Security and frosted windows greet customers at B.C.’s first government cannabis store in Kamloops. (B.C. government photo)

Smooth start to legal cannabis in B.C., Mike Farnworth says

Online and government store makes 4,000 sales by noon

The online sales website didn’t crash, the only licensed store did a brisk business and legal marijuana is now a fact in B.C., Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says.

Farnworth told reporters Monday that by noon there were more than 4,000 sales made in the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch system, the only legal source of recreational cannabis in the province as of midnight last night.

Farnworth said the prices for various strains of cannabis at the B.C. government’s only physical store in Kamloops and online are competitive with other legal jurisdictions. He shrugged off suggestions that black market marijuana is available more cheaply.

A looming Canada Post strike next week threatens delivery of online sales, but Farnworth said these kinds of labour disputes have a way of being settled before major disruptions take place.

The lack of government and store licences in B.C. has been an issue raised many times as the date for Canada to legalize recreational cannabis has approached. Farnworth said it’s an unfortunate coincidence that local governments are in the midst of election campaigns as the date arrives. Many councils have simply decided to wait for new councils to decide where and how many retail cannabis locations they will allow in their communities.

RELATED: B.C.’s unlicensed stores advised to shut down

Farnworth repeated his warning that as more stores receive provincial and local licences to operate, enforcement will ramp up for those stores that have operated illegally and continue to do so.

As of Monday, the province has received 173 paid applications for private cannabis retailers, and has sent 62 of them on to local government or Indigenous nation for final assent before they can legally sell marijuana.

The only one given local approval was the Kamloops store, the first of many LDB and private stores to be licensed in the weeks ahead.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Chilliwack prolific offender wanted yet again

B.C.-wide warrant issued for David Allen Geoghegan

One man, two women charged with stolen pickup downtown Chilliwack

None of the three have criminal history in B.C.

COLUMN: Should elected officials block constituents and reporters on social media?

Ottawa mayor was sued for doing that but a Chilliwack school trustee didn’t get that message

Chilliwack-Hope MP says new summer jobs grant application no longer includes ‘values test’

Those with anti-abortion beliefs left out last year because of requirement to respect the Charter

Ask the Coach: Chilliwack Chiefs bench boss Brian Maloney talks shootouts

Ask the Coach is a bi-weekly feature where Maloney gives unfiltered answers to fan questions.

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Most Read