Rule repealed: Cannabis stores now allowed to have transparent windows

Rule repealed: Cannabis stores now allowed to have transparent windows
When cannabis was legalized, B.C. brought in rules that windows on cannabis stores had to be covered. Now the provincial government is walking that back.

Until now, stores like Mood Cannabis in Nanaimo had to have their windows covered to prevent people outside from seeing anything inside.

Owners of stores thought that was unfair, compared to liquor stores for example and just added to the stigma of cannabis shops.

“Whether you’re 19 or 85 it’s nice to know when you’re going into a store what you’re walking into and to be able to normalize those products within that store,” said Mood Cannabis owner Cory Waldron.

There were also serious safety concerns for staff and customers when the businesses were hidden from the outside world.

But now window coverings including film put on windows to actual privacy type glass will be coming down because the province is following the federal lead and repealing cannabis visibility rules citing concerns around the safety of staff and patrons.

“Oh, it’s fantastic,” added Waldron. “This is great for customers, it’s great for staff, mostly from a safety perspective but really the best part about this is that it’s a step in the right direction to removing stigma and normalizing cannabis.”

Coast Range Cannabis in Comox had all the same concerns and says the changes are good for the industry.

“A big reason that the province and the government decided to change the rules was for safety of staff which is understandable,” said Coast Range Cannabis owner Sheila Rivers. “If we do have anything happen in the store especially late at night or even during the day, no one would really see it except the staff that’s inside the store so there were some major safety concerns.”

Stores will not be allowed to have window displays of cannabis or cannabis accessories and municipalities still have the right to enforce their own window covering bylaws.

“I think a lot of people want to have a sense of what’s going on inside the store before they enter it so it will really open up our stores in particular are very beautiful so we really want to showcase that,” Rivers said.

Ultimately, owners say the change will be good for business.

“When somebody walks by now and can look inside the store and can actually see there’s a warm and welcoming environment and a safe atmosphere, that might bring in some new customers,” added Waldron.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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