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

Invermere gets new CAO

Invermere found his new CAO after a long period of research.

Radium council discusses short term rentals

RHS council are elaborating the second draft plan for STR

Farmers’ Institute report highlights emerging local food scene

Beef cattle ranching remains mainstay of valley agriculture

Beautification process begins in Canal Flats downtown

Canal Flats wants to improve the esthetic of the town

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Most Read