B.C. and local governments task force on recreational marijuana goes to work this week

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      The team that will inform how B.C. regulates the sale and possession of recreational marijuana is scheduled to come together and meet for its first time this week, on Friday (October 20).

      “The purpose of the committee is to provide a forum for communication and consultation so that the province considers local government input during the development of the regulatory framework for legalized non-medical cannabis,” reads an October 19 media release.

      Called the Joint Provincial-Local Government Committee on Cannabis Regulation, is made of provincial representatives appointed by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General plus 12 local politicians and bureaucrats drawn from the Union of B.C. Municipalities.

      B.C. minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth is quoted in today’s media release emphasizing that the province government plans to take local officials’ views into account

      "It goes without saying that local government will be on the frontline and instrumental in the delivery of new policies and laws associated with the legalization of non-medical cannabis in British Columbia," he said. "We welcome and value the Union of B.C. Municipalities' input as we build a framework for the province focused on protecting young people, health and safety, keeping the criminal element out of cannabis and keeping our roads safe."

      Wendy Booth, Union of B.C. Municipalities president, is then quoted saying city officials appreciate the opportunity to provide input.

      "There are a lot of details to be considered in a short period of time,” she said. “We want to ensure that the resulting policies are practical and workable for communities in British Columbia, and leave room for local decision-making."

      From the City of Vancouver, the Joint Provincial-Local Government Committee on Cannabis Regulation includes city councillor Kerry Jang and chief licensing inspector Kathryn Holm.

      To draft legal frameworks for the distribution, sale, and possession of recreational marijuana, Ottawa has given the provinces a deadline of July 2018.