WATCH: The Green Ceiling doesn’t sell weed, they only offer the space for consumption, but the mayor said operating without a business license is a problem. Monica Martinez reports.
With art decked walls and a table full of board games, the Green Ceiling looks a neighbourhood cafe except it’s not coffee they’re selling.
“This is a place where a lot of people like to bring their own fire and get melted,” said patron “Scotty Skunk.”
Cannabis is not sold but it is consumed making it Victoria’s first vapour lounge.
“Not everybody drinks coffee and not everybody drinks booze so it’s kind of a nice, fresh breath for the other side of the community which is the cannabis community,” he said.
The lounge on Quadra Street opened in mid-April. For $5 an hour people can use the space and equipment.
Owner Ashley Abraham said there are no shortage of places to buy pot, but there aren’t many community spaces to consume it.
“What we’ve done here is allow a space for adults to come in and consume cannabis so they are not in the public spaces, they are not in the parks, they are not in the streets, not in the alleyways,” she said.
The Clean Air bylaw applies only to tobacco smoke and that’s not allowed here, but while it is illegal to possess marijuana without a medical license, there is no law against providing a space to blaze.
“We are not in violation of any law by being here and allowing this space,” Abraham said.
But the Green Ceiling is operating without a business license, and Mayor Lisa Helps said that is a problem.
“The Green Ceiling lounge and anyone else that wants to sell medical marijuana will need to apply for a business licence and to go through a rezoning process. The city doesn’t have many tools, but one tool we do have is land use regulation and the communities, neighbourhoods and surrounding businesses need an opportunity to weigh in as well,” Helps said.
On Thursday, city staff will present recommendations on regulating dispensaries and marijuana use in places that sell pot, but since The Green Ceiling doesn’t sell bud, it’s unclear whether the new regulations, if approved, would have any impact.