Pubdate: Mon, 22 Jan 2018
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2018 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Shawn Jeffords
Page: 2


Ontario is considering allowing licensed cannabis consumption lounges
in the province once recreational marijuana is legalized this summer,
and is asking the public to weigh in on the idea.

The proposal is being met with optimism by some cannabis activists and
municipal politicians who say the provincial government's approach on
where legal weed can be consumed has been too restrictive so far.

Under rules outlined in the fall, the province intends to sell
marijuana in up to 150 stores run by the Liquor Control Board of
Ontario to people 19 and older, with a ban on pot's consumption in
public spaces or workplaces.

On Thursday, the province issued a request for public feedback on a
slew of regulatory changes proposed to clarify where recreational and
medical cannabis can be consumed. Among them is the possibility of
permitting "licensed and regulated cannabis consumption lounges and
venues" sometime after legalization in July.

That's exactly what Abi Roach, the owner of Hotbox Cafe, a private
Toronto cannabis lounge open since 2003, said she's been asking the
province to do for six years.

Roach appeared before a legislative committee examining the provincial
government's pot laws in November and at the time urged politicians to
ease their rules around where the drug could be consumed.

Current rules that intend to restrict consumption of marijuana to
private residences will push people who can't use cannabis in their
own homes to places where it would create a problem, like public parks
or their cars, Roach argued.

Toronto councillor Jim Karygiannis, who sits on the city's licensing
and standards committee, said the province should step in with clear
regulations that would lead to better controls on where the lounges
are established, ensure patrons are of legal age to consume cannabis
and protect lounge employee safety.
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