British Columbia aims to pass recreational marijuana rules in ’18

British Columbia’s government plans to pass legislation next spring regulating recreational marijuana, a move that will have vast implications for dispensaries, lounges and other small businesses already operating in the province’s thriving gray market.

The province is also asking the public to share their views by Nov. 1 on where cannabis should be sold, consumed and grown for private use, according to CBC News.

The ruling New Democratic Party hasn’t announced specific plans yet.

But British Columbia isn’t expected to take Ontario’s lead in selling adult-use cannabis only at state-run outlets and limiting consumption to private homes, because the two provincial markets are fundamentally different.

Although MMJ storefront operations are illegal under federal law, Vancouver and Victoria have issued a limited number of business licenses to medical cannabis dispensaries and lounges in recent years, while authorities there have long struggled to get a handle on the local black market.

Earlier this month, Premier John Horgan said British Columbia will be ready when the federal government legalizes recreational cannabis next summer and signaled that private entrepreneurs may play a role in the province’s retail sector.

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