Liquor Distribution Branch makes deal with pot producers for steady supply of drug

B.C.’s Liquor Distribution Branch has made agreements with 31 licensed producers of non-medicinal cannabis to secure a steady retail supply of marijuana when it’s legalized later this year.

LDB will offer more than 150 strains of non-medicinal cannabis

B.C.'s Liquor Distribution Branch will offer wholesale cannabis to public and private retailers. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

B.C.'s Liquor Distribution Branch has made agreements with 31 licensed producers to secure a steady retail supply of the drug when it's legalized later this year. 

The Ministry of the Attorney General announced Wednesday that the LDB, the province's only legal wholesaler of non-medicinal cannabis, has signed memorandums of understanding with the producers to create "an extensive and competitive wholesale product assortment." 

Initially, the ministry says the LDB will offer more than 150 strains of non-medicinal marijuana, with a range of quality from value to ultra-premium. 

The LDB has also secured cannabis accessories for sale in B.C. 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 work towards eliminating the illicit market."

Licensed private retailers will be able to access wholesale cannabis through an online sales portal. 

Location of first B.C. Cannabis Store

The ministry also announced that the LDB has acquired a space for its first B.C. Cannabis Store, which will reside in the Kamloops' Columbia Place Shopping Centre. 

"We welcome this announcement that the LDB is applying to open the first government-operated B.C. Cannabis Store in Kamloops," said Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian. 

"The proposal, like all applications, will require the city's approval before it will operate."

The B.C. government has adopted a mixed model for cannabis sales, permitting both public and private retail locations with municipal approval. 

The ministry says the store will be staffed with cannabis consultants, and all employees will receive extensive training in the safe and responsible use of cannabis. 

It says it's considering various locations in other municipalities.

Recreational marijuana will become legal in Canada on Oct. 17, 2018.

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Cory Correia

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Cory Correia is a reporter with CBC Vancouver. Send him an email at cory.correia@cbc.ca

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