BRITISH Columbia’s sole legal wholesaler of non-medical cannabis has entered into agreements with licensed producers to ensure a retail supply for when non-medical cannabis is legalized.
The Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) has signed memorandums of understanding with 31 licensed producers of non-medical cannabis to form an extensive and competitive wholesale product assortment. The initial product assortment will feature more than 150 strains, ranging in quality, from value to ultra-premium product, at competitive prices. The LDB has also secured an array of cannabis accessories for retail sale in BC Cannabis Stores.
“We are thrilled to be reaching this significant milestone in developing a competitive wholesale assortment for non-medical cannabis,” said Blain Lawson, LDB’s general manager and CEO. “The volume, variety and quality of our product assortment speak to the LDB’s commitment to working towards eliminating the illicit market.”
The LDB says it has developed its product assortment with the aim of being as inclusive of as many licensed producers as possible. It has entered into agreements with all appropriately licensed producers that responded to the LDB’s request for information process and are able to supply a sufficient volume of non-medical cannabis upon legalization.
Licensed private retailers will be able to access the wholesale assortment via the LDB’s online sales portal. Details of the process for retailers to register with the LDB will be released at a later date.
The initial assortment includes product from 12 B.C.-based licensed producers. The LDB will be continually expanding its purchasing requirements as anticipated demand for non-medical cannabis product increases, and expects to issue a product call to invite additional licensed producers to engage as suppliers, shortly after legalization.
Additionally, the LDB has secured a location for its first BC Cannabis Store (BCCS) within Kamloops’ Columbia Place Shopping Centre. The selection of this location was based on a number of factors, including municipal readiness for the zoning of cannabis retail operations and site suitability. The LDB will apply for municipal approval of the store site when the City of Kamloops begins accepting applications for non-medical cannabis retail outlets in September.
“We welcome this announcement that the LDB is applying to open the first government-operated BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops,” said Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian. “Kamloops City Council supports the work of the provincial government as they map out the future retail cannabis landscape in B.C. Their mixed model for cannabis sales, allowing both public and private retail, has many benefits to B.C. communities. The proposal, like all applications, will require the city’s approval before it will operate.”
The store will be staffed by about 20 employees, including managers and knowledgeable cannabis consultants. All BCCS employees will receive extensive training concentrating on social responsibility practices related to safety and responsible adult use, comprehensive product knowledge and customer service skills.
The LDB is considering a number of locations across various municipalities for the rollout of its BC Cannabis Stores, and is focused on ensuring a careful and efficient rollout that will provide the best possible customer experience and meet all health and safety regulations.