Ontario’s Attorney General Doug Downey launched consultations into proposed new provincial approaches to cannabis, including “consumption venues,” and special-occasion permits, such as festivals and concerts. (Interested parties may comment here.)
- “We don’t have any specific policies that we’re looking at. This is a true listening exercise,” Downey told BNN Bloomberg. “We want to hear what Ontarians have to say on lounges, cafes, that kind of thing.”
- He stressed there would be no changes to the existing cannabis framework.
- The Ontario government is not considering changing the Smoke Free Ontario Act or other laws outlawing smoking or vaping in enclosed workplaces and public places, including patios, and on any vehicle or boat in motion.
- Outdoor smoking-patios may be possible, but only if there are no food/beverages for sale or consumed on site. (And regs would have to be changed to exclude edibles from existing definitions of “food or drink.”)
The Ontario government appears to have edibles- and beverage-consumption sites in mind, rather than vape or smoking lounges. No sites exist at present where consumers could purchase and then also legally consume edibles and beverages.
BNN Bloomberg, Twitter—Trina Fraser
- The government is also looking for public feedback about how to prevent edibles overconsumption, as well as how the public feels about packaged edibles and canna-beverages being sold in venues that also sell alcohol.
MJ Biz Daily
- The initiative will not allow infused meals, since REC products “must be in federal packaging at point of sale.”
This isn’t the first time the Ford government has floated public consumption—they previously considered the option in 2018 before withdrawing a request for tenders.
Meanwhile 2.8M Ontarians live in municipalities that opted out of allowing REC retail—largely in Toronto’s massive suburbs. Their populations combined add up to that of all Atlantic provinces, or Manitoba plus Saskatchewan.
Global News, Twitter—Patrick Cain
- Some municipalities (like Mississauga) are rethinking opting out, others are not. Richmond Hill Mayor Dave Barrow said, “I’m not interested in seeing it in our city. There was a time when there wasn’t a liquor store in Richmond Hill, and you went to the next city.”
Hashish and kief are now legally available in the Ontario Cannabis Store (though one Ontario REC retailer marvelled that “a gram of rosin costs more than a gram of cocaine”).
Twitter—Jameson Berkow, Calyx + Trichomes