Cannabis consumption lodges have been controversial since the first consumption lounge was launched in Los Angeles in 2019. Consumption lounges have made little headway in the years since, and they are still a rarity across most of America.
The situation is the same up north in Canada, where the country has had legal recreational cannabis for five years now but still hasn’t made any effort to craft a legal framework for permanent consumption lounges. The most regulatory authorities have done is issue temporary outdoor consumption licenses for events such as music festivals, but there has been little action, if any, to address the lack of public consumption lounges.
Like most American states with legal cannabis markets, Canada has outlawed the public consumption of cannabis and only allows users to consume cannabis in private residences. But, while the United States has taken some steps to build up the consumption lounge segment, with the lounges becoming increasingly common in Nevada and California, and New York opening its first cannabis consumption lounge late last year, Canadian authorities have made few moves toward growing the sector.
Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Guelph’s School of Hospitality and Food & Tourism Management Susan Dupej argues that marijuana consumption in Canada is still a grey area. Dupej, a student of marijuana tourism in Canada, states that the few entrepreneurs that have opened consumption lounges have been able to use their smarts to maneuver around Canada’s regulations to avoid running afoul of the law.
She explained that the scarcity of legal consumption lounges in Canada has been a missed opportunity that could have significantly increased the country’s cannabis tourism potential. Given that public consumption of cannabis is outlawed, tourists who would like to dabble in Canada’s adult-use cannabis market have nowhere to consume cannabis once they purchase it. Dupej stressed that Canada has to quickly figure out consumption lounge regulations and put them in place.
The federal government may have been in charge of legalizing recreational marijuana, but the country’s municipal and provincial governments in charge of regulating public smoking and vaping have been slow to take action. As it stands, none of the trio of the largest recreational cannabis markets in Canada have a single approved permanent consumption lounge. This means that these regions are missing out on profits from cannabis tourists who would have come over to Canada for its adult-use market.
It doesn’t seem that regulators will take any action on cannabis lounges soon; an Ontario attorney general spokesman revealed in a recent interview that the province did not expect any changes to the country’s cannabis framework.
For enterprises that are pursuing the development of FDA-approved cannabis therapeutics, such as India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC), no such concerns about where the products will be used exists because approved medicines can be used anywhere.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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