BC cannabis retail regulations for busy people

BC Provincial Compliance

Wondering how to open a dispensary in BC?

To make things easy on answering your questions on how to open a dispensary in BC, we’ve compiled some information in an easy-to-read format.

Summary on how to open to open a dispensary in BC:

  • Who licenses the stores? Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB)
  • Who distributes the cannabis? The LDB will be the wholesale distributor of all non-medical cannabis in BC.
  • Can I sell edibles? Edibles are still currently illegal to sell.
  • Can cannabis be consumed in-store? No.
  • Are private online sales allowed? No.
  • What is the minimum age? 19.
  • Are drive-throughs allowed? No.
  • Can cannabis products be listed online? No, but accessories can be with age verification.
  • Can cannabis be delivered? No.

In Detail

There’s quite a history of cannabis in Canada. British Columbia represents a truly exciting opportunity in cannabis retail and we have the cannabis inventory software and cannabis pos software to help your business grow. As the home of the famous “BC Bud”, there is a thriving cannabis industry that is eager to enter provincially and federally licensed retail operations to enter a new chapter in cannabis.

The path to a licensed recreational cannabis store in BC has been rocky, to say the least. There are currently 255 submitted applications, and as of November 1st, there is one private store, Tamarack Cannabis Boutique in Kimberley, that has been issued a license. Existing stores around BC are either shutting down or transitioning to selling non-cannabis products until they get through the process.

BC is currently in the process of solidifying the compliance rules stores will have to follow. Here is what we know so far, to help prospective store owners plan ahead.

Your cannabis retail store:

  • Front of store
    • Products, both cannabis and accessories, must not be visible from the outside.
    • Smell jars are allowed – they cannot be sold afterwards and must be disposed of in accordance to the rules.
    • The specific tracking number of the cannabis product that goes into a smell jar. • The date the licensee purchased that product (including the invoice number of the order it was taken from). • The date the original package of cannabis was opened for use in a smell jar.
    • Off-site cannabis storage is not permitted.
  • If there is any doubt that someone is under the age of 19, sales staff must verify their age using 2 pieces of government ID, one of which must have a photo of the individual.
    • Identity verification
    • Minors under the age of 19 cannot enter the store, recommended that the stores put up a sign prohibiting minors at the door.
  • All employees must receive verification from the government of BC – system yet to be announced as of November 2018.
  • Security requirements
    • Intruder and fire monitoring alarm systems
    • Locked retail product display cases
    • Locked cannabis storage room
    • Secure perimeter door locks
    • Security cameras with full unobstructed view of: a. the retail sales area b. any product storage area c. both the interior and exterior of all store entrances/exits.
    • Security footage must be made available to regulators at any time.

Your operations

  • If there is an incident at your store – for example, troublesome customers, injury/accidents, and/or any illegal acts, the store must keep timestamped logs of them to be available to provincial inspectors at any time. They must be maintained for at least 6 years.
  • The following information must be maintained for inspectors for at least 6 years
    • Non-medical cannabis purchase records
    • Non-medical cannabis sales records, including the quantity of non-medical cannabis sold and prices charged
    • Non-medical cannabis disposal records
    • Sales records respecting cannabis accessories and prepaid purchase cards (gift cards) sold by the licensee in the store
    • Contracts with other licensees
    • Invoices and purchase receipts for all equipment and other inventory that is used in the operation of the store. When it comes to inventory, our cannabis POS system, Greenline will help you through every step in inventory management. 
    • Leases or other property agreements that are related to the store
    • Records of court orders and judgments against a licensee respecting the sale, service or production of cannabis and
    • Employee records including names, addresses, salaries, qualification information, responsible training information (when this becomes available), primary job responsibilities, shift schedules and dates of employment.
  • Disposing of cannabis
    • A licensee must keep a record of non-medical cannabis disposal that includes
      • Date of disposal
      • Type of cannabis disposed
      • Amount of cannabis disposed
      • How it was rendered inconsumable
      • Where it was disposed
  • 30-gram cannabis purchase limits
    • It is federally mandated that a store cannot sell over the equivalent of 30 grams of dried cannabis per transaction. The equivalencies are shown below by the BC liquor board
    • The equivalent cannabis quantities are likely to be provided by the BC liquor board, similar to how the AGLC operates.


When selecting a POS provider for your cannabis business, look to see that they have Canadian compliance laws at the top of mind. In our opinions, there are several non-negotiable features that store operators should look for:

    • Track product waste and smell-jar inventory
    • Integrated credit/debit card processing for error-free, fast transactions
    • Barcode scanning for checkout efficiency
    • Top-of-line support to help your staff when they need it
    • Generation of compliance reports
    • Support multi-location inventory to support the growth of your business

Greenline provides everything the BC government requires from their stores plus more. We are the only system audited by Alberta’s AGLC and Saskatchewan’s SLGA to provide accurate one-click compliance reporting, and the system will be set up for BC once the federally-mandated reporting framework comes to light. Schedule a demo with us here to learn more about our cannabis pos system.