Article by Trevor Wilhelm, Windsor Star
Ontario has abruptly put a hold on new regulations that would have snuffed out smoking or vaping in medical marijuana lounges, giving the incoming Doug Ford government time to sort through the contentious rules.
Jon Liedtke, co-owner of Windsor’s Higher Limits cannabis lounge, was happy Tuesday to hear the news. Faced with changes to the Smoke Free Ontario Act that would have threatened his business, he was planning to flout the new rules.
“I had expected that it wouldn’t be enforced and the fact that the ministry is saying now that it’s all on pause, that’s some of the best relief that I’ve heard in a while,” he said.
Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care told the Star Tuesday it is pausing new rules banning cannabis smoking or vaping in a wide range of places, after they took effect July 1.
“The changes to the Smoke Free Ontario Act that were set to come into effect on July 1, 2018, are being paused to give the new government the opportunity to carefully review the new regulations related to vaping,” a ministry spokesperson said in an email.
The new Smoke Free Ontario Act states that medical cannabis is used for its “therapeutic benefits,” and will continue to be treated differently than recreational marijuana. But that doesn’t mean the government isn’t harbouring concerns about it.
“A primary concern of the government is to protect everyone from the potentially harmful effects of medical cannabis second-hand smoke and vapour,” the new act states.