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1CN BC: First Nations Look To Pot Industry For Economic BoostFri, 29 Dec 2017
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Smith, Gemma Karstens- Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/29/2017

Vancouver - Canada's marijuana industry is expanding rapidly and some First Nations are looking to cash in on the emerging economic opportunities.

Phil Fontaine, an Indigenous politician turned marijuana executive, has spent the last year travelling the country and talking to First Nations about jobs, wealth and training opportunities the burgeoning marijuana business could bring.

"Everywhere we've been, it's been the same reaction, interest, excitement. First Nations are speaking about possibilities and potential. So it's been very encouraging," said the former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

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2 CN BC: Addicts Will Get Clean DrugsThu, 28 Dec 2017
Source:Georgia Straight, The (CN BC) Author:Lupick, Travis Area:British Columbia Lines:121 Added:12/28/2017

Vancouver has a history pioneering harm-reduction programs. In 2003, it opened North America's first supervised-injection facility, Insite. In 2014, it moved a prescription-heroin program beyond the confines of an academic study.

Now B.C. will launch its most radical drug program yet. It's a plan that one of the province's top doctors says could be a partial solution to the province's opioid crisis.

Tentatively scheduled to begin in March 2018, Vancouver will dispense hydromorphone-a synthetic opioid similar to heroin-in a way that, if all goes according to plan, will not require a doctor's visit and possibly not even a prescription for the powerful drug.

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3 CN BC: Cities Bracing For Weed LegalizationTue, 26 Dec 2017
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Li, Wanyee Area:British Columbia Lines:67 Added:12/27/2017

Feds have promised a deadline of July 1, 2018

The day marijuana advocates and enthusiasts have long been waiting for what will come in 2018 - recreational marijuana will be legalized on Canada Day.

But with federal legislation comes a host of logistical and revenue issues for provinces and cities across the country. Vancouver may appear to have a head start, as the city established a licensing program for marijuana dispensaries in 2015, but it will need to follow provincial rules on the issue as well.

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4CN BC: Doctor Proposes Vending Machines For Opioid DrugsSat, 23 Dec 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Bains, Camille Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/27/2017

Making a safe opioid available in vending machines may be the next harm-reduction tool to fight the deadly overdose epidemic, says the executive medical director of the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Dr. Mark Tyndall said he envisions a regulated system where drug users would be assessed, registered and issued a card to use in vending machines to obtain hydromorphone, a painkiller commonly marketed under the brand name Dilaudid.

"I'm hoping that it's kind of like supervised injection sites," he said of the program that could begin as early as next March. "At first it sounded a bit off the wall and now it's pretty well accepted."

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5 CN BC: Vancouver's Overdose Crisis, One Year LaterFri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC) Author:Denis, Jen St. Area:British Columbia Lines:109 Added:12/27/2017

New tools are helping - but more needs to be done

December 2016 is seared into the memory of people who live or work with people from the Downtown Eastside, the epicentre of B.C.'s opioid overdose crisis.

"People were going down in alleyways," Karen Ward remembers. "It was a year ago that nine people died in one weekend.

"I remember the night when three people died in my building."

"BC Ambulance had its busiest day in history, St. Paul's hospital was fully blocked up and we were seeing the highest rates of overdoses that we had seen in the emergency room and at Insite," Dr. Mark Lysyshyn recalls.

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6CN BC: Editorial: Don't Bury Our FarmlandFri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/27/2017

Marijuana could be a profitable addition to the crops grown in Central Saanich, but a proposal for a huge operation raises a recurring question about the way we use agricultural land. Why bury perfectly good, scarce agricultural land under greenhouses, which could be built just about anywhere?

Shawn Galbraith proposes to build a 150,000-square foot, $25-million greenhouse on the Stanhope Dairy Farm, near the point where Lochside Drive turns into the Lochside Trail. He plans a five-to seven-year project with 21 greenhouses on 36 acres.

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7 CN BC: LTE: SD 67 Dropped Ball On NeedlesFri, 22 Dec 2017
Source:Penticton Herald (CN BC) Author:Lang, Joy Area:British Columbia Lines:37 Added:12/27/2017

Dear editor: It was shocking to read that a parent and her nine-year-old child had to take on the drug-needle problem in our school grounds (Western News, Dec. 12).

