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Western Canada’s recent reform: Consumption laws and sampling

March 18, 2024  By Haley Nagasaki

Photo: Adobe Stock

Last month, amendments to Canada’s cannabis regulations saw a change in British Columbia’s outdoor consumption policy, while Alberta followed through on a shift regarding sampling regulations for cannabis vendors. These changes will help to encourage the growth and status of cannabis events and tourism, while continuing to destigmatize the plant through public displays of cannabis use for those keen to integrate.

Jaclynn Pehota executive director of the Licensed Retail Cannabis Council of B.C. (LRCCBC), along with her team, believes “the changes to the outdoor consumption and changes to advertising placed to consume cannabis regulations are small but positive steps towards reducing stigma and supporting B.C.’s potential for cannabis tourism.”

Government may now be paying more attention to the lucrative potential of the tourism market, while the LRCCBC is “optimistic that these are the first few steps towards a more comprehensive cannabis consumption strategy.” The council continues to encourage regulators “to explore further support for the budding tourism industry.”

On the Alberta front, Omar Khan, chief communications and public affairs officer for retail chain High Tide commends the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) for its proactive approach and a “number of positive changes in 2023.” Khan believes “providing samples is another tool for LPs to utilize when interacting with budtenders, which in turn provides a better customer experience.”


With Minister Nally’s “direct approach to stakeholder engagement,” Khan looks forward to future changes that will “continue to set Alberta apart” in the adult use cannabis market, and in the meantime, praises the recent shifts as granting the Alberta cannabis market “some much needed breathing room.”

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