British Columbia


B.C. government cannabis workers could be barred from entering U.S.

B.C. government employees who work in provincially-run legal cannabis stores could find themselves barred from entering the United States. 

Mike Farnworth said Monday he’s aware of a threat by U.S. border officials to deny entry to anyone involved in Canada’s marijuana industry, which will become legal Oct. 17.

That’s raised the risk that hundreds of B.C. government employees could find themselves unable to travel to the United States because they staff the new public cannabis retail stores and distribution branch, including front-line workers, managers and even ministry officials. The first B.C. government store, in Kamloops, will open on the day of federal legalization.


BC to have only one store selling cannabis on first day of legalization

On the morning of Oct. 17, British Columbians shouldn’t expect to wake up and see marijuana stores opening their doors.

At least that’s the message from the province’s minister of public safety and solicitor general, Mike Farnworth.

In a news release issued Sunday, Farnworth said the government’s first and only BC Cannabis Store will open in Kamloops and more retail locations are “anticipated” in the following months, with over 100 paid applications in various stages of entry.

The government is also hoping to launch an online sales platform to ensure British Columbians can purchase non-medical cannabis regardless of where they live, he said.


Universities putting finishing touches on campus cannabis policies

Universities are a place for higher learning, but officials are trying to avoid students getting high while trying to learn, once cannabis legalization comes into effect next month.

At Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Jane Fee, vice provost for students, says the rules still need to be finalized and put through a consultation process, but it's likely none of the four campuses will permit smoking or vaping.

"The idea will be that you shouldn't be in class or you shouldn't be at work if you are impaired in some way, either by alcohol or by cannabis or some other illegal drug," said Fee at the school's Surrey campus on Tuesday.


Where you can smoke cannabis in BC after legalization

While BC has a reputation for being laid-back, British Columbians can expect to be faced with some pretty strict regulations come October 17.

The penalties are no joke either. Violating provincial cannabis laws can result in “a fine ranging from $2,000 to $100,000, imprisonment of three to 12 months, or both.”

What consuming cannabis in BC will look like is primarily up to each municipality. Depending on your location, the rules vary widely between “public smoking OK, with some limitations” to near-prohibition.


Residents of B.C. ‘bible belt’ city say pot stores should be legal

With marijuana legalization less than two months away, it is unclear whether Abbotsford residents will be able to buy non-medical pot locally on Oct. 17. But they want the option to do so.

B.C. municipalities retain the ability to ban pot stores come October, but residents of Abbotsford – often referred to as part of B.C.’s bible belt – don’t think their city should do so, council heard Monday.

City staff is now working to bring council options on how to regulate such stores, but it is unclear whether new rules will be in place by the time marijuana is officially legalized in mid-October.

Abbotsford council could also choose to retain the status quo, although no member has indicated a desire to do so.


Queens of the Stone Age catches fire with an intimate cannabis-company Commodore show

At the Commodore Ballroom on Saturday, August 4

Recreational cannabis industry marketing budgets are getting larger and more adventurous. In a buzz-building “for the fans” move, Canadian medicinal cannabis company Aurora blasted social media with a free Queens of the Stone Age gig in Vancouver as part of the Aurora Illumination Series. Those lucky enough to receive a free e-ticket witnessed QOTSA at the Commodore Ballroom, an intimate venue compared with the grandiosity of the band’s recent arena tours.


We need to address 'the mass of people locked away for something that becomes legal on October 17th'

Rosy Mondin is the CEO at the British Columbia-based Quadron Cannatech Corporation, which develops and provides a range of cannabis extraction and processing solutions. She is also highly active in a number of cannabis industry associations and advocacy groups, writes Nick Hilden.

"Too many Canadian have been punished by way of criminal charges or been thrown in jail for possessing, consuming, gifting, or selling cannabis (even in small amounts)," Mondin told Civilized. She says the continued over policing of the cannabis space is one of her biggest frustrations with the industry.


BC missing big opportunity in ‘Craft Cannabis,’ say critics.

British Columbia craft cannabis growers fear that federal and municipal regulations will damage the sector, reduce choice and kill a significant economic opportunity.

The well-established but unregulated sector faces new challenges as marijuana is legalized.

Craft growers aren’t even allowed to apply for the right to sell pot to legal outlets until mid-October, while large commercial producers have already signed supply contracts.

The growers are also dealing with new restrictions on agricultural land use and underdeveloped — or hostile — municipal zoning regulations.


Got experience in cannabis and customer service? The BC government is hiring

Kamloops will be home to British Columbia's first government-run cannabis store this fall — and it's now looking for staff.

A job fair is being held this week for positions at the shop ahead of the legalization of recreational marijuana in October.

"We are on the lookout for quite a few people," said Kate Bilney of the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch, which is overseeing the sale of cannabis in the province. About 20 people are needed for the first store, she said, from managers to assistants to cannabis consultants.

Experience in a legal grey zone

In any job posting, previous experience is a must. But when it comes to the budding cannabis industry, it's a challenge.


In a haze: Cannabis impairment still unclear for drivers in BC

In less than three months marijuana will officially be legalized across Canada and Oct. 17 will be a big day for law enforcement, as research is still underway to determine how the practical implications of the new legislation will be rolled out.

Earlier this month the federal Ministry of Public Safety announced it is launching a three-year study into the effects of cannabis on drivers. The nearly million dollar study will place drivers aged 19 to 45 in simulated driving scenarios to see how different levels of THC – the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis – affects their driving ability.


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