That secret Queen's Park shed should never have been secret in the first place. What with such a fuss being made about possible marijuana shops anywhere within sight of schools, how can discarded needles go on being all over the place, right at those schools?

Wendy Hyer, school district superintendent, seems not to realize what her priorities should be, and therefore what we are paying her for.

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8 CN BC: British Columbia Going Down The Road To PotWed, 20 Dec 2017
Source:Quesnel Cariboo Observer (CN BC) Author:Alexander, Ken Area:British Columbia Lines:127 Added:12/24/2017

Province releases first decisions on cannabis regulation after public engagement

After receiving input from 48,951 British Columbians and submissions from 141 local and Indigenous governments and other interested stakeholders, the provincial government made some decisions on the anticipated legalization of non-medical cannabis in July 2018.

On Dec. 5, the NDP government announced the following policy decisions:

Minimum age

The Province will set the minimum age to possess, purchase and consume cannabis at 19 years old. A minimum age of 19 is consistent with B.C.'s minimum age for alcohol and tobacco and with the age of majority in B.C.

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9 CN BC: Stop Treating Pot Like Plutonium, Says Local Dispensary OwnerThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:Chief, The (CN BC) Author:Johnson, Pat Area:British Columbia Lines:96 Added:12/21/2017

Concerns still abound as cannabis legalization planned for this summer fast approaches

A Squamish cannabis retailer thinks the province's recent announcement around the sale of marijuana is a step in the right direction but says there are still many unanswered questions.

"I'm excited, but there is still not much that's changed since the announcement," says Bryan Raiser, owner of 99 North Dispensary.

The federal government has said marijuana will be legalized by July 1 of next year but handed it over to the provinces to determine how to manage the details.

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10CN BC: Thousands More Naloxone Kits To Be Distributed ThroughThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Shore, Randy Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/21/2017

Nearly 7,000 life-saving naloxone kits have been used by harm reduction staff in B.C. so far this year and thousands more kits will be distributed by pharmacies to battle the effects of a contaminated drug supply.

"That means you can get a kit at no charge if you use opioids or you are likely to witness an overdose," said Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy. "Already, 1,900 kits have been distributed to over 200 pharmacies around the province."

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11CN BC: Access To Nalaxone ExpandedThu, 21 Dec 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Shore, Randy Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/21/2017

Overdose Crisis: Thousands more kits to be distributed this year through pharmacies

Nearly 7,000 life-saving naloxone kits have been used by harm reduction staff in B.C. so far this year and thousands more kits will be distributed by pharmacies to battle the effects of a contaminated drug supply.

"That means you can get a kit at no charge if you use opioids or you are likely to witness an overdose," said Mental Health and Addictions Minister Judy Darcy. "Already, 1,900 kits have been distributed to over 200 pharmacies around the province."

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12 CN BC: Naloxone Training Goes OnlineWed, 20 Dec 2017
Source:Metro (Vancouver, CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:52 Added:12/20/2017

Life-saving drug now accessible after web tutorial

People can now learn how to administer Naloxone, the antidote to opioid overdose, by watching a five-minute video online.

St. Paul's emergency medical team led the project and launched the online tutorial this month to help more people access the life-saving drug. At the end of the tutorial, participants receive a certificate they can show at a nearby pharmacy, or any Naloxone dispensing site, to receive a free kit.

Previously, people who wanted Naloxone would have to attend a training workshop before receiving a kit.

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13CN BC: Cities Will Get Money, Help With Weed Effects: BlairWed, 20 Dec 2017
Source:Tri-City News (Port Coquitlam, CN BC) Author:McKenna, Gary Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/20/2017

As a former Toronto police chief, Liberal MP Bill Blair said he understands how the federal government's legislation legalizing marijuana consumption for recreational use affects municipalities.

Blair, Ottawa's point person on the pot file, was in the Tri-Cities this week, meeting with mayors and councillors, he said, to ensure cities have the tools and information ahead of the regulation changes coming next summer.

"I recognize the important roles that mayors, councillors and local police officers have to make this thing work," he said in an interview Monday with The Tri-City News at Port Coquitlam city hall. "They have a big job to do here and we want to make sure they have the support they need that is required at the local level in order to make sure that this works in this community."

