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British Columbia's Cannabis Approach May Differ Greatly From Ontario

British Columbia’s legal cannabis framework may look quite different from Ontario’s if a recent interview with B.C. Premier John Horgan is anything to go by.

While speaking on CKNW’s The Jon McComb Show on Monday, Horgan suggested Ontario’s approach – that is, exclusively selling cannabis in government-controlled locations similar to liquor stores – is only one potential method.

“There’s also, I think…the dispensaries have proven to be an effective way to attracting attention. There’s also pharmacies as well for those who are focused explicitly on medicinal marijuana,” said Horgan.

“I think there’s a range of options. We’re going to look at all of them. My sense…at the start of this discussion is that any one of those individually or together is going to be an appropriate response.”

Squashing the black market is of paramount importance, added Horgan.

“You’ve heard people say this is a great windfall of tax revenue. It’s not been the case in Washington and Oregon. If you set the price too high, then the black market continues to exist and the regulation won’t matter. It’s a plant after all. People are growing plants in their basement right now or in their backyard.”

The Ontario government announced last week that it would launch a government-controlled cannabis monopoly that would see 40 cannabis stores across the province by next year and 80 by 2019, with a goal of 150 by 2020.

The system will be governed by the province's Liquor Control Board of Ontario, but officials made it clear that cannabis will be sold in standalone stores stocked by federally approved producers without the presence of alcohol. Legal sales will be limited to those 19 and older.

The Canadian government has commitment to legalizing the recreational use of cannabis by July 1, 2018, but has left it up to the provinces to determine their distribution systems.

h/t Global News


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