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B.C. will meet legal pot deadline: Horgan

Public consultation process begins over legalized marijuana
WATCH: Public consultation process begins over legalized marijuana

Premier John Horgan says B.C. will meet the federal timeline to implement the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Speaking to municipal leaders assembled at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) conference, Horgan said B.C. won’t be asking Ottawa to push back its July 2018 goal for pot legalization.

“We’re well advanced on the distribution of marijuana over the years, whether it be through dispensaries, whether it be through the black market. I’m anxious to get the black market out of community.”

READ MORE: B.C. launches public consultations on pot legalization

Earlier this week the province launched public consultations on marijuana legalization, through a new government website and a random telephone survey.

It also announced plans to hold consultations with stakeholders, including law enforcement, First Nations and health workers.

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WATCH: Will marijuana be legalized by July 1, 2018?

Will marijuana be legalized by July 1, 2018?
Will marijuana be legalized by July 1, 2018?

Horgan said it would be unfair to go to Ottawa to ask for an extension while the province is in the middle of those talks.

“I’m anxious to put in place a regulatory regime that will address distribution and quality and health.”

READ MORE: B.C. may not follow Ontario’s pot distribution system: Premier Horgan

But opposition MLA Todd Stone said the province needs to do more if it hopes to meet the tight timeline for implementation.

“There is no mention in the speech … with respect to the cannabis legalization plan, the aggressive timeline associated with that, aside from yet another engagement opportunity announced earlier in the week,” he said.

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B.C.’s public consultation period is open until Nov. 1.

The federal government is aiming to have pot legalized by July 2018.