Victoria is ready. But is British Columbia ready for legalization?
While that fateful date of October 17th is fast approaching officials in BC are split on what’s left to be done leading up the the day when bill C-45 goes into effect.
Lisa Helps the Mayor of Victoria on her end is confident that her municipality has taken the proper steps to assure a smooth transition. She told CBC news that the provincial capital is completely ready because of the pre-emptive work they’ve done on zoning and licensing cannabis dispensaries.
“Our ducks have been in order for two years,” Helps said. “We are ready to go, there is nothing that needs to happen except that the provincial government needs to get its regime in place.”
British Columbia has opted to adopt a hybrid system where retail marijuana sales will be allowed through public and private stores, but retail licences will have to be approved by local governments.
The provincial legislation which was tabled in May of 2018 was for the most part well received by retailers and activists alike. But many activists still see the legislation as too restrictive.
Cannabis activist Dana Larsen told the Vancouver Sun that he believes that the legislation is “unduly punitive” relative to the treatment of alcohol, unfairly criminalizing cannabis users.
He said B.C. has done a better job with its legislation than most other provinces in Canada but “it would be very different” if he had written it.
Another point of contention is how police in B.C. will go about testing drivers for impairment by cannabis use behind the wheel. Many hope the federal government will unveil technology they believe can accurately test a person’s blood content.
Edible products also remain in limbo and are not currently allowed in stores. However, experts expect that issue to be tackled by the federal government soon.
Lot’s of work remains to be done but the biggest hurdle has been passed. All we can do now is sit back and watch to see where all of the cards will fall.