The topic of cannabis lounges conjures images of people indulging in the plant in cafes in Amsterdam and or ritzy restaurants in Los Angeles. However, in a country that legalized cannabis over three years ago, the noticeable lack of such spaces feels very telling. Still, that’s not to say there is a movement towards cultivating and expanding these spaces for cannabis consumers to use both comfortably and legally. Join us as we explore why cannabis lounges are necessary, their legal standing, and what steps business owners are taking to cultivate these spaces.
The Need for Cannabis Lounges
Just as you would go to a wine bar to sample rosés or a brewery to try IPAs, cannabis lounges are a necessary space for connoisseurs and consumers alike. It’s not only about consuming, but also about having access to a place to enjoy the smoking experience (that’s not your sofa). In Canada, as long as you are 19 years of age you can walk into any establishment serving alcohol, sit down, get served, and enjoy the beverage there. So, it is unfair that in a nation the same can’t always be said for recreational cannabis, considering it is totally legal.
Regulating Cannabis Consumption Spaces
Unfortunately, much of the issue surrounding the legality and implementation of cannabis lounges are smoking bylaws. Since these bylaws were put into place for health and safety reasons, there is a lack of distinction between tobacco smoke and cannabis smoke. While some politicians insist there is no difference, research shows that these two types of smoke are not equally carcinogenic. Not to mention, many Canadian cannabis consumers use the plant for medical purposes. Even though there may be some challenges regulating these spaces in different communities there is certainly a case for establishing them.
Small Businesses Leading the Way
As it tends to go with movements, many of the first steps towards implementing cannabis lounges are coming from small business efforts. Something as simple as placing park benches outside of a cannabis store in Ontario for shoppers to consume their freshly purchased goods has sparked interest in establishing more lounges. It is vital to mention that with the current legal situation, business owners do have rules in place to protect cannabis users and themselves in these spaces. Additionally, care is taken to ensure these outdoor patios are placed far enough from the entrance to comply with health codes.