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

RCMP investigate multiple dog deaths linked to Cranbrook forest

One veterinarian said ‘you can’t help but draw that conclusion’ that deaths parallel 2016’s story

Blackmore took ‘calculated’ risk: Crown

Polygamous leader should have pursued legal validation, not assurances from government officals.

Adittional terrain to open at Kimberley Alpine Resort

The main run, along with several others, will be open this weekend

Kimberley Nature Park launches new video

The Kimberley Nature Park Society has launched a new video, an Introduction… Continue reading

Month

Dancer of the Month December 2017 Sienna Fooks Sienna is 11 years… Continue reading

News recap: Kimberley

Watch: A quick recap of the top news stories this week in Kimberley.

Debt-to-household-income ratio rises in third quarter

Total household credit market debt grew to $2.11 trillion in the third quarter

B.C. Mountie told to resign after texting teenage sex assault victim

RCMP documents say Const. Brian Eden sent sexually inappropriate photos to 17-year-old girl

Family doctors should learn to treat addiction, not shun patients: scientist

B.C. Centre on Substance Use’s Dr. Evan Wood said efforts underway to change addiction medicine image

Meningococcal disease outbreak declared in Okanagan

Five cases in last six months among 15- to 19-year-olds, including one in Vernon

Province rejects Ajax mine in Kamloops

KGHM Ajax had proposed a 1,700-hectare open-pit copper and gold mine, just southwest of Kamloops

Border officers rally at B.C.’s Peace Arch

CBSA employees tire of ‘lack of respect’

FCC votes along party lines to end ‘net neutrality’

Move rolls back restrictions that keep big providers from blocking services they don’t like

Family of Vancouver Island RCMP officer killed by drunk driver sues

Lawsuit seeks financial compensation from Kenneth Jacob Fenton

Most Read