Toronto cannabis lounges, in operation for 18 years, to ask for the right to exist legally

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Local lounge owners argue that provincial regulation, which says marijuana can only be consumed in the privacy of a home, is “not feasible.”

“There is a huge number of renters, people living in condos and townhouses in the city. We just don’t have the luxury of not intruding on our neighbour,” Abi Roach, owner of the Roach-O-Rama and Hotbox Café, said listing the type of people who would not be able to smoke in their homes.

“You also have to think of parents with children or those living with elderly people or people with respiratory problems or tourists. Where are tourists going to smoke cannabis? In their non-smoking hotel rooms?” she asked in an interview.

The Toronto entrepreneur believes businesses like hers, which has been in operation for nearly 20 years, is the perfect alternative to the restrictive policy — not only because it allows communal recreation — but also because it will keep illegal marijuana trafficking and use of the streets, she argues. 

But Coun. Glenn De Baeremaeker who also sits on the licensing committee, says the Cannabis Friendly Business Association “must be smoking something” if they expect the city to regulate their businesses.  

The discussions took place on September 18th, no word yet on the outcome of those talks.

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