After just one year of non-medical cannabis has been legalized, the B.C. government has processed nearly 300 store applications.
According to a release, 144 licences have been issued across the province, with an additional 33 approved on principle; currently, there are six licenced stores in the East Kootenay.
Also, there are six government-operated cannabis stores in B.C., including one in Cranbrook.
The second phase of the legalization process will allow the sale of marijuana edibles, such as beverages and baked goods, extracts, oils and wax for example, and topicals, like creams and balms.
The Province says that this part of the legislation has been in place as of October 17, 2019. However, shops will not be supplying the products right away, as they are required to give a 60-day notice if they wish to sell the items, and will not be available until late December at the earliest.
B.C. said that the legalization of non-medical cannabis has been a significant boost to rural economies within the province and will continue its support of developing a strong, legal small-scale cannabis industry.
“Unlike other provinces, B.C. had a well-entrenched cannabis industry prior to legalization, and over the last year, we’ve been working hard on the transition to a well-regulated, legal industry,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “We are committed to promoting a diverse and sustainable legal cannabis economy in B.C., while prioritizing the health and safety of British Columbians and respecting local governments.”
The Province added that it has established a working relationship with the First Nations Leadership Council to ensure Indiginous interests are considered and included in the growing industry.
According to the provincial government, it has made health and safety a top concern in the process of cannabis legalization and will make adjustments it feels are necessary to continue to meet goals.