Weed-related books, clothing and other items can be sold in licensed pot shops across British Columbia as of Friday.
While cannabis advertising remains heavily restricted, the province is loosening the rules slightly to provide more choices for customers and another revenue stream for licensed sellers.
In a statement Friday, the province says it’s allowing weed stores to sell ancillary items that have “a clear link to cannabis” and meet certain conditions, such as a book about cannabis, clothing or artwork “featuring cannabis motifs.”
Many customers are interested in peripheral items related to cannabis culture, said Jaclynn Pehota, executive director of the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers.
“We welcome the freedom to meet this demand and provide our customers with more of a one-stop shopping experience,” she said.
Before the change, pot shops could only sell weed and weed accessories, shopping bags and prepaid purchase cards.
ARCannabis COO Aaron Sinnathamby says he’s in full support of the new changes and looks forward to selling other items.
“It gives stores a chance to show off their unique identity associated to their brand and service. I also would like to collaborate with local artists and create inspiring cannabis artwork for our local shops,” he tells Mugglehead.
The sale of items unrelated to cannabis, like snacks or drinks without weed in them, still aren’t allowed.
“Expanding the range of items available through private licensees will provide further support to a thriving, legal cannabis sector in B.C.,” Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said in the statement.
“At the same time, important restrictions will remain in place to help prevent unsafe activities and ensure we’re not promoting or supporting the use of cannabis by minors.”
The items sold in stores may not:
- depict a real or fictional person, animal or character, or include a testimonial or endorsement;
- sell items that are typically associated with, or could reasonably appeal to, minors – such as children’s clothing; or
- associate cannabis with a lifestyle that may include glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.
Before it amended the regulation, the B.C. government says it considered industry input, federal legislation, public-health objectives and potential effects on minors.
“The restrictions placed with respect to this topic seem fair to me,” Sinnathamby says. “I’m sure amendments will still come in the near future if there are any suggestions that were left out.”
Four other provinces and the Northwest Territories allow pot shops to sell some ancillary items.
In July, the province gave pot shops the option to deliver cannabis and offer curbside pick up.