

Some viewpoints will be closed for the foreseeable future because you won’t even know they were there

UPDATE: Two dead as swollen creek carries away ATV riders

Third rider survives tragedy near Campbell River

Smoking ban arrives on BC Ferries

No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

Campbell River fire crews rescue two seniors trapped by mudslide, four homes evacuated

The City of Campbell River issued an evacuation order for four homes… Continue reading

Ballet ‘Anastasia’ explores Russian mystery

Ballet Jorgen tells Grand Duchess’s gripping tale in Duncan

Vancouver Island marches in support of local women and all women

Victoria, Nanaimo and Courtenay host Saturday events

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Road conditions wreak havoc for Comox Valley drivers

Icy road conditions early Monday morning kept first responders very busy throughout… Continue reading

Former Victoria junior Hicketts making his NHL debut tonight

Second-year pro, Kamloops native, called up from Grands Rapids of the AHL

Brother of B.C. teen killed by stray bullet says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down in Vancouver while on his way home from dinner with his family

Movie filmed in Castlegar B.C. opens Friday

Hollow in the Land starring Dianna Agron will be playing in select cinemas.

Island Ferries announces next step in bid to dock at SeaBus terminal

Foot-ferry company says it plans to start up service this summer

Port Alice man arrested for domestic assault and firearms offences

Women’s complaint leads Emergency Response Team to small North Island town

Most Read