Local medical marijuana retailer says more details on government’s plan for pot are needed

The sale of medical marijuana is not being addressed yet, says Tamara Duggan of Tamarack Dispensaries in Kimberley

It has become clearer how the province of British Columbia intends to handle distribution of recreational marijuana once its legalized next July.

The province has announced it would set the legal minimum age at 19, in line with alcohol and tobacco.

“We know the largest consumers of cannabis are young people in that 19- to 30-year-old age range,” said Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth. “If you set [the age] to high, at say 25, you’re not going to be able to get rid of that black market.”

Also like alcohol, wholesale distribution of recreational pot will be handled by the BC Liquor Distribution Branch.

The drug will also be sold by both public and private retailers, although Farnworth said the government hadn’t yet decided whether or not they would place marijuana on the same shelf as booze.

Local business person Tamara Duggan, who owns Tamarack Dispensaries in Marysville says she is somewhat dismayed by what has been announced so far, but will wait and see as more detail rolls out.

“I don’t necessarily believe going through the liquor distribution system is the most appropriate way to handle this,” she said. “But I’m not surprised, given the NDP government’s penchant for relationships with unions.”

She’s not surprised, she says, that the government is going that way.

“I am reassured they say private and public stores will be allowed, but I do have reservations about how it will all work.”

Duggan points out that there hasn’t been a lot of information around the dispensing of medical marijuana, which is her business.

“I am not in the adult recreational market. I am a medical marijuana dispenser. None of the legislation is looking at medical, so certain aspects are not being addressed. Whether the new rules will affect me directly, I’d say probably not. They are not looking at the medical side.”

She says she is definitely in favour of keeping the age at 19.

That’s the age of majority. There’s no reason to offer it to anyone younger.”

Duggan says it is unlikely she would go into the recreational market should it be allowed.

“My vision and mandate personally, has been on the medical side.”

In any event, there are many more details to come.

“I think the plan right now is very sketchy when it comes to specifics. There will be a whole lot more regulations and legislation and policy coming down.”

She is cautiously optimistic, she says, that her business will remain viable.

“We will proceed as normal. I’m not losing sleep over it, but I’m not making any changes either. As it affects me, I’ll roll with it. I’m not opposed to what they are doing, but I just know the government has their work cut out for them.”

The federal bill to legalize and regulate marijuana, introduced in early 2017, received final approval in the House of Commons last week.

It now moves to the Senate, where it is likely to face heavy opposition from Conservatives who argue legalization should be delayed because the process is being rushed.

Tamarack Dispensaries have been in business in Kimberley since 2015 and received a business licence from the City of Kimberley at that time, the first one issued in B.C.

Just Posted

Winter night’s delight at festival this Friday

Annual Snowflake Festival at Kinsmen Beach January 18th

Hurtling down the world’s mountains

Invermere’s Ben Thomsen having a stellar ski season

Mountainfilm on Tour returns

Event runs two nights this year, Feb 8-9th

Students lobby for a rainbow crosswalk

Council agrees to proposal for painted crosswalk at 13th Ave. and 13th St. intersection

Home values rise in Columbia Valley

30% rise in Canal Flats; 10% in Invermere

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

BREAKING: Jury finds man accused of killing B.C. girl, 12, guilty

Twelve-year-old Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978 while riding her bike along a highway in Merritt, B.C.

Most Read