VICTORIA, B.C. – Adam Olsen, B.C. Green Party spokesperson for cannabis, released the following statement earlier today in recognition of cannabis becoming legal in Canada.
“There has been a lot of anticipation, nervousness, and excitement in British Columbia leading up to today, and for good reason. We are stepping into a brand new space as a country and as a province,” said Olsen.
“As the legal industry grows and we understand what is working and what is not, the province will need to proactively update laws and regulations. A lot of questions remain to be answered and the province should adapt to new federal regulations and new evidence as it comes to light. Our Caucus’ priorities are to ensure public health and safety and to create a level playing field for local B.C. businesses.
“I’ve heard a lot of concerns about supply and access. Certainly the fact that only one retail outlet will be open in Kamloops today is a concern that I share. That being said, I support the government’s approach of giving local governments and First Nations say over where cannabis retail outlets can operate. The timing of municipal campaigns has limited local governments’ ability to process cannabis retail applications at this time, but we will be monitoring closely to ensure no undue barriers exist at the provincial level in opening new retail locations.
“We also want to ensure that prices encourage all consumers to purchase cannabis from regulated retail operations. The government has attempted to strike a balance by offering a variety of prices and products to choose from. It remains to be seen if this is the right balance.
“The health and safety of British Columbians must be paramount. While I am encouraged by the penalties and fines that the province has put in place to discourage dangerous behaviour, I encourage both the federal and provincial governments to devote resources towards educating the public on the risks of being under-the-influence while driving or in a workplace setting.
“As we move forward with the federal licensing process for small scale producers, we need to ensure that the provincial LDB is set up to process products from BC’s craft cannabis industry and adding it to the product inventory available to retailers.”
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