Only one BC Cannabis Store will be opened on October 17

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When recreational cannabis is legalized in Canada on October 17, British Columbians will only be able to purchase marijuana from one BC Cannabis Store location, according to the province’s minister of public safety and solicitor general, Mike Farnworth.

Farnworth said in a press release published Sunday that the first and only BC Cannabis Store will open in Kamloops. Other stores are expected to open in the following months with more than 100 applications in the process of entry. The province is also planning to launch an online retail platform so that all B.C. residents can purchase cannabis wherever they are in the province.

He also said that the new Community Safety Unit will begin targeting illegal retail operations and will seize products as well as records without a warrant. Additionally, selling marijuana to minors will continue to be a criminal offence pubishable by up to 14 years in prison as well as penalties of up to $50,000 from the province.

Graduated Licensing Program drivers will not be allowed to have any cannabis in their system and neither drivers nor passengers will be allowed to use cannabis while in a vehicle. Police in B.C. are in the process of receiving special training and tools to deal with cannabis-impaired driving.

“The legalization of non-medical cannabis is a historic shift in public policy,” said Farnworth. “It’s a considerable learning curve and, without a doubt, all levels of government will need to refine their policies and regulations in the years ahead.”

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