Retail pot rolling out at a snail's pace

As an observer only and a taxpayer, I am astounded at the snail's pace in allowing retail pot stores to open across the country and more specifically of interest, in the province of British Columbia. I am reassured that the powers to be are "working on it", but how actively?

A considerable time has passed between the legalization of recreational pot, municipal consultations, to the acceptance of candidates, and ultimate granting of licences. Even to this day, most doors to the select businesses remain closed. This in spite of regular announcements that a good number of licences were expected to be issued. Initially, it would seem fair to issue at least two per municipality, not to suggest favouritism.

I do not understand the hesitation, almost to reluctance, behind moving to the next step of the process. Complaints abound that the lack of availability is driving consumers to continue obtaining pot from questionable sources, which is counter-productive to the intent of legalization. Pretty sure law enforcement has arrived at a method of discerning driver intoxication as this is not an unknown substance of use. Surely the tax collected will serve to benefit each community, and that will be welcome.

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Private citizens have placed their funds and their future prospects on the burner for an unreasonable length of time without being able to predict when or if there will be return on investment. We are led to wonder what other unspoken forces could be holding back the process?

— Lori Shoaf, West Kelowna

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