Is it time for someone to be able to light up a joint in places other than private homes in Delta and elsewhere?
That’s what the province wants to know as they launch a public engagement campaign about cannabis consumption spaces.
The 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 permit such spaces and how they could be regulated, the province notes it is seeking input on a wide range of activities and considerations.
If allowed, consumption spaces would need to align with provincial public health and safety objectives. For example, indoor smoking and vaping would continue to be prohibited, the province explains.
A government discussion paper notes, “By offering new experiences for cannabis consumers that weren’t a common part of the historical illicit market, consumption spaces could encourage consumers to choose legal sources and help increase the legal market’s share of the cannabis economy.”
The discussion paper also notes that some businesses have expressed an interest in non-medical cannabis being made available at places that also serve alcohol.
Local governments are to have a key role in determining where such spaces should be permitted.
A project web page notes cannabis businesses have said allowing 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 may increase overall cannabis use and lead to increased risks of impaired driving, smoking, or co-use with liquor.
It will remain to be seen if the City of Delta, which allowed the consumption of alcohol at select parks last summer in a pilot project, would be even open to allowing the consumption of cannabis at venues.