One of the bigger gray areas in the emerging legal cannabis industry has been the use of smoking ‘lounges’—which act as a safe haven where people can use their product without having to consume it in public. While there are some cannabis cafes scattered throughout Oregon and a prospective location opening in Colorado, most weed-legal states have yet to establish a set of provisions to allow such on-site locations.
The same goes for Canada, who is set to legalize recreational cannabis this October.
On-site consumption remains illegal, and it’s forced many locations to close their doors. However, one location in Victoria, Canada has been resilient in making their case to stay open—and it’s cost them quite a lot of money in the process. $30,0oo, to be exact.
Victoria Cannabis Lounge Stays Open After $30K In City Fines
The Terp City Canna Lounge in Victoria has faced many obstacles in their quest to provide legal cannabis users with a place to toke up. While, by law, the public smoking is outlawed—especially after the Capital Regional District added cannabis to their anti-smoking regulations, in the realm of common sense, such locations are necessary for the burgeoning industry.
While management has fought the city tooth and nail to stay open, the fines are beginning to pile up. The city’s lone remaining cannabis lounge has racked up $30k in bills as his applications for a city business license have not been approved.
“The bills are stacking up just for this and I’m like what are we honestly doing wrong?” Cheyne said.”If you’re gonna start regulating it as a municipality then where are these people, especially for recreational purposes, going to consume it? You’re banning it everywhere.”
The fate of Terp City hangs in the balance, but it’s unclear what the legalization of recreational marijuana will do for the social lounge. The city will take their battle with Terp City to court, but it remains to be seen how Canada’s rapidly-growing cannabis sector will factor in on the city’s decision. Currently, the province is focusing in on the retail portion of the soon-to-be-legal industry, putting social consumption locations on the backburner. At least, for now. Regardless, ownership is not ready to wave the red flag just yet. “I hope that we win this battle and that council understands that we are needed,” Cheyne said.