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14 CN BC: Streetlights Top Pot Shops In City ComplaintsThu, 14 Dec 2017
Source:Georgia Straight, The (CN BC) Author:Lupick, Travis Area:British Columbia Lines:81 Added:12/17/2017

Complaints about marijuana dispensaries have increased each year since the City of Vancouver implemented a licensing regimen in 2015. But even after three years of consecutive growth, the number remains relatively small.

In 2015, there were 30 complaints, according to data supplied by the city. Then 84 in 2016 and 112 in 2017 (up to December 6).

For comparison's sake, so far in 2017 the city has received 348 complaints about other business categories (excluding illegal housing suites and short-term rentals like those on Airbnb). Meanwhile, this year there have been 5,529 complaints about potholes and 7,734 about streetlight outages.

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15CN BC: Pot, Cigarette Smokers Could Face Same Rules: HorganWed, 13 Dec 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Meissner, Dirk Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/16/2017

Marijuana smokers in British Columbia might have to abide by the same public smoking rules as tobacco users when cannabis becomes legal, Premier John Horgan said Tuesday.

Horgan said his government is still formulating its marijuana policy, but might follow the same provincial smoking laws and community-clean air bylaws that prohibit smoking near buildings or public spaces.

"Cigarette smokers can no longer smoke in public places," Horgan said in an interview.

"I think that may well be how we have to proceed with cannabis. We'll make a decision in the new year."

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16CN BC: Minister Warns Pot Will Not Be Big Money-MakerWed, 13 Dec 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Chan, Cheryl Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/16/2017

The B.C. government says revenue from legalized marijuana isn't going to create the financial windfall many expected once the province's thriving but illicit industry moves out of the shadows and is taxed like tobacco.

On Tuesday, Finance Minister Carole James cautioned against expectations.

"There will be revenue coming in after the first couple of years, but I don't see it as a big money-maker for British Columbia," James said at an editorial board meeting with The Vancouver Sun and The Province.

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17 CN BC: LTE: Concerns Not AddressedWed, 13 Dec 2017
Source:Winnipeg Sun (CN MB) Author:Sterzer, Helen Area:British Columbia Lines:42 Added:12/16/2017

Re: Legalization of marijuana

As the countdown continues to July, 2018 and the legalization of marijuana in Canada my concern for the future is not being addressed.

A popular method of raising money today appears to be suing current governments for perceived past wrongs committed by previous governments. The door this opens, for the countless numbers that have been prosecuted for pot infractions over the years, to sue federal and provincial governments could bankrupt this nation. Would it be possible or practical to include some form of "notwithstanding" clause in the laws currently being written for enactment that would preclude this scenario?

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18CN BC: Island Tops List Of Fatalities From Illicit-Drug OverdosesTue, 12 Dec 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Petrescu, Sarah Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/16/2017

More than 1,208 people have died from illicit drug overdoses in B.C. this year, the coroners service reported Monday.

Victoria and Vancouver Island continue to be in the top townships and health areas for overdose deaths.

The latest death toll in the overdose crisis includes statistics to the end of October 2017. November and December numbers will not be released until the new year.

"These numbers show that this is still something on the rise," said Andy Watson of the B.C. Coroners Service. "We're cautiously optimistic [now] that we've seen two months with under 100 deaths, but November and December were the peaks of last year."

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19 CN BC: LTE: Let's Have A Vote On PotFri, 15 Dec 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Cleghorn, John Area:British Columbia Lines:25 Added:12/15/2017

Marijuana is a social evil. Legalizing it will encourage naive people to use it. That, in turn, increases the number of potheads and the long list of problems they create.

The government should hold a referendum on marijuana so people of sense can confirm the need for penalties. It isn't harmless.

Regardless what the government does, don't be a dope. Don't use dope.

John Cleghorn, Sechelt

[end]

20CN BC: Editorial: Caution's Best On PotSat, 09 Dec 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/14/2017

B.C.'s NDP government is right to get ahead of the curve and establish a framework for distributing and regulating recreational cannabis in advance of the federal government legalizing it next July.

