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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elkford Chamber launches a Youth Chamber Program

The program encourages youth to start their own businesses while developing community connections

Grad Committee donates leftover funds to food bank

Approximately $3,650 was donated to the Salvation Army Food Bank in Fernie

Health care priorities debated following surprise funding announcement

Surprise provincial funding stirs debate on local health care priorities during regional meeting

Fernie treated to a Tiny Concert in the Park

Shred Kelly members Tim Newton and Sage McBride played a live concert for the first time since February

Community groups receive funding through annual CFKR grants

Groups throughout the entire Elk Valley were supported through this year’s round of funding

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Doctor slain in Alberta medical clinic was devoted father, husband

Red Deer doctors on edge after attack on colleague who had two young daughters

Royal B.C. Museum wants B.C.’s COVID-19 nature observations

COVID-19 Collecting For Our Time: ongoing project cataloguing province’s pandemic experience

Feds offer ‘life preserver’ funds to BC Ferries as pandemic sinks revenue

For every dollar the province spends the federal government will match

Bad behaviour at B.C. restaurants ignites campaign calling for respect

“If you can’t follow the rules, then stay home,” says BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association

Over half of Americans oppose Trump tariff on Canadian aluminum: survey

The survey was conducted Aug. 7 to 9 among 1,513 Canadians and 1,003 Americans

Most Read