Cannabis lawyer Kirk Tousaw sees some positive news in B.C.'s new weed policies

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      (Lawyer Kirk Tousaw will be a panelist at the Georgia Straight's upcoming event, Grassroots: An Expo for the Cannabis Curious on April 7 and 8, 2018. Get your tickets now.)

      For many years, B.C. lawyer Kirk Tousaw has been on the leading edge of cannabis legalization.

      He was part of the legal team that won a landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision on edibles, as well as an important Federal Court ruling on growing medical cannabis.

      So when Tousaw speaks on these issues, people listen to what he says.

      Today, he issued a tweetstorm in response to the B.C. government's newly unveiled rules around the selling of cannabis.

      "I think it is very positive that existing dispensary operators will not be automatically prevented from being licensed," Tousaw wrote. "It will be case by case."

      He advised dispensary owners to "get your operations in shape if you've been slacking".

      "Pay any back taxes, get your records into shape, etc.," he emphasized.

      Tousaw also pointed out that liquor licensees won't automatically receive a cannabis licence.

      Licensed producers will face restrictions on owning retail stores, but those with an interest in LPs can apply. However, they won't be allowed to sell the LP's product because no "tied selling" will be permitted.

      There also won't be any requirements for specified distances between stores.

      It was unclear to Tousaw whether craft producers can sell directly to consumers at the farm.

      "Seems clear that you won't be able to have samples or on-site use like at vineyards and craft breweries," he stated. "This is a shame—no good reason to treat cannabis more restrictively than alcohol in the respect."