BC cannabis retailers can now sell books, clothing and some other accessories

Cannabis-related clothing, books and other items will soon be available for sale at private licensed cannabis retail stores, providing customers with more choice and legal cannabis sellers with additional revenue streams.

“Expanding the range of items available through private licensees will provide further support to a thriving, legal cannabis sector in B.C.,” Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, said in announcing the initiative Nov. 26. “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.”

Previously, only cannabis, cannabis accessories such as rolling papers and pipes, shopping bags and prepaid purchase cards could be sold.

Retailers can now sell ancillary items that have a clear link to cannabis and meet certain conditions related to health and safety, such as books about cannabis and clothing or artwork featuring cannabis motifs. The sale of items unrelated to cannabis, such as snacks and beverages that do not contain cannabis, will remain prohibited.

With the move, B.C. joins four other provinces and the Northwest Territories in allowing the sale of specific ancillary items.

“Many of our customers have a strong interest in peripheral items related to cannabis culture, like clothing,” said Jaclynn Pehota, executive director, 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.”

Before amending its cannabis regulation, government considered industry input, federal legislation, public-health objectives and potential effects on minors. Notably, items sold through retailers 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.

The sale of tobacco, liquor or solvents is also prohibited at cannabis retail stores.