B.C. asks for public input on non-medical cannabis consumption spaces

File photo.

The province is asking British Columbians to weigh in on non-medical cannabis consumption at cafes, outdoor events and spas in a new online survey.

The survey asks respondents what they think the risks and benefits of consumption spaces are and questions like whether cannabis and alcohol should be sold together.

The province says it describes a cannabis consumption space as a business or special event that offers on-site cannabis sales and use, and it includes cafes, lounges, concerts and festivals, ticketed events and spas.

However, consumption would still be subject to provincial public health orders, meaning indoor smoking or vaping would still not be allowed.

The survey will run until May 8 and the province says that feedback will help guide decisions on permits and regulations of cannabis consumption spaces.

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

The government says Indigenous and local governments play an important part in shaping the provincial framework for cannabis sales, and they will also be consulted for cannabis consumption spaces.

Residents wanting to take the 10-minute survey can visit the province’s engagement website.

A report summarizing its findings will be released later in 2022.

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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