British Columbia Releases Details on Recreational Cannabis Rules

After much anticipation, the Government of British Columbia has released details on recreational cannabis rules that will govern how cannabis can be purchased and consumed within the province.

Retail Framework

British Columbians aged 19 and older will be able to purchase recreational cannabis through privately run retail stores or government operated retail stores and government online sales. The province’s Liquor Distribution Branch will operate a new standalone network of public retail stores while the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch will be responsible for licensing and monitoring private retail stores.

Licensed retailers will not be able to sell cannabis in the same stores as liquor or tobacco. Additionally, in some urban areas, licensed retailers will prohibited from selling any other products aside from cannabis and cannabis accessories.

The province has indicated that it will launch an early registration process this spring for those who are interested in applying for a retail stales license. The government has indicated that there will be no cap on the number of retail licenses available, although licenses will not be issued without the support of local governments which will be given he authority to make local decisions.

Personal Possession Limits

The provincial government will not lower the federal public possession limit of 30 grams for individuals aged 19 and over.

Any cannabis transported in a motor vehicle will need to be in a sealed package, or inaccessible to vehicle occupants.

Place of Use

The province has indicated that it will allow adults to use recreational cannabis in public spaces where tobacco smoking and vaping are permitted. Recreational use of cannabis will be banned in areas frequented by children, including community beaches, parks and playgrounds. The use of cannabis in any form will also be banned for all occupants in vehicles. In addition, local governments will be able to set additional restrictions, as they currently do for tobacco use, and landlords and strata councils will be able to restrict or prohibit recreational cannabis smoking and vaping at tenanted and strata properties.

Personal Cultivation

Residents will be permitted to grow up to four plants per household, but the plants must not be visible from public spaces off of the property. Home cultivation will be banned in all dwellings used as day cares and landlords and strata councils will be able to restrict or prohibit home cultivation.

Drug-impaired Driving

Drug-impaired driving will continue to be illegal and the province will increase training for law enforcement in this area. The province will also toughen provincial regulations to give police more tools to remove drug-impaired drivers from the road and deter drug-affected driving. These methods will inclue a new 90-day administrative driving prohibition for drug-affected driving and the expansion of the current zero-tolerance restriction of alcohol for drivers in the Graduated Licensing Program to include THC.

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