Pubdate: Sat, 09 Sep 2017
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Jenny Yuen
Page: 5


When Abi Roach heard Premier Kathleen Wynne's announcement on the
rollout of government-regulated marijuana sales Friday, she said she
nearly smashed her TV.

The owner of Hotbox Cafe in Kensington Market says the decision to
shut down weed dispensaries and vape lounges - such as the one she has
run for 18 years - and force people to only smoke cannabis at home
will only drive business underground.

"They're not listening to the industry, they're not listening to the
federal government - which recommended lounges and consumption spaces
- - they're listening to what they want to hear," Roach said. "And this
is the problem with the Ontario Liberals. They want to do as they
please. I think it's based on them thinking, 'How can we pad the
pockets for us and not for everyone else?' "

During the Project Claudia raids in May, many people working in the
city's 150 dispensaries at the time lost their jobs.

Roach said the regulations, which will come into effect next July,
mean parents who don't want to consume around their children are now
forced to within the home.

And many rental units as it is don't allow smoking of any

Her vapour lounge has 10,000 clients a month.

"You have people that are used to selling alcohol selling cannabis,"
said Roach. "They have no clue on how to use vapourizers. And then
vapourizers are part of the Smoke Free Ontario Act, and yet, they're
not able to buy edibles. So, you're just making better public health
choices when you've created a vacuum for horrible choices."

She said a client - an Ottawa woman - was in Toronto for epileptic
seizure treatment last week and she couldn't consume at the hospital.

Roach set her up with a couch so she could take in some

"That's going to be missing. I worry for these people," she

A customer outside Canna Clinic on Kensington Ave., however, said he
welcomes government intervention in the pot industry.

"I think it's great that we're going to be able to buy weed as
alcohol," said Ari, 21, who didn't wish to give a last name. "I think
it's going to be easier for us to buy weed and it'll be better for us,

Kurt Fernandes said that while he doesn't use marijuana, he stays
informed on the issue as a taxpayer.

"I think they should allow independent stores to operate as well," he
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MAP posted-by: Matt