But the plan still has some shortcomings that should be addressed before we legally light up our sativa and enjoy what one vendor described as its spicy, earthy flavours.

B.C. intends to make marijuana available at public and private retail outlets, supplied exclusively by the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch. The government has determined that people age 19 and over will be allowed to buy it.

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21 CN BC: Editorial: At Least They're TryingFri, 08 Dec 2017
Source:Langley Times (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:49 Added:12/08/2017

A funeral home in Aldergrove decided they needed to do something after seeing so many heartbroken families lose loved ones to a drug overdose. The funeral directors have put together an awareness and prevention campaign that does aim to shock people about how deadly drugs are.

In an unusual move, the BC Coroner's Office has come out against Alternative Funeral and Cremation Service's awareness campaign, saying scare tactics don't work, they only further stigmatize drug users.

While it's true the D.A.R.E. program and Just Say No hasn't been successful in deterring youth from trying hard drugs, it likely did impact a few kids here and there. And at this point in this fentanyl epidemic - reaching anyone is better than doing nothing. It isn't costing taxpayers anything.

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22 CN BC: LTE: Going To PotFri, 08 Dec 2017
Source:Penticton Western (CN BC) Author:Isherwood, Tom Area:British Columbia Lines:40 Added:12/08/2017

Coming soon marijuana, a magical weed that feeds and gives the brain a high,

Say goodbye, to yesterday's fix in the coffee shop, a journey awaits that can put you over the top.

Grow your own weed a thing called pot. Roll a joint, you'll like it a lot.

Let's light up the world and create more smoke, then pray that Mother Nature doesn't choke.

Booze and guns were given a shot but failed to get it done, where smoke from pot may block light from a blazing sun.

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23 CN BC: More Info Needed By City Hall On LegalizationFri, 08 Dec 2017
Source:Penticton Western (CN BC) Author:Kidd, Steve Area:British Columbia Lines:55 Added:12/08/2017

Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said more information should come in the spring

Though the Province of B.C. has unveiled part of their distribution model for legal cannabis, Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said more information is needed before city hall can start generating ideas about how to deal with the changes.

"In spring, we will start going out to get information to better gauge, with the community and stakeholders, to help determine how many do we want, how many is enough and what should we be putting in our own regulations to deal with the zoning and placement of dispensaries when they become legalized later in the year," said Jakubeit. "We need to, in early spring, start addressing it and by that time the province should be unveiling more information to help us formulate a plan."

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24 CN BC: Editorial: Legalization Means RulesFri, 08 Dec 2017
Source:Penticton Western (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:54 Added:12/08/2017

Legal doesn't mean light up whenever you want

Ever since, and probably long before, the federal Liberals started the process to legalize marijuana, some people have been equating legalization with deregulation.

That was never in the cards. Saying 'But it's legal now, mannnnnnn,' after blowing smoke in a cop's face isn't going to carry much weight as he confiscates your joint or outfits you with a pair of pretty silver bracelets.

The announcement this week that B.C.'s Liquor Distribution branch will have responsibility for distribution of non-medical marijuana shouldn't have come as a surprise, though it seems it did for many.

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25 CN BC: More Needles Found At SchoolFri, 08 Dec 2017
Source:Penticton Western (CN BC) Author:Bowie, Tara Area:British Columbia Lines:98 Added:12/08/2017

Like all parents, Nadine Remington wants to know her nine-year-old son is safe while on school property.

But, the increasing problem of drug use on school property after hours is heightening fears for her and other parents.

Earlier this week, Remington was told by her son who is in Grade 4 at Queen's Park School that people were living in a shed on the school's property and that he had seen a needle and matches nearby.

After a similar experience of the boy finding drug paraphernalia at KVR Middle School while at camp this summer, she took his claims seriously and headed out to the school to see it herself. Remington and her husband didn't find anyone in the shed, but there was evidence suggesting someone was living in it recently and a needle on the ground at the door.

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26 CN BC: Editorial: Legalization Means RulesFri, 08 Dec 2017
Source:Goldstream Gazette (Victoria, CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:52 Added:12/08/2017

Ever since, and probably long before, the federal Liberals started the process to legalize marijuana, some people have been equating legalization with deregulation.

