The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB), responsible for licensing cannabis retail stores in British Columbia, recently announced some new projects to be rolled out in the province in the coming months. The LCRB licenses and monitors private non-medical cannabis retail stores in British Columbia. Furthermore, the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) is the sole wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis in British Columbia. The LDB is the government retailer of recreational cannabis in the province as well. The LDB operates public cannabis stores and the sole online e-commerce in the province through the brand, BC Cannabis Stores.
Below is a recap of what’s new with cannabis retail in British Columbia, including some of the upcoming programs that are aimed to be rolled out in the months ahead:
British Columbia’s Farm-Gate Program
- LCRB will be licensing Farm-Gate Cannabis Sales starting in 2022, likely through a new licence class (e.g. Producer Retail Store Licence) however the government is still in the process of finalizing details.
- Farm-Gate stores will likely retain many features of the current federal and provincial legal framework for cannabis retail sales (e.g. indigenous/local government comments, secure storage, selling/promoting cannabis)
- The Farm-Gate program will be eligible for standard cultivators, micro-cultivators and nursery licence holders. Licensees who hold a processing licence in combination with a cultivation licence will still be eligible, however stand-alone processors (with no cultivation licence) will NOT be eligible.
LDB’s Direct Delivery Program (DDP)
- The goal with the Direct Deliver Program is to help eliminate the illicit market by introducing other avenues for producers to get their legal products to market. Also, the LDB hopes to help small-scale producers enter the market.
- The DDP program would allow producers in BC to deliver products directly to licensed retailers in the province. There may be caps based on annual production levels.
- This program is still in the development stage and is likely to be launched in 2022
Other Upcoming Projects
- BC Cannabis Secretariat is seeking feedback on “Non-Medical Cannabis Consumption Space” which would be considered a business/special event at which patrons would be permitted to purchase and consume non-medical cannabis. BC has not decided whether it will pursue this, but a preliminary engagement session is to be help with key stakeholder groups and the public.
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