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Learn About Marijuana In British Columbia


Frequently Asked Questions About Marijuana in British Columbia

Where Are the Dispensaries Located in British Columbia?

There are currently no recreational dispensaries in British Columbia - at least not licensed shops. Medical dispensaries are common throughout highly populous regions in the province, as opposed to other parts of Canada where medical marijuana is available through online order only and delivered directly to the patient.

Physical dispensaries often exist despite federal legislation, and, like certain American states, British Columbia’s lax approach is tolerated by federal authorities. Entering a medical marijuana shop may require a medical card to a doctor’s note to a simple government ID and minimum age.

Are the Dispensaries Medical, Recreational, or Both?

Currently, there are only medical dispensaries in British Columbia. British Columbia operates in a “gray market” with many medical shops functioning like recreational shops, especially in larger cities like Vancouver and Victoria.

With federal legalization, soon many of these stores are likely to convert to the recreational setup or face potential crackdowns in the wake of new legislation.

Who Can Buy Medically in British Columbia? Recreationally?

In Canada, anyone with a valid condition treatable by marijuana is able to access medical marijuana, even children with a parent or guardian willing to help them medicate. With the current gray market you must typically be 19 or older and have a valid I.D. to prove it. Under the new recreational law, the minimum age to purchase recreational will be 19 in British Columbia.

How Do I Become a Medical Patient in British Columbia?

As dictated by the Canadian government, a health care practitioner may authorize the use of marijuana to reliably treat appropriate symptoms or conditions. To become a medical patient, a health care practitioner must verify the diagnosis and sign a form that authorizes the use of cannabis.  

Where can Cannabis be Consumed in British Columbia?

Individuals may not consume marijuana on school property, work, health department property, any type of park, and many other locations. In regard to public consumption, British Columbia designates marijuana like tobacco and tobacco vaporizers.

Public consumption of marijuana is more culturally accepted here than in any other province. It is common to smell marijuana in densely-populated urban environments. It’s not uncommon to find a gray market cannabis lounge when walking the streets.

Is Drug Testing Legal in British Columbia?

There is no law that enables or condemns drug testing in British Columbia. Generally, if the employer is able to justify the test on a basis of safety or can successfully prove that drug testing is essential for the company, then there is little an employee can do to resist.

If some individual feels that their company is violating their privacy by requiring a drug test, they can seek a different outcome in a court of law.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in British Columbia?

Delivery of medical marijuana is legal throughout Canada. It’s the primary way medical patients get their cannabis and other infused products. Patients must sign at the door.

Aside from medical, in B.C.’s current gray market, consumers have access to many delivery options. Within in the city, bike couriers fly around the streets, while some services ship to the entire province and even further.

Under current law, the transportation of marijuana, if not for medical use, constitutes controlled substance trafficking, but the new law permitting recreational use will allow for legal adult-use deliveries to be made.   

How Can I Pay for Marijuana in British Columbia?

With the national passage of the Cannabis Act, banks are now able to offer their lines of service to companies in and around the cannabis industry. This means individuals may use debit and credit cards when paying for marijuana, as opposed to largely cash-based markets in the United States.

Of course, cash will still be an accepted method of payment.


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British Columbia Marijuana Laws

Cannabis Distribution Act (Bill 31): This act sets up a system for the government to buy and sell cannabis and related products within British Columbia.

Cannabis Control & Licensing Act (Bill 30): In short, this act regulates the production, sale, and use of cannabis at the provincial level. It allows for the establishment of private stores and their accompanying infrastructure.   

Motor Vehicle Amendment Act (Bill 17): This bill is designed to keep high drivers off the road by raising penalties.

Possession Limits

Once recreational pot shops are up and running, individuals will be allowed to possess no more than 30 grams in a public setting. Bill 30 makes no statement on the maximum amount possessed in a private residence. Medical patients may possess up to 150 grams in one private location.

Growing Cannabis at Home

British Columbians may grow up to four plants at a single residence. The seeds may not be of illicit cannabis origin. Plants may not be visible through the window from a public place.

Cannabis and Driving

A caveat to legalizing medical marijuana is the tightening laws around intoxicated driving. Something known as a “12 hour suspension” can be used to restrict the license of anyone who is thought to have marijuana in their system. The determination of intoxication will come from saliva, blood, or urine testing.

Advertising and Promotion

According to Bill 30, an individual who does not hold a license may not promote cannabis or act as a salesperson of cannabis. Promotional activities may not be directed towards minors.

Furthermore, the marketing, advertising, and promotion of cannabis is subject to the control of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

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