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 Okanagan Regional Library is holding a pair of online contests for its young readers. (File photo)
Okanagan Regional Library challenges young readers

Pair of contests online aimed at kids aged up to 18

Vernon Winter Carnival Cop John Fawcett (left) and Carnival director Paul Cousins are at Vernon’s Real Canadian Superstore on Anderson Way until 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24, selling raffle tickets for a 2019 Polaris Snowmobile plus $1,000 worth of gear from BDM Motorsports. Tickets are $20. Only 5,000 tickets are being sold. The draw will be made Wednesday, Feb. 17. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Vernon Winter Carnival prize sled on display

Grand prize in Carnival raffle draw is 2019 Polaris snowmobile and $1,000 in gear; tickets $20

With a hockey stick and ice bucket to ensure social distancing, volunteers with the Kal Rotary Club collected cash during a drive-thru donation event in Vernon Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Kal Rotary seeks local non-profits in need of Dream Fund support

The deadline to apply for this year’s $105K in Dream funds has been extended to Feb. 28

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

(Hal Brindley - Dreamstime)
Enderby farmers caught between coyotes and bylaw tickets

The Smith family is stuck in a Catch-22 between protecting their livestock and incurring noise complaints

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Auldin Maxwell stacks the 693rd block on the top of record-breaking Jenga tower on Nov. 29. (Submitted)
Salmon Arm boy rests world-record attempt on single Jenga brick

Auldin Maxwell, 12, is now officially a Guinness world record holder.

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

A Dodge Ram pickup similar to this one was involved in a hit-and-run in Lake Country on Saturday, Jan. 16. (Crime Stoppers photo)
Stolen truck involved in Okanagan hit-and-run

Incident happened on Highway 97 in Lake Country just before 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Kelowna Fire Department. (FILE)
Early morning downtown Kelowna dumpster fire deemed suspicious

RCMP and the Kelowna Fire Department will conduct investigations into the cause of the blaze

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Most Read