Cannabis in British Columbia is a bigger industry than forestry and agriculture. BC Bud is world renowned.
But Christy Clark takes a hands-off approach.
Likewise, John Horgan’s NDP is silent, and the Greens only matter as a balance of power in a minority government.
BC’s Solicitor-General has stated that the government is cooking up something but he’s staying quiet until the federal Liberals release more details.
With a provincial BC election four weeks away, BC Bud needs to become an issue.
Or maybe not, as political vacuums tend to value spontaneous order better than concerted actions on the part of governments and opposition parties.
Regardless, the BC economy has a cannabis dependency. The economic impact is substantial. Small towns like Duncan and Nelson survive on the illicit industry.
When the Liberals talk about eradicating “black markets,” they mean purposefully devastating this staple industry.
BC’s cannabis producers contribute jobs and taxes to their communities, end of story. But, of course, as the federal Liberals say, revenue isn’t what’s behind their push to regulate.
Meanwhile, politicians set themselves up for legal cannabis profits in LPs. Anne McLellan, the chair of the federal government’s Legalization Task Farce, has conflicts of interest with the LP-representing law firm Bennett Jones.
BC must lead the cannabis industry, pushing back against Ottawa’s encroachment.
It’s not enough to control distribution. Producers must be free from political authority beyond the province.
Anne McLellan and the Liberals quell fears by indicating their preference for artisanal or “craft” growers.
But Liberals aren’t fooling anybody… well, except maybe the people who mistakenly voted for them in 2015. But even they are starting to realize the hell that is government regulation.
Will Clark or Horgan say anything about cannabis legalization before the May 9th provincial election? Will either of them stand for BC’s middle-class cannabis economy? Or will they bend over and allow Ottawa to ram through a federal licensing scheme?
Perhaps silence is best for now. After all, “The ten most dangerous words in the English language are “Hi, I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.””