Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Cafes, lounges and spas: BC seeks public input on non-medical cannabis consumption spaces


The BC government wants to hear your thoughts on non-medical cannabis consumption spaces, launching a survey today to gauge public opinion.

From April 6th to May 9th, online engagement will help inform decisions about whether to permit these spaces and how they could be regulated, according to the province.

BC officials define a cannabis consumption space as a business or special event that provides cannabis for on-site sale and use, including cafes, lounges, concerts or festivals, ticketed events, and spas.

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says the government has heard from cannabis businesses that these spaces could boost the sector’s economic viability.

Still, he finds others are opposed. 

“At the same time, others have raised public health and safety concerns, which will need to be carefully weighed,” said Farnworth.

“We want to hear the views of all British Columbians so they can help shape how BC’s cannabis sector continues to evolve.”

Non-medical cannabis was legalized in BC in October 2018. Last year, the province’s cannabis stores saw $554 million in sales, up from $370 million the year before.

If allowed, the province says consumption spaces would need to follow provincial public health and safety objectives, meaning indoor smoking and vaping would not be permitted.

“The provincial cannabis framework includes a key role for Indigenous and local governments in determining whether and where licensed cannabis sales can take place in their communities. This approach would also apply to cannabis consumption spaces,” states a press release.

A link to the 10-minute cannabis consumption space survey can be found here. A report summarizing the results is expected later this year.

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