With home cultivation of up to four marijuana plants legal as of Oct. 17, communities will have to deal with the hazards of indoor growing. (Black Press files)

With home cultivation of up to four marijuana plants legal as of Oct. 17, communities will have to deal with the hazards of indoor growing. (Black Press files)

B.C. waits to add ‘craft cannabis’ to its retail system

Wholesaler confident 15% markup will eliminate black market

B.C.’s Liquor Distribution Branch has made its second product call for licensed marijuana growers, adding to the 150 cannabis types it signed up in July to prepare for provincial stores to open in October.

Applications from federally licensed producers of dried cannabis, oils, capsules and seed are being accepted until the end of August, to add to the accepted products from large producers that will stock both private and LDB stores in B.C.

The government wholesaler says it is looking forward to adding smaller “craft cannabis” suppliers, once they get “micro-cultivation and micro-processing licensing.” That’s expected some time before the end of 2018.

RELATED: BC Cannabis stores start with 150 strains

With a federal excise tax of $1 a gram and federal and provincial sales taxes on top, B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth has emphasized the need to keep the legal price low enough to take the market away from B.C.’s many illicit marijuana suppliers.

LDB has settled on a 15 per cent wholesale markup for all retailers, in contrast to the markup of more than 100 per cent it imposes on bottled spirits. That markup applies to the “landed cost” of wholesale product delivered to stores, including transportation fees, taxes, packaging and handling.

“We’ve heard concerns that the LDB will impose a significant markup on legal cannabis, in the interests of making money,” said Blain Lawson, general manager of the B.C. LDB. The 15 per cent rate “reaffirms the province’s principle goal is eliminating the illicit market.”

While Farnworth is confident B.C. will be ready for legalization on Oct. 17, issues that provinces will face include indoor growing and impaired driving enforcement.

The federal government has given the nod to a German-made device for roadside saliva testing that is in use in Germany and the United Kingdom. The device detects cocaine as well as the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and a detection reading provides grounds to take the driver for a blood test.

Police also have the option of using a standard field sobriety test, with drills such as walking a straight line.

Home growing for illicit sales is a long-standing fire hazard for communities, with unregulated wiring for high-voltage lights and ventilation. Smaller personal grows can also be a hazard, as people have been able to do with medical licences in recent years.

BC legislaturemarijuana

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The two suspects arrested south of 150 Mile House Tuesday, March 2, following a high-speed chase with the RCMP have been charged. (Will Roberts photo)
High-speed chase suspects charged, remain in custody after arrest south of Williams Lake

John Craig and Maggie M. Higgott appeared in Williams Lake Provincial Court March 4

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to Stoney and Minnie lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels after found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Retired B.C. teacher and star CFL kicker charged for assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

Most Read