Cannabis legalization is only just over a week away, and the provincial government has finished crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s on amendments to B.C.’s cannabis regulations.
In an Oct. 5 provincial release, the province announced the amended regulations are now in place “to support BC’s legal cannabis regime and prioritize the health and safety of British Columbians.”
The updated regulations under the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act, give a clearer picture of what post-legalized-cannabis life will be like in B.C. Some of the updated regulations include:
- 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.
- You will not be able to open or consume cannabis within licensed retail stores and government cannabis stores.
- 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 or boulevards adjacent to a school property and 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).
- No cannabis use in vehicles, except in motorhomes or other motor vehicles, 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.
- Exemptions are provided for the consumption of medical cannabis on school property and on inter-city buses, trains and boats.
Illegal retailers will be prohibited from advertising themselves as a licensed retailer and the province prohibits anyone from advertising a location to consume cannabis or to go after consuming cannabis.
The province has also set out what the fines will be for violations of the new regulations.
They have created provincial violation tickets for offences under the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act, most of which are consistent with existing liquor or tobacco tickets. Smoking cannabis in a prohibited place will be a $230 ticket and vaping in a prohibited place will be a $58.
The province says "allowing violation tickets to be issued for offences as an alternative to prosecution provides an effective deterrent, while also reducing the burden on the Province's police and courts."
Consumers will also have to pay Provincial Sales Tax (PST) which will apply to all cannabis sales in B.C. including cannabis accessories such as rolling papers, grinders, pipes, and vaporizers.
The 7 per cent PST will apply to both non-medical and medical cannabis sales, which is consistent with the application of the federal GST and generally aligns with other provinces' regulations.
There will also be two classes of cannabis business licenses which include a retail store license and a marketing license.
The province says these regulations are “another step in the work to prepare for the federal legalization of cannabis.”
Cannabis will be legalized throughout Canada on Oct. 17 by the federal government.