BC NDP Sends MLAs to Study Legalization in the U.S.

The B.C. NDP is sending two MLAs on a fact-finding mission on legal cannabis sales to Washington and Oregon.

New Democrat Leader John Horgan said the federal move to legalize cannabis means the province needs to be prepared and informed for when it happens.

“Christy Clark’s government is sitting back and waiting for the federal government on this issue. We can see the result when we look at the proliferation of dispensaries in communities around the province,” Horgan said in a statement. “These decisions are being made right now, and they’re being made without us.”

Horgan is sending finance critic Carole James and public safety critic Mike Farnworth to look at the two U.S. states and their approaches to legalization and its implementation.

Horgan has said specific aspects of legalization under review include, cultivation, public consumption, distribution, advertising, road safety issues, zoning issues and revenues.

“While Colorado was the first U.S. state to legalize marijuana, Washington and Oregon are our close neighbours and most similar to British Columbia,” Horgan said. “Failing to learn all we can from our neighbours would be an opportunity missed.”

The results of the trip will be compiled into a report and shared upon the MLAs’ return.