Sooke mayor speaks out on proposed pot regs

Sooke’s moratorium on marijuana stores remains

Mayor Maja Tait is taking a wait-and-see approach to new marijuana regulations announced by the province this week.

Anyone 19 years old and up will be able to buy recreational marijuana in B.C. once it’s legalized next July, the province said, setting the legal minimum age in line with alcohol and tobacco sales.

“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.”

RELATED: Health Canada hints at government’s plans for legal pot

Also like alcohol, wholesale distribution of recreational pot will be handled by the B.C. 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 it would place marijuana on the same shelf as booze.

“Every other province is going through a provincial system,” he said, “and it allows us a significant control, which the public has said is important.”

Farnworth did not go further into taxation, zoning, local government input or what exactly the retail model will look, saying those details will come early next year.

The province is “acutely” aware, he added, that a too-high price won’t be able to knock out the black market.

RELATED: B.C. cities want more money, and more talk, on legal pot

Tait said before Sooke council can set municipal regulation, it needs to know the rules set out by Ottawa and Victoria.

“If we move forward without knowing what the province is doing, we just keep changing things over and over again,” she said.

Sooke has three medicinal marijuana facilities, but placed a moratorium on additional pot shops until after senior governments decided on how they plan to regulate the industry.

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.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Victoria joins worldwide anti-gun protest March for Our Lives

On March 24, protesters gathered at the Legislative Assembly of BC

Royal Roads hosts an Easter egg hunt and Holi Festival

There was fun for all age groups at the event celebrating different cultural traditions

Grizzlies’ season ends in overtime loss

Victoria wasn’t able to pull off another comeback

Langford council news in brief

Luxton Road closure, Sooke Road development, a new bridge deck and more lighting in the works

Local golfer enjoys the new development program at Bear Mountain

Golf Canada’s centralized development program a success so far

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 23, 2018

B.C. umpire has developed thick skin after 30 years listening to insults

Scott McLaren pays no mind to comments from the cheap seats

Musicians Sarah Harmer, Grimes join B.C. anti-pipeline protests

Musicians are in Vancouver for the Juno Awards on Sunday night

Saanich invites input on garden suites

Early returns suggest support for the legalization of garden suites, but the… Continue reading

Canadian cities hold March for our Lives events in wake of Florida shooting

Hundreds of people support the massive March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C.

Health officials called after acid spill near B.C.-Alberta border leaks into creek

Tanker truck crashed south of Dawson Creek, spilling 17,000 litres of hydrochloric acid

Embattled band Hedley plays last show in B.C. before hiatus

About 3,000 tickets had sold for final performance at Kelowna’s Prospera Place

Public warned not to eat herring eggs harvested from French Creek to Qualicum Bay

Island Health reports vibrio cholerae infection linked to eating herring eggs

Trudeau to exonerate B.C. First Nations chiefs hanged in 1860s

Prime Minister to absolve Tsilhqot’in chiefs in relation to deaths of 14 construction workers

Most Read