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

No home for Agassiz Community Garden on school district land

The garden is still homeless after SD78 said no to the society using the McCaffrey School property

Life rings, signs to improve safety on Harrison waterfront

Harrison council approved $125,000 in aquatic safety projects for the beach

PHOTOS: Harrison students take on the Bunny Run

Harrison Hot Springs Elementary students dressed up for the Easter event

No more mobile vendors on Harrison beach

The approval of an updated business licence bylaw means Nolan Irwin is without a cart

Chilliwack PEO: ‘We who are sisters’

International oganization celebrating 150 years of service

VIDEO: Agassiz, Harrison celebrate National Pet Day

From cats and dogs to lizards and chickens, residents showed off the animals that enrich their lives

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

Most Read