B.C. to forbid snack sales in cannabis retail stores

published on May 18, 2018 by Glen Korstrom in BIV

As the smoke clears on how the B.C. government intends to regulate retail cannabis sales, some stipulations stand out that have retailers scratching their heads.

Most key planks in the B.C. government’s plans to control private-sector cannabis sales after the federal government legalizes adult recreational use later this year mimic how the province regulates alcohol.

University of British Columbia assistant professor of medicine M-J Milloy, who is also a research scientist at the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use, said that having food with intoxicants can “be almost like a harm-reduction intervention.”

“Unfortunately, like a lot of cannabis issues, there has not been the research done [to prove that] as far as I am aware.”

Milloy said one reason why the government could be being initially strict is that it is easier to start with stringent rules and loosen them than to start out being flexible and then becoming more restrictive.

Further, he said that government might be concerned that once edibles are legal, in what the federal government has said will be 2019, customers might be confused in cannabis stores about whether a product is THC-laced. The result could be that they eat a THC-laced chocolate bar in the mistaken belief that it is THC-free.

An email from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General explained that some U.S. jurisdictions prohibit the sale of non-cannabis-related snacks in cannabis stores.

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