Cannabis consumption spaces being considered by the British Columbia government

Is it time someone could light a joint somewhere other than private homes in Delta and elsewhere?

That’s what the province wants to know by launching a public engagement campaign on cannabis consumption spaces.

Spaces would include a business or special event that provides cannabis for on-site sale and use. Examples include cafes, lounges, concerts or festivals, ticketed events, and spas.

Trying to determine whether to allow such spaces and how they might be regulated, the province notes that it is seeking input on a wide range of activities and considerations.

If permitted, consumption spaces should align with provincial public health and safety objectives. For example, smoking and vaping indoors would continue to be banned, the province says.

A government working paper notes: “By providing new experiences for cannabis consumers that were not part of the historical illicit market, consumption spaces could encourage consumers to choose legal sources and help increase the share of the legal market. in the cannabis economy.

The working paper also notes that some companies have expressed interest in having non-medical cannabis available in locations that also serve alcohol.

Local governments must play a key role in determining where such spaces should be permitted.

A project webpage notes that cannabis companies have said licensing consumption spaces could help build a robust and sustainable legal cannabis economy.

However, some public health and safety stakeholders have raised concerns that consumption spaces could increase overall cannabis use and lead to increased risks of impaired driving, smoking, or co-consumption of alcohol.

It remains to be seen whether the City of Delta, which allowed alcohol consumption in some parks last summer as part of a pilot project, would even be willing to allow cannabis consumption at the sites.

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