The verdict is in for Charles Khabouth, founder of INK Entertainment: The legalization of cannabis has done little to change nightlife and restaurants.
“I have not noticed any change,” Khabouth told the Toronto Sun. “We’re not doing more business, we’re not doing less business.”
Khabouth’s company holds several Toronto-based nightclubs and restaurants such as Rebel, Cabana Pool Bar and Patria, and says it’s rare for there to be cannabis-related problems.
“I rarely — if ever — read a security report or get a call about any issues about cannabis,” he said. “I’m shocked, I thought maybe we might see something … (the impact) has been very mild.”
In preparation for cannabis legalization nearly 18 months ago, his employees underwent “serious training” on what substance abuse cues to look for.
According to Khabouth, the reality is cannabis is not dissimilar to alcohol and when there are problems, it usually involves people who consumed both.
When severely impaired people show up to a nightclub, “we don’t know, it could be alcohol or weed,” Khabouth explained.
If there are issues, they tend to be at nightclubs, Kabouth said, explaining he hasn’t had problems at any of his restaurants.
“If people show up with substance abuse, we keep an eye on them unless its something very serious then we call the ambulance.”
Khabouth’s only concern involves edibles and the role time plays in how people are affected by them.
“I’ve seen a bit of issue with people thinking they can take more,” Khabouth said.
“My only concern in the future will be edibles, we will need to train people really well,” he said. “When your digesting edibles, it might hit me in five minutes and someone else in 30 minuteds.”