B.C.’s first cannabis store is set to open in Kamloops on Oct. 17, 2018.
More retail locations are anticipated to open in the months to follow as the application process continues.
According to Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, applications have been coming in from all over the province.
“So far, we’ve received over 100 paid applications in various stages of entry. Moving to a legal regime for a product that has been banned for a century will take some time,” says Farnworth.
As more product becomes available online and through retail outlets, those who sell illegally will be shut down by the provinces new Safety Unit that will be targeting illegal retail operations. All product and records will be seized and monetary penalties will be issued based on the value of the seized product.
According to Farnworth, there will also be strict limits to the look and feel of packing aimed at reducing the appeal to a younger audience. Curbing the sale of cannabis to minor is also a top priority and will continue to be a criminal offence punishable by up to 14 years in jail.
The minimum age of possession has been set at 19-years-old.
Farnworth also notes that as a way to tackle impaired driving, police are being given specialized training and more tools to remove drug-affected drivers off the road including the implementation of a 90-day driving ban.
“As Minister of Public Safety, I’m committed to monitoring the implementation of legal cannabis and making any adjustments necessary to continue to meet our provincial goals of protecting public health and safety,” said Farnworth.