B.C. government’s first cannabis retail store opens in Kamloops, October 2018. Windows are frosted to comply with regulation that there be no view inside, which turned out to be a safety issue. (B.C. government)

B.C. requires liquor-style “selling it right” course for cannabis retailers

Stores now allowed clear windows, with no products shown

The B.C. government has relieved one regulatory burden from recreational marijuana stores, and imposed another one.

After hundreds of cannabis retailers frosted or masked windows under license terms the province imposed in late 2018, Attorney General David Eby announced June 18 that “non-transparent walls” are no longer required. The change applies to private retailers and government-owned BC Cannabis stores, which used frosted glass.

The change is about “employee safety,” mainly to deter theft attempts by improving visibility. Regulations still prevent any products, packaging or labels from being visible from outside the store, where children under 19 might be exposed to them.

The province is also requiring non-medical cannabis retail employees to take a “selling it right” online course at a cost of $35 plus GST, for a certificate good for two years after completion. Existing cannabis retail and marketing businesses, including government stores, have until Sept. 30 to ensure their employees complete the course, which is based on the “serving it right” course for liquor retailers.

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Regulations are administered by the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch, part of the province’s transition after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared recreational cannabis legal in October 2018. The province has yet to cover its costs from the project, which includes a 15 per cent markup to stores from the provincial monopoly liquor and cannabis wholesaler.


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