Back in the spring (April 6 to May 9, 2022) British Columbia’s government launched a public engagement effort in an attempt to gain insight into the public’s feelings towards non-medical cannabis consumption spaces, often referred to as social use reform.
Social use reform involves allowing people to consume cannabis for adult-use purposes in a semi-public setting such as at a lounge, club, other type of business, and/or event. It’s a concept that is obviously very common with alcohol consumption, but due to stigma, is not currently common with cannabis.
“Health and safety are our utmost priorities as we consider how provincial cannabis policies could evolve,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, in a press release. “This report provides valuable insights into people in B.C.’s perspectives on cannabis and will help guide our work to support a strong, diverse and safe legal cannabis sector across the Province.”
“Exploring the feasibility of cannabis-consumption spaces is another way B.C. is working to support the success of the industry,” said Brittny Anderson, Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism. “With the recent introduction of a licence for farm-gate sales, understanding public opinion on cannabis-related hospitality and agri-tourism activities is a practical next step. The feedback in this report will play an important role in the development of provincial policies.”
Seven hundred and thirty people submitted feedback via a telephone survey, 15,362 respondents completed an online survey, and 66 people/entities submitted feedback in written form.
“Overall, 61% of telephone survey respondents and 34% of online survey respondents supported cannabis consumption spaces. Differences between results from the telephone and online surveys may be partly due to the research methods used, with the online survey at greater risk of self-selection bias (i.e., participation from people who feel strongly either for or against cannabis consumption spaces) whereas telephone survey respondents were selected via random sampling.” the “what we heard” report stated.
“Moreover, among those who use cannabis, those aged 19 to 44 were also more interested in visiting consumption spaces (81% online, 62% telephone) than those aged 45 to 64 (72% online, 41% telephone) and those aged 65+ (59% online, 38% telephone).” the report went on to say.