Pubdate: Sun, 29 Oct 2017
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Gemma Karstens-Smith
Page: 11


Province receiving input on legalized marijuana rules

Police departments and local governments are asking British Columbia
for a cut of marijuana revenue as the province crafts regulations for
legalized pot.

The provincial government asked for public input last month as it
develops new rules. Submissions are posted online and will be accepted
until Wednesday.

Feedback so far includes recommendations from Port Coquitlam and View
Royal, on Vancouver Island, for pot profits to be directed to
municipalities to address costs associated with enforcement.

The British Columbia Association of Municipal Chiefs of Police echoes
that recommendation, saying in its submission that the "cost download"
of enforcement needs to be considered when a revenue-sharing system is

The association also wants the province to deal with drug-impaired
driving the same way as drunk driving.

Police chiefs say the public must have "reasonable access to legal
cannabis" or consumers will turn to the black market.

Several existing marijuana producers, retailers and interest groups
have weighed in with ideas on how cannabis should be sold in B.C.
Several want to be included in the rules.

Buddha Barn, a licensed cannabis retailer in Vancouver, says allowing
existing marijuana retailers a way to participate in the recreational
marijuana marketplace is "the only way to avoid chaos."

Marijuana-related businesses are also urging the province to tread
carefully when it comes to strict rules around the advertising and
branding of recreational pot.

"Movements to codify plain packaging must be avoided completely as
they will hobble the ability of legal producers to properly compete
against the illicit market," says Tilray, a licensed medicinal
marijuana producer.

Some provinces have released details on how they plan to approach
legalized recreational marijuana.

New Brunswick will sell pot through a subsidiary of its liquor
commission, with knowledgeable staff available to guide customers.

Ontario will set the minimum age at 19 and sell cannabis through
government-run outlets, while Alberta has proposed to make 18 the
minimum age to use cannabis. It has yet to announce whether pot will
be sold through government-run stores or private operators.

The Nova Scotia government is seeking feedback on a legal age of 19,
with sales through a Crown corporation.

The federal government is expected to legalize recreational marijuana
in July 2018, although some provinces, territories and police agencies
have lobbied for a delay. Federal Health Minister Ginette Petitpas
Taylor has said the government is sticking to its deadline.

The B.C. government is expected to release a report on public input in

Here are some of the submissions it has received:

British Columbia Independent Cannabis Association: Wants private 
distribution and retail as well as cannabis lounges to keep "widespread 
consumption off the street."

B.C. Real Estate Association: Concerned about properties used for drug 
production and is recommending a registration requirement for those with 
personal cultivation.

B.C. Trucking Association: Supports regulations that allow employers in 
"safety sensitive" businesses to conduct random workplace drug and 
alcohol testing.

Centre for Addictions Research of B.C.: Cannabis should be sold in
government-controlled stores and include labels that show the
percentage of THC, the active compound in marijuana. Ten per cent or
more of the revenue collected from cannabis sales should be spent on
health promotion, education, research and treatment.

School District 42, covering Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows: Anyone under 
19 should be banned from possessing cannabis, even if simple possession 
of small amounts isn't considered a criminal offence. Wants "significant 
amount" of proceeds from the sale of cannabis directed toward additional 
enforcement and education.
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