The British Columbia, Canada government has laid out some of the details for how it will regulate adult-use cannabis sales in the province, setting the legal purchasing age at 19 and, like other provinces, leaving distribution to the government via BC Liquor Distribution Branch.

Private companies will be able to run the retail side; however, officials indicated that the details of the retail operation model will be shared “in early 2018.”

Government officials received input from 48,951 British Columbians and 141 local and Indigenous governments as part of their effort to develop the rules. The government surveyed citizens in addition to asking for input. Their telephone survey found that 75 percent of respondents did not actively use cannabis, compared to 44 percent who responded via feedback form; 51 percent of feedback form respondents said they partake. Sixty-seven percent of telephone survey participants indicated they either “strongly” or “somewhat” support legalization, compared to 25 percent who “strongly” or “somewhat” oppose the measure. The feedback form found 77 percent supporting the reforms, compared to 18 percent opposed.

The majority of feedback form respondents, 55 percent, said they don’t anticipate increased cannabis-related driving issues and the same percentage indicated the current criminal code for drug-impaired driving is sufficient; although 90 percent of telephone respondents and 78 percent of feedback form respondents said there should be a “zero tolerance” policy for new drivers convicted of driving under the influence of drugs.

British Columbia joins Quebec, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Alberta in announcing their provincial rules for the forthcoming adult-use cannabis industry.    

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