That was never in the cards. Saying 'But it's legal now, mannnnnnn,' after blowing smoke in a cop's face just isn't going to carry much weight with him as he confiscates your joint or outfits you with a pair of pretty silver bracelets.

The announcement this week that B.C.'s Liquor Distribution branch will have responsibility for distribution of non-medical marijuana shouldn't have come as a surprise, though it seems it did for many.

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27CN BC: Column: B.C. Bud Coming 'Into The Sunshine'Thu, 07 Dec 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Leyne, Les Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/07/2017

One thing the government's round of cannabis consultation discovered is how firmly established the underground marijuana business is in B.C.

The legalization of marijuana next July across Canada is going to be a dramatic change. But judging by the interest groups that made submissions on how to go about it, it's a relatively short hop in B.C. from the current situation to the historic new regime. They're already organized, up-front and pretty open about what's going on.

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28 CN BC: Column: Why Liquor Stores Need To Sell PotThu, 07 Dec 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Godbout, Neil Area:British Columbia Lines:97 Added:12/07/2017

The B.C. NDP government tipped its hand Tuesday on how it plans to regulate the legal sale of marijuana. Besides setting the age at 19 to buy, possess and consume pot, similar to alcohol and tobacco, the province said the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch will be the sole supplier, distributing pot to private and public stores in the same manner it already does with booze.

The government didn't address exactly who will sell pot but it looks like the NDP will take a different tact from the model already laid out in Ontario, where legal pot will only be available in about 150 stores, all operated by that province's liquor control board.

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29CN BC: Editorial: Rules On Pot Become ClearerThu, 07 Dec 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC)          Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/07/2017

The picture of legal marijuana in B.C. got a little clearer this week, as the provincial government released some of its planned regulations.

While some decisions have yet to be made - or made public - three important ones are in place: minimum age, wholesale distribution and retail policy.

The government has wisely set the minimum age for cannabis at 19. That's the same as for alcohol and tobacco, and matches the age of majority in B.C. Having different ages for different vices would confuse everyone, and regulators have to keep in mind the studies that say cannabis has a harmful effect on the developing brains of teenagers.

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30 CN BC: B.C. Liquor Branch To Distribute Non-Medical MarijuanaThu, 07 Dec 2017
Source:Vancouver Courier (CN BC) Author:Howell, Mike Area:British Columbia Lines:91 Added:12/07/2017

New government rules set 19 as minimum age to buy marijuana

The provincial government announced Tuesday that the BC Liquor Distribution Branch will be the wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis once the federal government legalizes marijuana in July 2018.

The policy move by the government is in addition to new rules that state buyers and consumers of recreational marijuana must be at least 19 years old, which is consistent with current laws related to alcohol and tobacco.

Mike Farnworth, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, spoke to reporters in a conference call but would not say specifically where consumers will be able to legally buy marijuana under the new rules.

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31 CN BC: PUB LTE: Legal Marijuana Will Make Canada SaferSat, 02 Dec 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Picton, Jarrod Area:British Columbia Lines:44 Added:12/06/2017

On July 1, 2018, marijuana is going to be legalized in Canada. However, there is no need to fear. In fact, Canadians should feel more at ease as July 1 approaches.

Legalization means many things for Canadians. Once a substance is legalized, it directly and aggressively hemorrhages revenue from the black market. When criminal organizations lose money, they lose power. When they lose power, they lose their ability to negatively affect society.

This will be akin to what occurred when prohibition ceased in the United States. All these criminal organizations lost their power and wealth once alcohol was relegalized. Legalization, in turn, made society at large safer and more hospitable.

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32CN BC: You'll Need To Be 19 To Buy Pot In B.C.Wed, 06 Dec 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Kines, Lindsay Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/06/2017

Liquor branch will be sole distributor, retail system to be unveiled

British Columbians will have to be at least 19 years of age to buy and use marijuanaonce the federal government legalizes recreational pot in the summer.

B.C. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth announced the minimum age limit Tuesday in releasing a series of policy decisions on the regulation of non-medicinal marijuana.

He said the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch will be the wholesale distributor of marijuana in the province.

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33CN BC: Column: One-Stop Booze And Dope ShoppingWed, 06 Dec 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Leyne, Les Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/06/2017

There was a captivating point made during the consultations on how recreational marijuana should be retailed in B.C. once it's legal next July.

