BC seeking feedback on cannabis consumption spaces for cafes, festivals, spas, and more

| David Brown

The BC Government is asking for feedback from the public on their future plans for cannabis consumption spaces.

Although consumption spaces are not currently allowed in British Columbia, the agency tasked with overseeing cannabis regulations in the province, the BC Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, is currently exploring a model that could include outdoor designated areas, cafes and lounges, concerts or festivals, ticketed events, and spa experiences.

The province will be seeking feedback from industry stakeholders and the general public from April 6 to May 9, 2022.

Few details are yet available on what those consumption spaces could look like, but the BC government has in the past suggested that one possible approach they are considering is a “special occasion” licensing to tie into future farmgate on-site sales for producers. The farmgate program is expected to be launched this fall.

The government’s discussion paper on the topic argues that while consumption space policies should encourage people to transition from illicit to legal cannabis products, the availability of consumption spaces should also not contribute to significant increases in problematic cannabis use.

Indoor smoking and vaping would not be allowed in consumption spaces, but the province is considering whether to permit outdoor smoking and vaping in consumption spaces.

The discussion paper also raises the question of if the co-location of cannabis products and alcohol should be allowed for consumption spaces.