Pubdate: Tue, 28 Apr 2015
Source: Standard Freeholder (Cornwall, CN ON)
Copyright: 2015 Cornwall Standard Freeholder
Author: Jon Willing
Page: A5


OTTAWA - Wayne Robillard has opened a stoner lounge just east of

It's hard to describe it any other way.

Even Robillard, 51, acknowledges his business, BuzzOn, isn't exactly

But he and two business partners are going to roll the dice and see
what the city does.

"What we're doing is an open form of protest," Robillard said Monday.
"What we're saying is we don't agree with cannabis laws and we don't
feel it should be a priority for the police or municipal governments
to deal with."

Const. Marc Soucy said Ottawa police are aware of the business and the
drug unit is looking into it.

BuzzOn had a "soft launch," fittingly, on April 20 - pot smokers
celebrate on 4/20 - and hopes to ramp up to a full opening this weekend.

It's not just for medical marijuana licence holders. Anyone 19 or
older with weed is welcome to come in and smoke it. There are no
marijuana sales at BuzzOn.

"I have no authority to ask them for medical records, so we just don't
ask," Robillard said.

One rule is you can't smoke blunts, which is marijuana rolled in cigar
paper, because the paper is tobacco. It's against the law to smoke
tobacco inside a business.

Robillard - who considers himself a "staunch Conservative" - found
some vapour lounges in Toronto and wondered why the nation's capital
didn't have one.

"It's taken me a few years, but we finally have one up and running
here i n Ottawa," Robillard said. "We'll see what happens, I guess."

Why in Vanier?

"We just wanted to blend in in a nondescript neighbourhood," Robillard
said, pointing out a stretch with a head shop and tattoo parlour
seemed like a friendly place for a pot lounge.

People pay a daily membership to enter. It's $5 now, but Robillard
expects it will increase to $7 when renovations are complete. Members
can smoke their pot and play board games, cards, video games or do
crossword puzzles. Some nights there will be entertainment. Vaporizers
and bongs are available and are cleaned between uses, Robillard said.
There is no alcohol served.

Why would someone pay to smoke weed at BuzzOn, rather than stay at
home on the couch with a few joints and a bag of Doritos?

"It's a very comfortable setting and at the same time you can interact
with other people who are in the same boat, the same neighbourhood,"
Robillard said.

"The difference is, our lounge it's somewhat of a safe haven. You're
undercover, it's not like you're smoking out in the street annoying
people and they might call the police on you, that sort of thing."

Robillard negotiated with the landlord to break the lease if after 60
days the city shuts the business down.

"We don't know what's going to happen with Mayor ( Jim) Watson and the
police, they could sic them on us very easily," he said.

"I don't anticipate we're going to shut down, but we're planning for
it, just in case."
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