Cannabis news yesterday out of Canada was that the new marijuana bill that would legalize it throughout the country passed through a key part of the senate. The enthusiasm towards recreational marijuana in Canada is palpable as Ontario has just approved social consumption lounges.
Here in the U.S. the idea of lounges for marijuana use is also being accepted as San Francisco and Colorado both now have places where people can go and consume cannabis with others. The issue is important because while marijuana may be legal to buy, many people do not have a private residence to go and consume it, leaving them forced to break the law by consuming it somewhere that is deemed public.
Initially, the province of Ontario – Canada’s most populated area – planned to institute a categorical ban on public smoking which would have restricted consumption to homes. However, that proposal harbored various shortcomings, including exposing children to second-hand smoke.
Additionally, people living in buildings that ban smoking would have no place to smoke.
Trina Fraser, an Ottawa Lawyer who specializes in cannabis trade laws believes that such restrictive regulations would force people to smoke in undesirable places like their cars.
The proposed cannabis lounges could lag behind legalization legislation, which is expected by July.
The Ontario regulations would have provisions for both public lounges and smoking spaces in apartment and some business buildings. Additionally, pot smokers would be allowed to smoke in cigarette smoking zones, and other forms of marijuana, including edible varieties would be allowed in all hotel rooms.
If passed, marijuana producers, as well as sellers of smoking devices stand to benefit significantly, with more people finding it comfortable to smoke marijuana in an acceptable setting.
Tourist populations would also find it easier to sample Canadian pot.
As it stands today, Canada has one of the most vibrant medical marijuana markets in the world.