The B.C. government has released its marijuana use and licensing details, with less than two weeks to go before recreational cannabis becomes legal across Canada on Oct. 17.
The rules are similar to those restricting tobacco use in the province, with no smoking or vaping cannabis within six metres of doorways, windows, bus stops and shelters or air intakes for public buildings.
The provincial fine for smoking cannabis in a prohibited place is set at $230, but only $58 for vaping.
No recreational cannabis products can be used on school property, but licensed medical cannabis can be used at school.
Beyond schools, indoor use can be allowed in designated areas. That includes hotel rooms if the hotel permits it, as well as designated rooms in hospitals, assisted living or retirement facilities. Regional or municipal parks are off limits, except for designated campsites.
Cannabis can also be used in recreational vehicles, campers and trailers if they are parked off the road where camping is allowed and being used as a private residence.
Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth also confirmed that B.C.’s seven per cent sales tax will apply to all sales of cannabis products, medical and recreational. That’s in addition to the GST, federal excise tax and 15 per cent wholesale markup applied by the Liquor Distribution Branch, B.C.’s monopoly legal wholesaler and online retailer.
Asked about reports from some licensed producers that they will not have enough of popular varieties to meet demand of legalization, Farnworth acknowledged that not all the 150 strains the LDB contracted to open with will be available immediately. There will be only one LDB store open in Kamloops on Oct. 17, along with online sales and licensed private retailers.
“There will be plenty of supply on Oct. 17 at both the government store and the online portal,” Farnworth told reporters at the B.C. legislature. “We will have the widest variety of strains in the country here in British Columbia. There will be some products where there will be limited supply.”