Let Lounges Sell Pot Like Bars Sell Alcohol, Forum Told

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Marijuana bars that sell pot rather than alcohol should be licensed to operate in Toronto, a city councillor’s forum on marijuana distribution heard Monday.

Coun. Jim Karygiannis, who represents Ward 39 Scarborough-Agincourt, called the meeting to give frustrated medical marijuana distributors and their supporters a chance to air their thoughts, after controversial police raids in May led to hundreds of charges against owners and employees at 43 Toronto marijuana dispensaries.

A handful of marijuana lounges operate legally in Toronto, but they’re only allowed to cater to people who are users of medical marijuana and who get their product through the mail from government-authorized distributors. The lounges cannot sell pot to their patrons for use on the premises.

That’s something that Abi Hod would like to see change. She’s the owner of the Hotbox Lounge in Kensington Market and the director of the Cannabis Friendly Business Association. She said the lounges should also be allowed to sell marijuana to customers.

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