As we move into the second week of legal cannabis B.C.’s Public Safety minister says his marijuana enforcement officers are poised to deploy.
“They will be on the ground to do enforcement very shortly.”
Mike Farnworth says the pot enforcement officers will work just like liquor inspectors with a very similar mandate and powers.
“The community enforcement units will be able to go into an unlicensed cannabis store and seize the product. They do not have to have warrant. Just like right now they don’t have to have a warrant to seize illegal alcohol. They can levy administrative penalties, fines, to twice the value of the product that has been seized.”
What about marijuana events operating illegally like the 4/20 protests of the past?
“What I hope is that 4/20 for example gets proper legal permits. Works with the city to issue a permit. Find a location where it can be held legally. That would be the ideal situation.”
What if the “ideal situation” doesn’t happen?
“That is actually up to, for example, the local Park Board has jurisdiction in parks where it is held. The city also gets to permit in terms of where they are going to allow events to be held. What I hope is common sense prevails.”
Reporter “But ideally what we have seen so far is gone?”
“Ideally, yeah. Ideally events now go by the rules.”
The Community Enforcement Unit currently has 44 officers who will be deployed to communities across the province.