A court injunction has shut down a vapour lounge not because it violated pot laws, but because it contravened a zoning bylaw.
The City of Hamilton was successful in winning an interim injunction against Cloud Nine vape lounge because the space it occupies on the second floor of 275 King St. E. is zoned residential, not commercial.
Meanwhile, a judge has ruled that the pot dispensary on the first floor of the same building can stay open.
The order by Justice Thomas Lofchik was handed down Aug. 24, essentially giving the city half of what it wanted. It had hoped to force both businesses to close, but the Superior Court judge has allowed Hamilton Village Dispensary to remain open to sell marijuana and marijuana products to those with prescriptions. However, those folks can no longer go upstairs to consume their purchase.
“They shut Cloud Nine down because of the nature of the business and they’re using any excuse,” says owner Britney Guerra, who has now started the process of applying for the space to be rezoned as commercial.
She is not optimistic.
“The city will probably deny the zoning,” she says.
This isn’t Guerra’s first battle with city hall or the court.
In February, she was one of the recipients of cease-and-desist letters the city sent to 17 medical marijuana dispensaries. At the time, she owned Cannabis Culture dispensary (which is now Hamilton Village Dispensary).
Pot businesses operate in an unregulated grey area with no governing bylaws while the federal government slowly introduces new retail and production rules for marijuana.