With temperatures nearing -20 degrees with the windchill and snow falling with frustrating regularity, the reality is that Ontario is still deeply trapped in the jaws of winter. But it seems the province is already here for our summertime dreams. Ontario cannabis legislation proposing the free use of weed at outdoor festivals and gigs has been opened up for public consultation.

The Ford government is looking for feedback on the idea of expanding "cannabis business opportunities."

In a media release, it's noted these consultations will provide consumers "with more choice and convenience."

One of the leading recommendations is that the provincial government look at green-lighting "special occasion permits" which would allow revellers in outdoor public spaces for events such as music festivals to light up without concern.

Right now, the laws around this are a bit of a mixed bag.

Under Ontario legislation, you can generally consume cannabis where it is legal to smoke cigarettes, but things can get a bit complicated.

At some events, for example, you can smoke as long as the area is open, while others have designated areas much like a beer garden or smoking section.

Things get a little messier when you consider that when it comes to smoking weed, local rules take precedence over those of the province. 

The effect of this was clearly illustrated last summer when a cannabis and music festival was cancelled in Vaughan, Ont., when the city passed a bylaw banning it. 

Meanwhile, the release confirms the government is also considering "consumption venues" such as cannabis lounges and cafes.

As of now, there are a select few businesses where you can legally smoke weed, such as Kensington Market's iconic Hotbox Lounge, which is currently undergoing renovations.

While there are places you can grab cannabis edibles and meals, lighting up is still a no-no for the most part. 

The province suggests that as well as increasing usability for consumers, the plans are aimed at offering the private sector a better chance of emerging victorious against the criminal market.

Ministry of the Attorney General spokesperson Jenessa Crognali told Narcity the consultations are merely to gauge the public's appetite. 

"Our government is simply taking this opportunity to get early feedback on possible next steps to expand cannabis business opportunities in Ontario," Crognali said.

"Our first priority continues to be striking the right balance between keeping children and communities safe and providing enough choice and convenience for the legal cannabis industry to effectively compete against and combat the criminal market."

Since cannabis became legal, Ontario has seen its share of problems. The majority of stores selected through the lottery process weren't ready to go by the April 1, 2019 opening date.

Residents of more rural and northern parts of the province were frustrated at the lack of stores in those areas. Not to mention the backlash that came with numerous stores being approved in the same small local area.

But, while, things might be at the early stage at the moment, it sounds like those budding dreams of public consumption could be about to become reality.

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