British Columbia allows promotion of outdoor cannabis consumption areas

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British Columbia is allowing certain license holders to promote outdoor cannabis consumption areas in a bid to improve hospitality and tourism business opportunities for the industry.

Additionally, the province announced this week that smoking and vaping recreational cannabis on public patios is now allowed where tobacco use is already permitted, the notice says.

However, cannabis consumption is still not allowed inside stores, and licensees are required to ensure any consumption near their store is not within their establishment.

“With changes to the Cannabis Control Regulation, licensees are able to promote a place to consume cannabis or to spend time after consuming cannabis,” the province said in the regulatory notice.

This change applies to:

  • Cannabis Retail Store licensees
  • Producer Retail Store licensees.

Jaclynn Pehota, executive director of the Licensed Retail Cannabis Council of BC (LRCCBC), told MJBizDaily she believes these changes are small but positive steps toward reducing stigma and supporting the potential for cannabis tourism.

“We are optimistic that these are the first steps towards a more comprehensive cannabis consumption strategy from the B.C. government and are hopeful that these changes signal an embrace of cannabis tourism by our sitting government,” Pehota said via email.

“We encourage regulators to explore further support for the budding cannabis tourism industry in B.C.”

British Columbia is also axing language from the province’s Licensee Handbook that had restricted the promotion of a cannabis consumption space.

For example, the province says cannabis stores can now promote an outdoor consumption space, such as a patio, at another business.

Stores and producers who are considering a consumption area are still required to comply with the federal Cannabis Act, including strict restrictions around marijuana advertising and promotions.

Regarding cannabis events and tourism, the province said a cannabis store or licensed producer is able to inform customers about an upcoming cannabis event, marijuana-friendly accommodations and venues.

The change is subject to local municipal or Indigenous government bylaws, such as the Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act and Regulation.

Matt Lamers can be reached at matt.lamers@mjbizdaily.com.