The pending legalization of recreational marijuana may not trigger a green boom. As of late August, the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) has received 72 paid applications from would-be retailers of recreational marijuana, with 17 applications coming from Vancouver Island.

Demand for private pot retail licenses appears to be a bust

As of August 30, LCRB has received 17 applications from Vancouver Island.

Figures suggest the pending legalization of recreational marijuana will not exactly trigger a green boom.

As of August 30, the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) has received 72 paid applications from would-be retailers of recreational marijuana, with 17 applications coming from Vancouver Island.

No statistics are available for the Greater Victoria area, according to the ministry of the attorney-general, which said it does not release community-specific statistics concerning private business matters between applicants and the LCRB, but also for competitive reasons, since the disclosure of more precise information could influence the market and inadvertently provide private business information.

The federal government has set Oct. 17 as the deadline for the legalization of recreational marijuana, and British Columbians will be able to purchase recreational marijuana at provincial stores, as well as private outlets through a mixed-model

The provincial government this July licensed its first Liquor Distribution Branch store for retail marijuana sales. It also signed agreements with 31 federally licensed producers to stock them when legalization takes effect in October.

Related: B.C. legislates recreational marijuana sales

Related: BC Cannabis stores to start with 150 strains available

But if the provincial government has set the wheels in motion, the number of applications from private retailers suggests a level of hesitancy. Brandon Wright, chief executive officer and co-founder of Baked Edibles, which processes cannabis into food products, called the numbers of applicants low.

Several factors may account for this development. They include among others all the normal obstacles businesses face as they try to establish themselves such as financing, procurement of product, and retail space. But the recreational pot industry also possesses its own industry-specific barriers. Not unlike alcohol during the late 19th century and early parts of the 20th century, marijuana enters the market place with a social stigma that translates into local prohibition.

Under the terms of the pending legalization, municipalities will be able to restrict the sales, production and distribution of recreational marijuana, and number of communities in the Greater Victoria area including Saanich have passed such measures.

Related: Saanich puts lid on future pot sales for now

In this way, they not act any differently than the countless of Canadian communities that had passed local ordinances against liquor at the turn of the 19th into the 20th century.

This said, Saanich has also signalled that it would be limit its current “full prohibition” once it has received additional information. This hesitancy on behalf of municipalities also appears in the general public.

Less than half of British Columbians think the country is prepared for the change, according to a new poll by Insights West issued in early September.

Related: Are you ready for marijuana to be legal Oct. 17?

It says 46 per cent of respondents said they feel confident in the federal government rolling out the Cannabis Act on Oct. 17. Only four per cent more feel the province is ready.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Vikes ready for Queen’s in Game 1 of national men’s rugby championship

From mid-terms to national championships, it’s a rugby life

B.C. historian helped Viola Desmond make it on the $10 bill

Merna Forster of Oak Bay petitioned for years for a Canadian woman to be honoured on currency

City of Victoria looks for emergency shelter options amidst bed shortage

My Place considered for tier-2 shelter during harsh weather

Third rink needed immediately at Pearkes, say users

Only four ice pads for Saanich, Victoria groups

Algae bloom at Elk Lake prompts CRD advisory notice

Reappearance of blue-green algae lethal to dogs a constant concern for water quality

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Good Food Summit plants seeds for food security

The Good Food Summit runs Nov. 22 and 23

POLL: Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?

The Christmas lights are twinkling and holiday music is playing in local… Continue reading

Trial: Witness describes encounter with accused murderer while tending to fatally injured Descoteau

Wright said he was working in his yard when he heard a woman screaming.

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar

Lou Anna Simon was charged Tuesday with lying to police during an investigation

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Otter makes a snack out of koi fish in Vancouver Chinese garden

Staff say the otter has eaten at least five fish

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

Most Read