The B.C. Government Employees Union and an association of private liquor stores are both keenly interested in shunting all those dispensaries off to the sidelines and snagging monopoly rights to sell marijuana. The union wants the jobs, and the association wants the business. They made their pitch to government under the banner of the "Responsible Marijuana Retail Alliance of B.C."

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34 CN BC: B.C. Pot Rules Headed In Right Direction: MorrisWed, 06 Dec 2017
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Williams, Arthur Area:British Columbia Lines:118 Added:12/06/2017

Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris said the provincial government has made a good first step on regulating recreational marijuana use, but the issue is complex and a lot of work remains to be done.

On Tuesday, the NDP government unveiled plans which will set the minimum age for marijuana use at 19, see recreational marijuana distributed through the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch and pledged to develop a retail model with both public and private sellers (see related story).

"I'm glad to see they've arranged for a point for the distribution," Morris said. "There needs to be strict controls who whoever grows it. They need to control the quality... and the THC content of the drug. Public health is one of the big concerns we had."

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35CN BC: Public, Private Outlets To Sell PotWed, 06 Dec 2017
Source:Province, The (CN BC) Author:Chan, Cheryl Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/06/2017

Plans unveiled: Province announces legal age for buying recreational marijuana to be set at 19

Recreational marijuana will be available for sale at private and public retail outlets to people age 19 and older once the drug becomes legal next year, said the B.C. government.

With legalization looming in July 2018, Solicitor-General Mike Farnworth unveiled details Tuesday on how B.C. plans to deal with the distribution and sale of non-medical pot - a move that would require amending or introducing 18 bills in the legislature.

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36 CN BC: Hybrid Model For Pot Sales Welcomed By Private ShopWed, 06 Dec 2017
Source:Daily Courier, The (CN BC) Author:Seymour, Ron Area:British Columbia Lines:97 Added:12/06/2017

B.C. decides marijuana will be sold in both gov't and privately owned outlets

The B.C. government's decision that the private sector can have a role in the sale of marijuana next year comes as expected but still welcome news to Rob Lindsay.

Lindsay, spokesman for one of the existing Kelowna pot shops, said he was "thrilled" with Victoria's announcement Tuesday that the retailing of marijuana will be accomplished through a mix of government-controlled and privately owned outlets.

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37 CN BC: Minimum Age For Buying Cannabis In B.C. To Be 19Wed, 06 Dec 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Hager, Mike Area:British Columbia Lines:74 Added:12/06/2017

British Columbia will introduce a system of public and private retailers to sell recreational cannabis and set a minimum age of 19 to buy and use the drug when it is legal next year.

Solicitor-General Mike Farnworth released the NDP government's preliminary vision for legal cannabis on Tuesday after a consultation process that received nearly 50,000 submissions and sought input from First Nations and local governments.

However, the precise details of how those public and private sales will be regulated won't be released until the end of next month, and Mr. Farnworth said the province is still determining whether the hundreds of people currently selling cannabis illegally through dispensaries will be allowed to enter the new market.

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38CN BC: B.C. To Allow Private And Public Sale Of RecreationalWed, 06 Dec 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Chan, Cheryl Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/06/2017

Legal age set at 19, but no word on pot being sold in liquor stores, pharmacies

Recreational marijuana will be available for sale at private and public retail outlets to people age 19 and older once the drug becomes legal next year, said the B.C. government.

With legalization looming in July 2018, solicitor general Mike Farnworth unveiled details Tuesday on how B.C. plans to deal with the distribution and sale of non-medical pot - a move that would require amending or introducing 18 bills in the legislature.

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39 CN BC: Nelson Fentanyl Task Force Hosts Provincial ExpertWed, 06 Dec 2017
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:Sherman, Jake Area:British Columbia Lines:84 Added:12/06/2017

The fentanyl epidemic is a social crisis, not a medical one according to Dr. Mark Tyndall, who spoke last week at an event organized by Nelson's Fentanyl Task Force.

Tyndall is a provincial expert on the opioid overdose crisis who brings a background in the study of disease in controlled populations to his work crafting policy for the provincial government at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

Speaking to about 100 local residents at the Prestige Lakeside Resort last Thursday, he argued that the opioid overdose epidemic has been amplified by the way in which drug policy has been enforced across the province.

