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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Esquimalt explores creating portage beach for choppy Gorge waters

The portage beach would add safety to the Victoria Waterways Loop

Decline of Canadian manufacturing hurts men, according to new study

A five per cent drop in manufacturing drops the weekly wages of men by at least 6.9 per cent

Number of U-Hauls entering Victoria plummeted in 2019

Data compiled from two million one-way U-Haul transactions

Six months to Francophone Games, 600 volunteers needed

Online applications open on Jan. 14

Tech consortium invests $25 million into four University of Victoria research projects

Investments come with goal of developing, implement technologies created by Canadians

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

PHOTOS: Braves beat Storm in shootout at the Brindy

Saanich won 4-3 Saturday night in Campbell River

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read