At the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities convention yesterday, Vancouver City Councillor Kerry Jang announced that the province will have a five-week public consultation period on the framework for adult-use cannabis in British Columbia.
Councillor Jang has high hopes for the future of legal pot, stating that he can see the day when a craft cannabis industry emerges in Canada’s most marijuana-friendly province.
“It wasn’t long ago there was a government monopoly on beer and craft beer was illegal,” said Jang. “Now what do we see? We see a huge market for craft beer. We see responsible usage. We see breweries, brewpubs that didn’t exist before. Why not marijuana?”
For the next five weeks, the B.C. government will be receiving input from residents, municipalities, First Nations, and the existing cannabis industry. Questions will touch on road safety, keeping marijuana away from children, and various other logistical issues related to the national legalization of cannabis.
B.C.’s Solicitor General Mike Farnworth added that even though the timeline put forth by the feds is tight, citizens must have the opportunity to provide input.
“The best public policy isn’t imposed from above,” Farnworth said. “The best public policy is made when there’s a sense that people understand the questions, and they feel they’ve had a say.”
The Province of Ontario was the first in Canada to announce its plans for the retail sale and distribution of legal cannabis. Ontarians were also asked for their views on a marijuana framework — despite a series of polls which showed a preference for craft cannabis dispensaries, a government-controlled retail system was announced. However, cannabis advocates are optimistic that British Columbia will decide on a much more inclusive framework for marijuana regulation in the province.
New Brunswick has also made some big announcements this month, including a deal for 9 million grams of pot to be provided by two of Canada’s large-scale licensed producers, Organigram and Canopy Growth.