British Columbia won

British Columbia says it might contemplate establishing its personal licensing scheme for hashish manufacturing sooner or later, nevertheless the province presently has no plan to take the unprecedented step.

“It’s too speculative at this point to comment on what a plan could be,” the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General stated in a press release to Marijuana Business Daily. “The province could consider this approach in the future.”

Under the Cannabis Act, marijuana manufacturing falls underneath the purview of the federal authorities, main specialists to query how the province might legally set up its personal licensing scheme for MJ manufacturing – and whether or not it has the capability to take action.

“Unless the federal government gives provinces and territories the explicit right to grant cultivation licenses, or unless a province or territory is able to successfully argue that under our constitution the right to grant cultivation licenses falls under provincial jurisdiction – which would turn the entire system as we currently know it upside down – I don’t see how a province or territory could unilaterally create its own provincial cultivation licensing system that is distinct from the federal system,” stated Matt Maurer of Toronto-based Torkin Manes’ hashish regulation group.

Trina Fraser, a enterprise lawyer at Ontario-based Brazeau Seller Law who advises hashish corporations, stated the doctrine of paramountcy would apply if a provincial manufacturing regime conflicted with the federal system already in place.

“I think they could overlay additional regulations on production at the provincial level – Quebec has built the right to do so into their legislation – but I don’t believe they could supplant the federal licensing framework,” she stated.

Stymied by scarcity

Like different provinces, British Columbia’s retailers are grappling with a scarcity of authorized hashish.

“Supply challenges” continued from Oct. 17 – the primary day of legalization – to the top of 2018, a spokesperson for the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB), the province’s sole wholesaler of nonmedical hashish, advised MJBizDaily.

“Volume received was still below the initial commitments made by (licensed producers), however we did see a slight improvement in the amount of inventory being received in the last several weeks of the year,” the spokesperson added.

British Columbia – lengthy the middle of Canada’s multibillion greenback grey market – has 32 licensed cultivators, processors and sellers (or zero.eight per 100,000 individuals) to Ontario’s 73 (or zero.5 per 100,000 individuals).

Ian Dawkins, a director of the B.C. Micro License Association, stated swaths of British Columbia’s rural financial system nonetheless rely upon hashish cultivation that isn’t at present regulated by the federal authorities and, subsequently, can’t be counted on to assist ease the scarcity within the regulated sector.

He stated a mixture of restrictive native zoning and a backlog within the federal licensing regime have delayed the transition of craft growers into the regulated fold, which might have penalties for these nonetheless working outdoors the bounds of federal regulation.

“Something needs to change in order for this to work, and that’s what you’re hearing from Victoria,” Dawkins stated.

“The alternative is mass unemployment in rural British Columbia.”

Cannabis retailers, in the meantime, have struggled with the province’s regulatory rigmarole in getting their shops open.

British Columbia didn’t award its first license for a privately owned leisure hashish retailer till roughly two weeks after adult-use marijuana was legalized.

The first absolutely authorized hashish retail retailer opened in Vancouver final weekend.  

Matt Lamers could be reached at [email protected]

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