The B.C. government is looking for feedback on potentially permitting “cannabis consumption spaces” in the province, which would allow businesses or special events to offer the on-site sale and use of marijuana.
Examples of what a cannabis consumption space might look like include cafes and lounges – or special ticketed events, such as festivals, spas or cooking classes.
If B.C. does move forward with permitted cannabis consumption spaces, the province says other health regulations would still be in effect, such as no indoor smoking or vaping.
Local governments and First Nations would also have a say in where and whether consumption spaces would be allowed in their jurisdictions, similar to the process already in place for cannabis retail shops.
“We have heard from cannabis businesses that consumption spaces could provide an opportunity for the sector to become more economically viable and could better meet the interests of people who use cannabis,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.
“At the same time, others have raised public health and safety concerns, which will need to be carefully weighed,” he said.
The province has set up an online survey to collect feedback on potential consumption spaces, which is open from April 6 to May 8.
Cannabis was first legalized in Canada in October 2018. In B.C., cannabis stores saw roughly $554 million in sales in 2021, up from $370 million in 2020.
In terms of popularity, the province says nearly one-in-three British Columbians aged 19 and older reported using cannabis within the past year.
The B.C. government adds that it is “continually monitoring the impact of cannabis legalization on the health and safety of British Columbians.”