EDITORIAL – Growing marijuana is one thing, selling it is something else

Growing marijuana is easy, selling it not so much. (Image: Creative Commons,

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

AMONG THE many questions still to be answered on how best to deal with the legalization of recreational marijuana is — who should sell it?

In B.C. there are several options, depending on which vested interest group is doing the talking. A string of them made submissions to the government in its recently ended online input exercise.

The B.C. Government Employees Union and the Private Liquor Store Association say the experience of liquor stores in selling product in an age-controlled environment makes them the obvious choice. And Premier John Horgan has also said he likes that option.

Another possibility is pharmacies, with the Neighbourhood Pharmacy Association of Canada making a case for selling medical marijuana and adding recreational marijuana as one more controlled product.

Also making a strong pitch are convenience stores, represented by the Western Convenience Stores Association, which point out they have a ready-made distribution system.

But Good Lord, do we really need a marijuana sales outlet on every block?

“Pick up a litre of milk and a bag of weed at the corner store on your way home, will you, hon?”

They already sell ciggies, of course, but tobacco and cannabis on the same shelf?

And while the convenience stores association says, on the one hand, that selling marijuana requires no special knowledge, it says on the other hand its employees must meet a “high degree of accountability” for compliance with regulations and so on.

Make up your mind.

As for pharmacies, selling medical marijuana along with other medicines makes some sense, but mixing recreational and medical cannabis doesn’t seem like a good match to me.

Liquor stores would just be adding a new take-out product for getting stoned, so that seems consistent. Yet there’s general agreement that consuming marijuana and liquor together has to be discouraged, so maybe liquor stores aren’t a great idea either.

To be honest, I’m conflicted, except for one thing — whichever way B.C. goes, please, let’s not put marijuana behind the counter of the neighbourhood convenience store.

Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear twice daily Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on and CFJC Today. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (6477 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on EDITORIAL – Growing marijuana is one thing, selling it is something else

  1. Cindy Ross Friedman // November 17, 2017 at 11:03 AM // Reply

    I am in to having the public liquor stores provide the safe, local, legal product. The private liquor stores might legally have a case to also be included. I still favour fully public, but the local businesses have to be considered. Not in pharmacies. Not in convenience stores! Good grief, no. Not sure about dispensaries.

    PS Everyone probably thinks I do all kinds of drugs because I am such a “decriminalize/legalize/test/saf site/test fentanyl” person, but in reality, I do not touch the stuff. I saw too many people die in my rock band days. Like, died in front of me. Maybe we should all try to make sure we have some conversations with people in the street. I do. (Of course cannabis is not in that league, but still…). That person is someone’s child, even if fully grown up.

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