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Cannabis cafés and smoking weed at festivals: The province wants your feedback

Ontario consulting public on cannabis consumption establishments and special events permits

You can legally buy cannabis products now, but there is still no equivalent of a bar licenced for alcohol consumption at which the public can smoke or consume cannabis. 

The province announced this week it is opening public consultations to help decide the question of cannabis lounges and cafés where the now-legal drug could be consumed, as well as to decide the question of special events permits for cannabis.

The goal, the province said in a news release, is to provide "consumers more choice and convenience on cannabis while giving the private sector enhanced ability to compete against and combat the criminal market."

"We are asking Ontarians to share their feedback as we explore certain expanded cannabis-related business opportunities as part of our responsible approach to protecting families and communities," said Attorney General Doug Downey. "What we hear from the public and expert groups will help to inform possible next steps."

The consultation, which will poll the public, businesses, health, and other stakeholders, focuses on potential new cannabis opportunities, including consumption venues (lounges, cafés) and special occasion permits for events such as outdoor festivals and concerts.

In-person meetings between government representatives and key groups (industry representatives, public health and safety organizations, education stakeholders and Indigenous representatives) are also planned, the province said.

People interested in participating in the consultations can submit their feedback online by visiting the Ontario Regulatory Registry