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40 CN BC: City To Place Moratorium On Recreational Pot BusinessesWed, 06 Dec 2017
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:Metcalfe, Bill Area:British Columbia Lines:115 Added:12/06/2017

Council also, planning public consultation on new cannabis rules

Nelson council will place a moratorium on the opening of recreational cannabis retail businesses in Nelson until July 2018. At its Monday meeting, council made this commitment in anticipation of as-yet-unknown provincial and federal rules about recreational marijuana cultivation and sales.

Council also decided to set up a process in January and February to ask the public what it thinks about recreational cannabis businesses in Nelson.

"Do you want recreational cannabis dispensaries, where might they be, how many, what should the bylaws include in terms of consumption? And we want to hear from a broad spectrum of the community," Mayor Deb Kozak said.

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41CN BC: B.C. Emergency Response Centre With Island Link To BattleSat, 02 Dec 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Kines, Lindsay Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/02/2017

The B.C. government stepped up its fight against the growing number of drug overdose deaths Friday with the launch of a new emergency response centre that will link to regional and community action teams on Vancouver Island and elsewhere.

The emergency centre will have about 10 full- and part-time staff based at Vancouver General Hospital and backed by a team of experts.

The centre will analyze data, spot trends and work with new regional teams at Island Health and the other four health authorities to improve front-line services.

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42 CN BC: As Overdoses Mount, Prompt Warnings Are CrucialSat, 02 Dec 2017
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Woo, Andrea Area:British Columbia Lines:163 Added:12/02/2017

Lessons are still being digested after a lethal batch of opioids in October put emergency workers to the test

The first warning came mid-afternoon on a Thursday in late October, from a client at a downtown Victoria HIV/AIDS and harm-reduction facility.

It was the day after "cheque day," when social-assistance payments are issued in B.C. - a period linked to an increase in overdoses and other related harms. But even with that factored in, front-line workers were getting the sense that things were worse than usual.

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43 CN BC: Pot Dispensary Suing City Claims Not-For-Profit StatusFri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Abbotsford News (CN BC) Author:Gawley, Kelvin Area:British Columbia Lines:65 Added:12/01/2017

Motacan Compassion Society is exempt from business licence requirement, operator argues

A medical marijuana dispensary is suing the City of Abbotsford in an effort to remain open and avoid paying thousands of dollars in tickets.

Motacan Compassion Society, which operates a storefront location in an alley off Montrose Avenue in downtown Abbotsford, says it is exempt from bylaws requiring a business licence due to its not-for-profit society status.

In a petition filed last week in B.C. Supreme Court, "principal operator" David Smith claims Motacan is a registered society that provides "reasonable access to medical cannabis to members of the society on a highly subsidized basis."

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44 CN BC: Pot Battle Heads To The CourtsFri, 01 Dec 2017
Source:Kelowna Capital News (CN BC) Author:Michaels, Kathy Area:British Columbia Lines:53 Added:12/01/2017

West Kelowna is the latest B.C. city to petition the court to stop cannabis dispensaries from doing business.

The city is alleging that the Black Crow Herbals Association, Okanagan Cannabis Solutions Society, Selina Lau, Ralph Krehbiel and Matthew Nicholas are operating without business licenses and it is petitioning the court for an order to stop them from continuing to do so.

In the petition to the court, it says once the order is issued, the RCMP would be given the ability to arrest and remove any person who is contravening any provision of this order within the properties listed.

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45 CN BC: Federal Government Releases Draft Cannabis LegislationThu, 30 Nov 2017
Source:Valley Voice, The (CN BC) Author:Joyce, Art Area:British Columbia Lines:107 Added:11/30/2017

The Liberal government has released its draft legislation for Bill C-45, known in shorthand as the 'Cannabis Act' for legalizing marijuana. And according to Kootenay Outdoor Producers Cooperative co-founder Todd Veri, it's better than just good news for small producers - it's everything they'd hoped for.

