Article by Brennan Doherty,
Letting cannabis users light up without smoke blowing into other people’s faces is a dilemma governments from coast to coast are facing.
With Alberta butting out the idea of smoke lounges for now, proprietors in jurisdictions such as Ontario, British Columbia, and the U.S. state of Colorado have taken bold steps to demonstrate how such facilities can work.
And some, like Tiara Sillet, are already paying their bills off of the idea.
Sillet and her wife, Annelene, opened Natural Budz — a cannabis lounge, head shop, and cannabis education centre — in Pickering, Ont., last October. It’s outfitted with a high-powered ventilation system, which Sillet said keeps most of the smoke out of the air. Their enterprise gives local cannabis smokers a place to light up or vape that isn’t a street corner (or in someone’s face), which she says is critical.
“It’s like a bar, right?” Sillet said. “You need a place for public consumption that’s not literally every single place.”
In Ontario, just like in Calgary, lighting up a joint in public will still be illegal after Oct. 17. And the Alberta government, according to a spokesperson, has no intention of allowing cannabis lounges to open up until after the federal government puts together its regulations on edibles — which could take another year.