B.C.'s only legal pot shop on Oct. 17 will be in Kamloops
More locations 'anticipated' in following months, with more than 100 applications in the works
On the morning of Oct. 17, British Columbians shouldn't expect to wake up and see licensed marijuana stores opening their doors across the province.
At least that's the message from the province's minister of public safety and solicitor general, Mike Farnworth.
In a news release issued Sunday, Farnworth said the government's first and only B.C. Cannabis Store will open in Kamloops and more retail locations are "anticipated" in the following months, with over 100 paid applications in various stages of entry.
Farnworth says B.C.'s new Community Safety Unit will target illegal retail operations, and seize the product and records without a warrant. A fine will also be imposed based on the value of the product seized.
Farnworth was not available Sunday for further comment, but a government spokesperson said that unlicensed retailers will not be shut down overnight. Instead, there is an expectation that many illegal dispensaries will comply with the law by obtaining a retail licence, or choosing to shut down.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in June that Canadians will be able to consume marijuana recreationally without criminal penalties starting on Oct. 17.
The B.C. government is hoping to launch an online sales platform to ensure British Columbians can purchase non-medical cannabis regardless of where they live, Farnworth said in the release.
Farnworth says penalties will also be imposed on those who sell cannabis to children or minors.
With files from CBC News