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BC Amends Cannabis Retail Regulations

In an effort to be more flexible and better support cannabis workers, the BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) has made some amendments to regulations for cannabis retailers after hearing their feedback.

New Training Required

Anyone involved in selling cannabis, which includes “non-medical cannabis retail licensees, marketing licensees and workers who sell or supervise the sale of non-medical cannabis in either private cannabis retail or government cannabis stores,” are required to complete an online training program called Selling it Right. Similar to Serving it Right, the responsible liquor sales program, the course teaches about the effects of cannabis, how to tell if someone is intoxicated and how to intervene if necessary, as well as their full responsibilities under the law. Certification costs $35 plus GST and is valid for two years.

Any new employers and employees going forward are required to get their certification before starting work or opening their store, however, existing licensees and staff have until September 30, 2020 to complete the required training.

According to Attorney General David Eby, “These changes will help employees feel safer while at work and ensure cannabis workers will be thoroughly trained to be safe, smart and socially responsible in their jobs.”

Windows no Longer Need to be Non-Transparent

Additionally, the LCRB has removed the requirement for retail stores to stay behind non-transparent walls as long as products, packages and labels can’t be seen from outside the store. This will allow retailers to provide a more open, welcoming environment while still operating within federal guidelines.

Recently, retailers and advocacy groups have voiced their concerns about these issues and others, and these amendments are an attempt to show those in the industry that regulators are listening. According to Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, the regulatory side is trying to evolve and learn as the cannabis sector grows.

“Our government is committed to supporting the development of a robust, diverse and sustainable cannabis industry in BC that prioritizes health and safety of both workers and the public,” he says. “From the start, we’ve expected the regulatory approach to evolve as the cannabis sector emerged and these changes are examples of that evolution.”