WINNIPEG -- While it’s not legal yet, the possibility of public consumption sites for edible cannabis products could soon see the light of day.

“I think it’s a great idea and my response is it’s about time, honestly. I mean the whole point of legalization was to take the business out of the hands of the criminals who were running it,” said Gary Symons, CEO of Deep Incite Consulting Ltd.

Symons is a cannabis industry independent consultant. He said removing as many barriers as possible for people who want to consume cannabis legally is the best step for not only the province, but the country to take.

“If you have professionals in the industry telling you, ‘Look this is what you need to do to be responsible,’ that’s helpful,” said Symons.

While it’s still in the early stages, the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba is taking the idea to the public and asking for feedback through an online survey.

“There’s kind of a traditional model of would it be restaurants or cafes or things like that, but because cannabis products are quite a variety now, we don’t know if there’d be like spas or facilities like that, that might want to use topical products in their services,” said Amanda Creasy, with the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba.

“Whether bakeries or things like that, if they were to get federal licencing for production and they also had a café as part of their business model, would they offer products that way?” added Creasy.

Delta 9 CEO John Arbuthnot supports the idea and hopes it will help keep edible cannabis products off the black market. However, he said smoking and vaping cannabis in a lounge setting should also be included.

“Would enough consumers be coming into a public consumption setting to be consuming edibles or drinkables or using topicals in a health or wellness setting? Is there enough of a business there, given that it’s currently making up less than 10 per cent of overall retail revenue, for this to make sense for a new standalone business?” said Arbuthnot.

Chef Allan Pineda has used cannabis to create different dishes. He said regulating cannabis consumption in public spaces, just like alcohol, should be considered, but he said it must be done correctly.

“If the education is there and if it’s done properly then its good. I think it would be good for the city because, it’s just going to be normal, right? People are doing it down in the states, and in cafes in Amsterdam. I mean for me, it’s just another ingredient,” said Pineda.

In a statement to CTV News, Canopy Growth Corporation, the parent company of Tokyo Smoke and Tweed, said it is supportive of the consultation the LGCA has launched to seek input from Manitobans on licensed consumption spaces with edible and ingestible cannabis products.

“We've seen an incredible response to our cannabis-infused beverages and edibles and are excited to explore new ways to increase access to legal recreational cannabis products through different channels within our communities."