PROFILE PHOTO COURTESY OF KIMBERLEY KUFAAS PHOTOGRAPHY Tyson’s Thoughts is a weekly column posted every Thursday at northislandgazette.com and in print the following Wednesday. Have some thoughts about my thoughts? email editor@northislandgazette.com.

Tyson’s Thoughts: It’s finally legal!

I might just go peruse a legal cannabis shop or two once they start to pop up around Port Hardy.

Wednesday was a historic day for Canada.

Recreational cannabis has now officially become legal here, and I for one cannot be any more proud to be a resident of this great country that keeps on proving how forward thinking and progressive it is.

Back in August of 2017, I wrote a Tyson’s Thoughts column where I stated my opinion on how recreational cannabis should be legalized, mainly because of the economic activity involved.

Think about it, legalization could add as much as five billion dollars a year in tax revenues to the federal and provincial governments.

Trudeau has also gone on record saying the revenue from legal marijuana sales could be used to address public health and addictions issues. Sounds good to me, hopefully we can take Trudeau at his word on that.

While I personally don’t smoke cannabis at the moment, now that it’s legal for me to do so and I won’t be supporting criminal activities, I might just go peruse a legal cannabis shop or two once they start to pop up around Port Hardy.

I’d also like to say a quick kudos to Port Hardy Mayor Hank Bood for being forward thinking enough to have seen the economic potential in cannabis legalization way back in June of 2017, when he went on record with The Gazette about the district needing to be “proactive” so they can “implement the requirements that will make it a safe and viable operation in the District of Port Hardy.”

The District of Port Hardy truly did lead the way on the subject, setting a strong precedent for the rest of the North Island to follow.

Now with that out of the way, you might be wondering what exactly the laws are for cannabis in BC now. Well, here’s the basics.

Age: 19;

Sales locations: Private and government retail and online sales;

Smoking locations: Prohibited in cars, around children, and wherever tobacco is restricted; and

Possession limit: 30 grams in public, 1,000 grams at home.

After talking briefly with the district’s Director of Corporate Services, Heather Nelson-Smith, she stated they have had one business licence applied for so far, which is Tristan Radzik and Serena Neumerschitsky, from Stellar Jay Organics.

According to Nelson-Smith, Radzik and Neumerschitsky have already gotten the approval from the provincial government, and are now just waiting for the district to approve their business licence, which will be on the agenda at the town’s next council meeting.

Good for Radzik and Neumerschitsky for being proactive.

I had the opportunity to hang out with them and their dog at the beach while interviewing them for an article on their business, and they both were very open and honest, even thanking me at the end for not just asking them easy ‘fluff’ questions.

Anyways, that’s enough from me. Thanks for reading, and if you see me out and about around town, feel free to say hello!

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