‘Vaccine card’ not needed to enter cannabis stores

Published on September 7, 2021 by David Wylie

You can access your vaccine card through the BC Service Card app. Photo: Jenny Neufeld

Cannabis stores are not specifically listed among the activities that require a vaccine passport.

Starting Sept. 13 in BC, showing your immunization record or proof of vaccination will be required to participate in many events and frequent certain businesses. However, there is no mention of cannabis stores or liquor stores.

Here is the complete list of settings where proof of vaccination will be required:

• indoor ticketed sporting events

• indoor concerts, theatre, dance and symphony events

• licensed restaurants, and those offering table service (indoor and outdoor dining)

• pubs, bars and lounges (indoor and outdoor dining)

• night clubs, casinos, movie theatres

• fitness centres/gyms/adult sports (indoor)

• indoor group exercise activities

• organized indoor events with 50 or more people (e.g., wedding receptions, organized parties, conferences, workshops)

• discretionary organized indoor group recreational classes and activities

Cannabis inspectors will play a role in the rollout, specifically with the ability to ticket individuals, owners/operators of locations and event organizers for violations of the PHO orders.

“Enforcement is at the discretion of enforcement officers, including police, liquor and cannabis inspectors, gambling investigators and conservation officers,” says the BC government.

That takes some of the pressure off police to enforce the Public Health Orders.

Under the PHO, those who don’t comply could get $230-$575 ticket, and business owners, operators, event organizers could get a violation ticket as high as $2,300.

Since the announcement of a vaccine passport, there’s been a 200% increase in the number of people registered for the vaccine in BC.

Premier John Horgan says the province says 85% have now received one dose and 78% have received two doses.

Horgan says the card is to help ensure non-essential business can confidently say to their patrons they are safe.

“We have seen an unacceptable surge in COVID cases,” said Horgan, adding the increase is mainly among the unvaccinated.

He says vaccine passport programs are underway in Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec. Horgan says he’s confident other provinces will follow.

ORIGINAL: Sept. 5, 2021

We’ll find out Tuesday if a vaccine passport will be needed to enter cannabis stores in BC.

Starting on Sept. 13 in the province, proof of at least one vaccination dose is a requirement to access some events, services and businesses.

And by October 24, you must be fully vaccinated.

Many of the circumstances under which a vaccine passport is required have been outlined, including indoor ticketed events and gatherings, nightclubs, casinos, movie theatres, and gyms.

However, it’s unclear whether a you need to be vaccinated to browse inside cannabis stores.

Wait and see, says BC gov’t

When contacted by the oz., officials with BC’s Ministry of Health would only say to wait and see.

“Details regarding the BC Vaccine Card and the settings where it will be applied will be available on Tuesday, Sept. 7,” they responded in an email.

“The BC Vaccine Card is being designed to encourage vaccination and to help keep our community safe and open.”

The requirement is in place until Jan. 31, 2022, and could be extended.

If a vaccine passport is required, cannabis consumers who are not vaccinated would still be able to buy weed online.