On February 5, 2018 the BC Provincial Government announced decisions on public consumption, retail sales model, and personal cultivation.
In BC, the Province has determined it will allow personal cultivation, some public consumption of vaped and smoked cannabis, and outlined a model for retail sales.
Similar to most other provinces and territories BC is raising the minimum age to possess, purchase, and consume cannabis to 19 years old.
BC will have a government-run wholesale distribution model. The BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) will be the wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis in B.C. however, the retail model will be a combination of both public and private retail. Municipalities will have the ability to ban private retail operations or further limit the nature and scope of these operations depending on their municipal bylaws and regulations.
British Columbia is likely to provide an avenue for small-scale participants in micro-cultivation and micro-production to access the regulated market. However, the proposed federal regulations will only allow for 200 square meters of growing space.
The City of Vancouver and the City of Victoria have already started regulating cannabis for recreational use in their municipalities. Vancouver currently has ten locations operating with an approved development permit and business license. There are also about 60 retailers operating in Vancouver without a permit/ license. Victoria has approved one Cannabis Business Rezoning application and Cannabis Business License application. Estimates indicate that there are 38 cannabis-related businesses in Victoria, with 35 of these operating as storefront cannabis retailers without a permit/license.
British Columbia Market Forecast
British Columbia may have about 725,000 recreational cannabis users in the first year of legalization, according to a report released by the Parliamentary Budget Office in November 2016. That number is projected to grow to more than 800,000 by 2021.
In that time, aggregate cannabis consumption in the province could increase from 91,000 metric tons to 103,000 metric tons. British Columbia expects legalized cannabis to bring in CA$75 million a year in tax revenue from legal sales of around CA$1 billion.