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BC approaching 3 year anniversary of non-medical cannabis legalization

Non-medical cannabis was first legalized in Canada on Oct. 17, 2018, since then the sector has been booming; especially in BC.

British Columbia now has the third highest number of legal cannabis retail stores and second-highest number of federal production licence holders in the country.

BC currently has 375 licensed private retail stores, plus 30 public retail stores under the BC Cannabis Stores brand.

A further 57 applications from throughout the province for private stores are approved in principle, as the government strives to assess, improve and tighten processing timelines for retail licensees.

</who>Photo credit: 123rf | Stock photo

“As British Columbia passes the three-year anniversary of non-medical cannabis legalization, we are continuing to develop made-in-BC approaches to ensure we have a strong and diverse cannabis sector, while working to keep organized crime out of the industry,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

“Legal BC cannabis businesses contribute to local economies and generate tax revenues that help pay for the schools, hospitals and services we all rely on.”

To help encourage more BC cannabis consumers to shift to the legal market from the illicit, the government is launching Buy Legal, a public education ad campaign encouraging people to buy from provincially authorized stores that offer regulated and tested products.

BC recognizes the importance of cannabis production as a significant economic driver in many rural regions and has worked to ensure small-scale cannabis growers have an opportunity to enter the legal market.

Support to date includes the province funding a pilot project in the Central Kootenay region to help 53 businesses receive licence-application support. Seventeen licence types were issued to 12 client organizations and 62 jobs were created, transitioned or maintained by the end of the program in July 2021.

The province is also developing programs for forest delivery and farm-gate sales, which will launch in 2022.

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