British Columbia Released Cannabis Retail Framework Last Week
BC releases regulatory framework
On February 5, BC (British Columbia) released its regulatory framework for non-medical cannabis. The framework outlines several key points for the sale of non-medical cannabis in the province.
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BC retail framework
The BC government proposed a mixed public and private model for retailing cannabis in the province. Cannabis will be sold either through government-operated retail stores or through private retail stores. The government-operated stores will be operated by the LDB (Liquor Distribution Board), while the LCLB (Liquor Control and Licencing Branch) will issue licenses to private retailers. The online sales will be controlled exclusively by the BC (British Columbia) government. The government will start accepting license applications from potential private retailers in spring 2018, and there won’t be any cap on licenses issued.
The BC regulatory framework disallows licensed retailers from selling tobacco or liquor in the same store where cannabis will be sold. So, retailers will have to set up a separate store to sell cannabis.
In addition, licensed retailers in urban areas won’t be allowed to sell clothing, gas, lottery tickets, or food. Further, the retail framework for rural stores will be different from that of the urban stores and in line with the liquor store framework. Currently, the rural liquor stores in BC are allowed to sell groceries. A potential retailer will not be allowed to use names that may indicate that it sells medical cannabis such as “dispensary,” “pharmacy,” or “apothecary.”
One of the key points in British Columbia’s regulatory framework was that producers will not be allowed to engage in retail, which comes as a setback to cannabis producers (HMLSF) such as Canopy Growth (WEED), Aphria (APHQF), Aurora Cannabis (ACBFF), Cronos (PRMCF), and others.