BC Government Announces Rules for Cannabis Industry



Ahead of the planned legalization by the federal government of non-medical cannabis use this summer, the BC government has announced how cannabis use and sale will be regulated in BC.

How will cannabis be sold?

British Columbians of legal age will be able to purchase non-medical cannabis through privately run retail stores or government-operated retail stores and online sales.

The BC Liquor Distribution Branch will operate the public retail stores, and Liquor Control and Licensing Branch will be responsible for licensing private stores and monitoring the retail sector. The BC Liquor Distribution Branch will also be the wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis in B.C.

The operating rules governing public and private retail stores will be similar to those currently in place for liquor.

In urban areas such as Burnaby, licensed retailers will not be able to sell cannabis in the same stores as liquor or tobacco.

How can I get a cannabis retail licence to sell it?

In the coming months, BC will launch an early registration process for individuals and businesses who are interested in applying for a cannabis retail licence.

Detailed information for interested applicants can be found in the B.C. Cannabis Retail Licensing Guide (click here to download).

Minimum Age of Possession

British Columbia’s minimum age to possess, purchase and consume cannabis will be 19 years old.

Personal public possession limits

Adults aged 19 and above, will be allowed to possess up to 30 grams of non-medical cannabis in a public place, which aligns with the federal government’s proposed possession limit for adults.

Where can it be used publicly? 

B.C. will generally allow adults to use non-medical cannabis in public spaces where tobacco smoking and vaping are permitted.

However, to minimize child and youth exposure, smoking and vaping of non-medical cannabis will be banned in areas frequented by children, including community beaches, parks and playgrounds.  Use of cannabis, in any form will also be banned for all occupants in vehicles.

Local governments will be able to set additional restrictions, as they do now for tobacco use.

In addition, landlords and strata councils will be able to restrict or prohibit non-medical cannabis smoking at tenanted and strata properties.

Personal cultivation

B.C. will align with the proposed federal legislation and allow adults to grow up to four cannabis plants per household, but the plants must not be visible from public spaces off the property.

Home cultivation of non-medical cannabis will be banned in dwellings used as daycares.

In addition, landlords and strata councils will be able restrict or prohibit home cultivation.

Drug Impaired Driving

Drug impaired driving will continue to be illegal in B.C. The Province will increase training for law enforcement in this area and toughen provincial regulations to give police more tools to remove drug-impaired drivers from the road and deter drug-affected driving.