"Our big concern was that they wouldn't allow outdoor growing or that they'd make life impossible for the co-operative model," says Veri. "Based on the report the government put together last year, we believed the government was going to go in the right direction but might need a nudge from us. It seems they took into account our documentation - we had five or six points we wanted to address and they addressed them all in the draft legislation."

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46 CN BC: PUB LTE: Questions Doctors Of B.C. Position On PotThu, 30 Nov 2017
Source:Valley Voice, The (CN BC) Author:Joyce, Art Area:British Columbia Lines:68 Added:11/30/2017

Reading the CBC News report, 'Associations call for ban on homegrown weed in BC once it becomes legal,' I have to question the judgment of the Doctors of BC, who default to pharmaceutical drugs quite unquestioningly, yet challenge more natural modes of treatment such as cannabis and homeopathy.

Cannabis cannot be tied to a single death or overdose. Meanwhile we are experiencing an opioid crisis. The CDC noted in one report that: "Among the more than 64,000 drug overdose deaths estimated in 2016, the sharpest increase occurred among deaths related to fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (synthetic opioids) with over 20,000 overdose deaths." According to news website Vox, "More Americans died of drug overdoses in 2016 than died in the entirety of the Vietnam War - the result of the US's opioid epidemic."

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47 CN BC: Fentanyl Dealer Says Demand For Deadly Drug Is Driving MarketThu, 30 Nov 2017
Source:Vancouver Courier (CN BC) Author:Kurucz, John Area:British Columbia Lines:127 Added:11/30/2017

Vancouver comic Mark Hughes interviews fentanyl dealer as part of recently launched podcast

Death has been a constant in Kyle's life for 25 years.

It's a narrative that goes hand in hand with his lifestyle, and shows no signs of abating.

Kyle - not his real name - is a fentanyl dealer. He says he's killed people with his own hands, and by extension, through his line of work. Kyle spoke to Vancouver comedian Mark Hughes as part of Hughes' recently-launched podcast called Pulling the Trigger. The Courier attempted to speak with Kyle, but he declined on more than one occasion.

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48 CN BC: Metro Municipalities Brace For Cannabis Retail Gold RushWed, 29 Nov 2017
Source:Business In Vancouver (CN BC) Author:Santvoort, Albert Van Area:British Columbia Lines:247 Added:11/29/2017

Some cities want to prohibit all recreational marijuana sales; others have already started licensing dispensaries

Ottawa's Cannabis Act, Bill C-45, passed third reading in the House of Commons on November 27, little more than seven months before the federal government's July 1, 2018, target date for legalizing recreational marijuana. The bill must be approved by the Senate and achieve Royal Assent but the writing is on the wall that legalization is on the way.

The B.C. government has yet to reveal how it plans to regulate retail sales for non-medicinal marijuana.

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49 CN BC: Nelson Searches For Answers To Fentanyl CrisisWed, 29 Nov 2017
Source:Nelson Star (CN BC) Author:Harper, Tyler Area:British Columbia Lines:99 Added:11/29/2017

Packed event featured seven speakers, plenty of questions

The fentanyl death toll is rising in B.C., but so is local interest in finding solutions to the crisis.

A packed room at the Hume Hotel heard stories and statistics Wednesday evening from a seven-person panel at an event called Growing Hope: A Community Conversation on the Current Fentanyl Crisis, which was put on by Nelson's Fentanyl Task Force.

Cheryl Dowden, executive director of ANKORS, co-hosted the evening with Nelson Police Department chief Paul Burkart. The event had been planned to run two hours, but ended up stretching to three as the audience peppered speakers with questions.

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50CN BC: OPED: Liquor Stores The Responsible Way To Retail PotFri, 24 Nov 2017
Source:Victoria Times-Colonist (CN BC) Author:Smith, Stephanie Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:11/28/2017

It's late afternoon and you receive a text message: "Friends coming for dinner. Please pick up wine." You pull into the neighbourhood liquor store, pick up a bottle of your favourite wine and head home. A familiar scene taking place across the province every day.

When you go into your local liquor store, you have confidence knowing you're buying a quality product in a secure environment, with stores conveniently located in every community across the province.

B.C.'s public and private liquor stores have a proven track record over many decades, selling controlled alcohol products to adults in a responsible manner, with more than a 90 per cent compliance rate in restricting sales to minors.

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