Saskatoon

Sask. government won't allow recreational cannabis and vaping lounges

'You can literally make the argument that a sizeable percentage of the population will have no legal place to consume recreational cannabis,' says one cannabis lawyer

List of places where people will be able to legally consume cannabis narrows even further

The Saskatchewan government has confirmed it won't allow recreational cannabis and vaping lounges to operate in the province. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)

The Saskatchewan government says it won't allow recreational cannabis or vaping lounges to operate in the province, further restricting the number of places people will be allowed to smoke pot when it's legalized on Oct. 17.

A spokesperson for the province's Ministry of Justice confirmed the news on Monday morning, but added, "Vaping itself will not be prohibited. However, any form of public consumption of cannabis will be prohibited, including in lounges."

The news came about a week after the government laid out a series of fines that could be charged to people caught smoking in numerous public spaces.

Saskatchewan's omnibus cannabis legislation, Bill 121, which came into late law in May, says it will be illegal to consume cannabis in parks, playgrounds, cinemas, outdoor theatres or  any "other place of public resort or amusement."

'No legal place to consume'

Some private landlords and condo corporations are also moving to ban the use of marijuana within people's homes.

"This is one of the arguments made in favour of consumption lounges or vaping lounges," said Trina Fraser, an Ontario-based cannabis lawyer.

Cannabis lawyer Trina Fraser says many provinces have outlawed cannabis consumption and vaping lounges. (Submitted by Trina Fraser)

"Because you can literally make the argument that a sizeable percentage of the population will have no legal place to consume recreational cannabis if those types of venues are not legalized and licensed."

Where the idea of cannabis consumption and vaping lounges hits a snag is when you consider the federal government's call for smoke-free workplaces and how that butts up against employees working at such lounges, Fraser added.

"Smoke from cannabis is treated the same as vape," said she said. "They're treated as equally damaging and dangerous."

Other provinces have kiboshed the idea of lounges as well, said Fraser. 

About the Author

Guy Quenneville

Reporter and web writer for CBC Saskatoon

Story tips, ideas, complaints, just want to say 'Hi'? Write me at guy.quenneville@cbc.ca

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