B.C.’s cannabis consumers are now free to use private delivery services in the province. The government-owned B.C. Cannabis Stores have been able to do this since legalization. The B.C. government extended this freedom to private stores last year. But employees of the retailer provided the delivery service.
As of July 8, couriers can deliver recreational cannabis from a private retailer through the mail or private delivery.
A Long-Time Coming
According to cannabis stakeholders in the province, this move has been a long-time coming. Before the rule change, the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch held a monopoly on online sales and delivery.
“Since federal legalization of non-medical cannabis, we have continued to look for ways to support the cannabis industry in our province while providing safe and accessible options for British Columbians,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
He added: “Expanding delivery-service options not only builds equality within the market, it also gives consumers one more reason to buy legal instead of illicit.”
New Cannabis Study: Raison D’état?
Around the same time the B.C. government announced that cannabis consumers are free to use private delivery services, the government released a new cannabis study. They claim to show concerning levels of pesticides used by legacy market farms. (Never mind the number of times Health Canada has discovered “regulated” LPs using pesticides).
Farnworth says the study is another reason to make legal, regulated cannabis easier. Not mentioning that one of the “concerns” in the study is that most illicit vape products had high concentrations of THC. As if going beyond the legal THC cap is a negative thing. In reality, it’s the legal limits on THC that are sending many to the legacy market.
The study’s limited selection of legacy market cannabis doesn’t help flesh out its thesis that “illicit cannabis” is somehow more dangerous than “regulated cannabis.” Furthermore, because the government seized the samples from illicit retailers, we have no information on who produced the cannabis. Or how they produced it, what kind of environment it was grown in, or whether contamination of the products occurred somewhere down the supply chain and not necessarily on the farm.
B.C. Cannabis Consumers Now Free to Use Private Delivery Services
B.C. cannabis consumers are now free to use private delivery services. But what about private testing services? What about private growers who the federal government doesn’t regulate?
The study Farnworth gloats over says, “Cannabis products within the legal, regulated system must be tested and pass quality specifications, and if contaminants are found licensed producers are required to address the issue.”
But history shows they “address the issue” by hiding pesticides in a ceiling tile. At the same time, some pencil-pusher from Health Canada walks around like they know what they’re doing.
B.C. cannabis consumers are now free to use private delivery services. But when will they be free to use a private, regulatory service?
The study concludes: “unless a consumer is purchasing from a legal and regulated source there is no mechanism or oversight protecting the consumer from false and misleading product claims and potentially harmful contaminants.”
But this is false. Government bureaucracy is no kind of oversight. They are not an effective mechanism for protecting consumers. Often, the process is “captured” by lobbying interests. That’s precisely how cannabis legalization in Canada ended up with large corporate conglomerates while a majority of BC Bud remains illegal.
B.C. cannabis consumers are now free to use private delivery services. But that’s like letting your dog off-leash in your backyard. That should have always been OK. It’s time to take your dog to the park and let him run around with the other dogs. Just like it’s time for B.C. to roll back state control and let BC Bud provide Canadians with safe, clean, quality cannabis.