The B.C. Liberals announced the details of their long awaited provincial cannabis framework on Tuesday, revealing that the provincial Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) will handle wholesale distribution. Those aged 19 and older will be able to access cannabis through the aforementioned hybrid retail model.
"We know that the largest consumers of cannabis are young people," said Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.
"If you set [the legal age] too high, for example at 25, you're not going to get rid of the black market because they're going to go and get it elsewhere."
B.C.'s announcement comes after a public consultation period that saw nearly 50,000 residents and 141 local and Indigenous governments offer their opinions on legalization.
A report was released on Tuesday detailing the results of said consultations. Among the findings: many B.C. residents opposed Ontario’s model, wherein cannabis will be sold in up to 150 stores run by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and public consumption will be banned.
"Most of these individuals preferred to see the existing dispensaries and their supply chain legitimized, licensed and regulated," the report says.
Somewhat surprisingly, residents of B.C. - long known across the country for their laissez-faire attitudes about cannabis - appear to want consumption limited to indoor use at a private residence or a designated space. Many expressed concerns over second-hand cannabis smoke.
Government officials suggested revenue from cannabis sales should go toward needed public services.
"This should not be seen as a profit centre for government,” Liberal legislature member Mike Morris said in a statement. “Any extra revenue should be redirected to enforcement and addiction services.”
h/t CTV News