The B.C. Conservative party is hoping that its approach to cannabis legalization will attract attention from voters.
On the one hand, interim party leader Scott Anderson is calling for a tough and aggressive educational approach to alert the public to ‘serious risks of both primary and secondhand cannabis smoke’.
On the other hand, he opposes B.C.’s plan to give the Liquor Distribution Branch a monopoly over the wholesale side of the cannabis business, just as it has a monopoly over wholesale liquor sales.
‘In keeping with our philosophy as a free enterprise party, the B.C. Conservatives will allow and encourage, within a tight regulatory framework, small entrepreneurs to compete in any distribution and growth model, regardless of whether the provincial alcohol distribution model is adopted,’ Anderson said in a news release. ‘Further, we will make every effort to allow small scale ‘craft growers’ to compete with large growers on a level playing field.
‘Competition helps drive down prices, increase efficiencies and create jobs, and we encourage all of those things,’ Anderson continued. ‘And if we want to put the black market out of business and keep cannabis out of the hands of underage kids, it is crucial to successfully compete with it in terms of price.’
He also emphasized the importance of enabling small-scale craft growers to compete with large growers on a level playing field.
The Conservatives believe that small growers would provide product for smaller specialty retail establishments.
That’s an alternative approach to the NDP government’s requirement that all nonmedical cannabis stores will have to buy product directly from government sources.