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With the arrival of legal recreational cannabis in Canada, the federal government has now implemented changes to the way cannabis is sold.
Before legalization, Surrey recreational cannabis users had a few options when purchasing marijuana.
While many purchases were illegal before Oct. 17, the ability to purchase cannabis legally still creates barriers for users.
With the C-45 bill now in order, sellers have been asked to close their doors as they wait for the processing of a new license that can approximately take up to 18 months. But, some sellers refuse to wait.
The municipal procedures still seem to be a little questionable considering the legalization was just a few days before the new cities mayor was elected.
As to media spokesperson Oliver Lum, City of Surrey’s Communications Manager said that until the new mayor Doug McCallum is sworn in during the first council meeting, then the city will be able to receive answers to their questions.
Until then many of the questions buyers and sellers have will go unanswered if the information residents seek is not included in the cannabis legalization framework report, which was released in February of this year.
Here is a breakdown to the several ways Surrey cannabis sellers will be affected as of today and where you’d be able to purchase legal cannabis in the city:
As of Oct. 17, Canadians are able to fully purchase legal marijuana from a federally regulated and licensed online mail ordered store.
Although online dispensaries like Yu Yo in Surrey say that the reason behind the movement to regulate the licenses is because the government made a decision to create a monopoly, “that benefits a few large corporations but doesn’t necessarily benefit the consumer,” said Mia of Yu Yo’s public relations.
“Up until now it has been an open-ended system,” said Mia.
As of tomorrow Yu Yo along with several other online dispensaries and local dispensaries are going to continue to sell medicinal marijuana and offer recreational as it’s become a legalized substance.
“There a few that are standing together and expecting we are going to have to make a legal challenge to the government monopoly,” she said.
“Because when they decided to call it legalization, what they meant was legalization for the government but not a free market economy.”
BC has been an active market for years.
And a majority of the staff that have worked within the cannabis industry have been doing so for decades.
Mia said, “the way they have regulated it actually even province wise has really excluded people that are industry experts and have created a penalization system to the very people they should be bringing in.”
According to the key provisions of the bill, an illegal sale can result in jail time.
As for recreational dispensaries, Surrey does not have any legally licensed retailers.
Unfortunately for recreational smokers, there will only be one government-approved pot shop in BC that will be running to purchase legal cannabis. Which is located in Kamloops.
As for medical dispensaries, there will be a direct order that can be made from a licensed producer that will be delivered through the mail or a courier.
Many medical and unlicensed recreational retailers will keep their doors open for similar reasons of unlicensed mail order stores.
Provincial medical cannabis licenses are not being issued at this time. The only online stores’ residents will be able to purchase from is from by federally licensed producers. Any application to produce and sell medical cannabis must be made under the federal medical cannabis system.
Cannabis distributors on the black market may as of today find themselves competing with the legal cannabis market.
On Tuesday, Oct. 16, Bill Blair an organized crime reduction minister, addressed the competitive conflict telling the Canadian Press, “price is a determinant of how successful we might be.”
“We have to be competitive with the elusive market, competitive not just in price but in quality choice and in access.”
Blair said that through setting a low and responsible level of taxation for cannabis it will help compete with black marketers.
Cannabis sold on the black market will still be illegal and as of the city, illegal distribution can again lead up to 14 years in jail.
While there are multiple regulations made for sellers residents throughout the city will be able to grow their own cannabis indoors or outdoors. But in this case, there will be limits to how much each household can grow which is a max of four plants.
If a resident would like to produce another form of cannabis besides dried, for example, oil, the resident would need to be registered and stay within their limit that is given on their registration certificate.