Who is Protecting BC Bud?

Article by David Brown, Lift

As the Federal government digests the Task Force report and crafts their proposed legalization bill for next spring, provinces and territories are expected to gain clarity on their role in these new proposed laws.

While some, like Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, have been vocal about a preference for a distribution system mirroring provincial alcohol lobbies, the BC Liberals, who have held power in BC, Canada’s unofficial capital of cannabis, since 2001, have been relatively quiet.

Even as municipalities across British Columbia began crafting — or at least looking at creating — laws to deal with existing cannabis dispensaries, BC’s Premier Christy Clark has historically politely deferred to federal authority on the subject of legalization.

British Columbia has long been home to thousands, even tens of thousands of cannabis growers, with roots going back decades. By some estimates it’s a multi-billion dollar market with exports reaching around the world. BC Bud is a well known brand crafted by a tolerant culture in remote locations that are historically difficult to police.

Despite marijuana being a strong aspect of the provincial economy, discussing legalization has been seen as too risky for a party still needing to appeal to a strong conservative demographic, especially in BC’s interior. Beyond a veryrecent mention about fentanyl in cannabis, and  the need to regulate it to avoid this problem, and once saying she didn’t not try cannabis as a teen, BC’s Premier has rarely made any public statements about cannabis at all.

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