March 27, 2017 9:20 pm

Legalization of recreational marijuana met with cautious optimism in the Okanagan

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Word that the federal government is going to legalize recreational use of marijuana is being met with cautious optimism in the Okanagan.

But Olympic gold medalist and now medical marijuana dispensary owner, Ross Rebagliati, said if the reports are true, legalization is going to take the pressure off everyone — from the user to the seller.

“I think it’s going to be a sigh of relief. It’s going to reduce the anxiety among the population and of course the industry too as far at the law is concerned,” Rebagliati said.

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Bob Kay was one of the first to get into the medical marijuana business in the Okanagan. He said opening up the recreational market won’t necessarily mean an end to medical marijuana dispensaries.

“When you go to a pharmacist they give you direction on how to use that product. Just like marijuana — we’re educated in it,” Kay said.

Reports say the feds will leave pricing and how recreational marijuana is distributed up to the provinces. Kelowna Liberal MP Stephen Fuhr says that makes sense.

“If we compare it to what we do know — alcohol, prescription drugs — there’s a whole host of things that we can compare it to. Right now, alcohol is probably the closest and that’s all provincial. If I would speculate or guess, I would say it’s probably where this is headed,” Fuhr said.

The B.C. Liberals had no comment other than it looks forward to working with the federal government on the new rules and regulations expected to take effect July 1, 2018.

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