Security and frosted windows greet customers at B.C.’s first government cannabis store in Kamloops. (B.C. government photo)

Smooth start to legal cannabis in B.C., Mike Farnworth says

Online and government store makes 4,000 sales by noon

The online sales website didn’t crash, the only licensed store did a brisk business and legal marijuana is now a fact in B.C., Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says.

Farnworth told reporters Monday that by noon there were more than 4,000 sales made in the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch system, the only legal source of recreational cannabis in the province as of midnight last night.

Farnworth said the prices for various strains of cannabis at the B.C. government’s only physical store in Kamloops and online are competitive with other legal jurisdictions. He shrugged off suggestions that black market marijuana is available more cheaply.

A looming Canada Post strike next week threatens delivery of online sales, but Farnworth said these kinds of labour disputes have a way of being settled before major disruptions take place.

The lack of government and store licences in B.C. has been an issue raised many times as the date for Canada to legalize recreational cannabis has approached. Farnworth said it’s an unfortunate coincidence that local governments are in the midst of election campaigns as the date arrives. Many councils have simply decided to wait for new councils to decide where and how many retail cannabis locations they will allow in their communities.

RELATED: B.C.’s unlicensed stores advised to shut down

Farnworth repeated his warning that as more stores receive provincial and local licences to operate, enforcement will ramp up for those stores that have operated illegally and continue to do so.

As of Monday, the province has received 173 paid applications for private cannabis retailers, and has sent 62 of them on to local government or Indigenous nation for final assent before they can legally sell marijuana.

The only one given local approval was the Kamloops store, the first of many LDB and private stores to be licensed in the weeks ahead.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATED: Man pleads guilty in Baker Street death

Miles Halverson is guilty of manslaughter in the death of Matt Reeder

Nelson man accused of swimming naked at Toronto aquarium expected to plead guilty

David Weaver, of Nelson, was arrested and charged in October of last year

Nelson to hold open house on Railtown development

City will present plans and ask for input on specific areas of Railtown

LETTER: What are consequences of lake dredging?

From East Shore reader Tom Lymbery

LETTER: Support youth at climate strike

News from a local youth climate action retreat last month, and an invitation

Third instance of Trudeau in skin-darkening makeup emerges

Another instance of Trudeau using makeup to darken his face has emerged, within 24 hours of the first

VIDEO: Party leaders react to Trudeau’s brownface photo bombshell

Fallout from Justin Trudeau’s brownface photo, and two other instances, sure to dominate campaign

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized, BC SPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

Most Read