The B.C. government has licensed its first Liquor Distribution Branch store for retail marijuana sales, and signed agreements with 31 federally licensed producers to stock them when legalization takes effect in October.
The LDB monopoly distributor will offer its stock online to stores that will “form an extensive and competitive wholesale product assortment,” the attorney general’s ministry said in a statement. The initial stock will be from 12 of the producers, expanding from there.
Retail sales online will also be available only from the LDB, whose stores will have “an array of cannabis accessories for retail sale.”
“The volume, variety and quality of our product assortment speak to the LDB’s commitment to wroking towards eliminating the illicit market,” said Blain Lawson, LDB general manager.
This is the logo for BC government-owned #marijuana stores, which will compete with selected existing retailers #bcpoli pic.twitter.com/y3XoVAQDv3
— Tom Fletcher (@tomfletcherbc) July 11, 2018
The first LDB-operated cannabis store location is in Kamloops’ Columbia Place shopping centre, which also has an LDB liquor store. The store will be staffed by 20 employees, including managers and “knowledgeable cannabis consultants,” the ministry says.
Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian said local approval is still needed but he supports the location and the province’s approach.
“Their mixed model for cannabis sales, allowing both private and public retail, has many benefits to B.C. communities,” Christian said.
LDB is posting employment ads for its new retail stores, which cannot be within liquor stores but may be nearby.