October in Canada this year seems to be all about cannabis, and for good reason!
With federal legalization taking place on October 17th, provincial governments have been working to come up with regulations for what cannabis, and cannabis-related product sale, use and advertising will look like on the ground.
In British Columbia, the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General has just released additions and amendments to about a dozen different Provincial Acts.
Here’s everything consumers need to know:
There will be:
- A maximum possession limit of 1,000 grams of dried cannabis, or equivalent, for non-public places, such as in a home.
- Exemptions for the consumption of medical cannabis on school property and on inter-city buses, trains and boats.
- No smoking or vaping in indoor public places, except in a designated room at assisted living or retirement facilities or hospitals; or in a hotel room by registered guests (the hotel may choose to prohibit)
- No smoking or vaping of cannabis within six metres of doorways, windows, air intakes of public buildings, bus stops or bus shelters
- No smoking or vaping of cannabis on public patios
- No use of cannabis on any sidewalks/ boulevards adjacent to a school property. The consumption of non-medical cannabis in any form in or on school property is prohibited
- No smoking or vaping of cannabis in regional and municipal parks, except for designated campsites
- No smoking or vaping of cannabis in provincial parks, except in designated smoking areas or as authorized by a park officer
- No use of cannabis on boats, except when in an assigned enclosed cabin on a commercially operated boat (the operator may still prohibit), or on a boat with sleeping accommodations, kitchen facilities and a toilet when moored or anchored
- No cannabis use in vehicles, except in motorhomes or other motor vehicles, or campers, or trailers when parked off a public road or forest service road where camping is allowed and when being used as a private residence
- Violation tickets for offences, most of which will be consistent with existing liquor or tobacco tickets, such as smoking cannabis in a prohibited place ($230) and vaping in a prohibited place ($58)
- Provincial Sales Tax (PST) applied to all cannabis sales in BC (including medical cannabis)
- This includes the sale of fresh or dried cannabis, cannabis oils, plants or seeds, products marketed for pets, soap or bath products containing cannabis
- PST applied to cannabis accessories and their parts, such as rolling papers, grinders, holders, pipes, vaporizers, batteries and lighters.
- Exemptions for approved prescription drugs containing cannabis derivatives and foods containing hemp
Here’s what producers/retailers need to know
There will be:
- Two classes of cannabis licenses: retail store licenses and marketing licenses
- An authorized security manager to carry out investigations and background checks
- No opening or consumption of cannabis in licensed retail stores and government cannabis stores
- Prohibition on illegal retailers advertising themselves as a licensed retailer
- Prohibition on anyone advertising a place as a location to consume cannabis or to go to after consuming cannabis
- No opening a cannabis delivery service unless otherwise authorized
- No PST to be paid by licensed retailers on cannabis and cannabis accessories they purchase for resale, but retailers will collect PST on products sold to consumers
- Exclusion of medical and non-medical cannabis production from agricultural uses that quality for farm classification, other than industrial hemp.
The provincial government adds that they will “continue to monitor the implementation of cannabis legalization and make adjustments to the provincial regulatory framework, as necessary, to protect children and youth, promote public health and safety, keep the criminal element out of cannabis, keep roads safe and support economic development throughout the province.”
Click here to read the full report.