Canada’s bring your own marijuana vapor lounge scene is experiencing impressive growth. Originally a metropolitan city phenom, bring your pot lounges have opened in smaller Canadian communities with great success.
Until recently lounges were a Toronto thing because our politicians and police presumably had better things to do. When conservative city councilor Mark Grimes did request a report on bring your weed lounges, a City of Toronto staff investigation determined lounges were actually Medical Marihuana Inhalation Facilities that had few police problems.
Not exactly what Grimes was seeking.
The example demonstrates how easy it is for a busy body to get their nose out of joint even in a large city. Originally the thinking in a smaller community was there would be too much busybody interference. However, it appears the incredible amount of positive cannabis media coverage has convinced small town busybodies to let lounges be.
In the last six to eight months, lounges have opened in places only a year ago you’d think were not tolerable to cannabis. After an original media storm where police say they’re investigating dies down – nothing happens.
Yet, cannabis is not legal for the majority of Canadians. However, anyone with weed may pay a vapor room cover fee. Typically five dollars. Once inside you’ll see legal medical marihuana patients mingling with recreational enthusiasts, but it’s difficult to distinguish who is legal and who isn’t.
Privacy laws prevent vapor lounge employees from asking if the customer is a legal medical marijuana patient. Cops are struggling to make that determination too and the results are lounges being left alone.
The biggest challenge a would be vapor lounge owner faces is whether their business would be tolerated in their community. It was often thought smaller communities with a bored police chief or politician would harass customers from visiting. (See the Grimes example.)
While it may be still true in some Canadian cities, it’s turning out lounges are becoming very tolerated places to toke. (See sidebar)
New owners when pressed by media on where the idea for a bring your own weed lounge came from – point their fingers to Toronto and Vapor Central. CEO Chris Goodwin is the brainchild behind vapor lounges and freely spends hours with would be owners. He directs them to my two free guides How To Open A Vapor Lounge as starting point. http://www.cannabisculture.
We want people to succeed in opening lounges, but we never thought tinier populated places would tolerate them. This is a signpost Canada is moving quickly to legalization. While we’ve been encouraging people for years, few have opened lounges, but suddenly there’s explosive growth happening.
It appears now is the time to be investing or starting a marijuana vapor lounge. Lounge owners report their respectable startup costs approximately $20,000 – $35,000.
Thirty-two year-old Matt Melanson cashed out his Sobey’s pension ($20,000) and purused his cannabis dreams by opening a lounge.
Opened in January Dr. Greenthumbs in Moncton, NB (population 64,128 and surrounding area population 138,000) is already seeking a much bigger location. Routinely at capacity (60 stoners) this lounge received a good local media news push that was successful capitalized on. While the community is policed by federal officers (RCMP) they have taken no interest in the bring your own bud business.
Two just opened in my former hometown of St. Catharines (population 131,000) and another down Hwy 420 in Niagara Falls (population 49,000). Hamilton is a much larger city (500,000) and it only has three recently opened vapor lounges. None of these communities have had policing problems and all have received positive media.
The positive media is important and owners have to be prepared to live in the local spotlight as the go to expert on cannabis. Besides done properly, it’s good for business.
The first time someone visits a bring your own marijuana vapor lounge, their high just seeing a roomful of enthusiasts socializing while inhaling. It’s a beautiful thing!
Lounges become hubs of cannabis culture and activism.
The first people arriving in any community are the serious enthusiasts, who have gotten word there’s a place to toke. Smart owners’ turn these hardcore heads into regular customers who are tired of having to toke at home or in an alley. By providing them with an awesome chill experience the business will continue to grow because these serious stoners tell their friends during sessions or invite them to session at the weed lounge.
Just like any successful business cultivating regulars will constantly put cash in the till. Expect regulars (daily customers who come in for an hour or more for a session) to become very attached to your brand.
Despite Vapor Central operating at capacity, Wolf of Weed St. had a wonderful experience when he visited on 4/20. He was curious how these venues existed without any police blowback. It’s an incredible experience and it’s cool for us to blaze with worldly stoners too, but unfortunately legal US states appear to currently prevent lounges.
There has to be socializing with legalization! It’s unfathomable to me how Denver has legal grass, but no where to toke it. Canada doesn’t have legal grass, but has places if you happen to be possessing pot you may come on in and consume it.
Marijuana is safer than alcohol therefore lounges are bar harm reduction. Not everyone wants to visit a bar, but they want the socializing and vapor lounges provide this.
Lounge owners’ and employees need to be social stoners because those skills are put to the test in the startup phase to cultivate regulars. Then there can be stoner sport lounges, marijuana and role playing places, internet weed lounges, the possibilities are endless.
Marijuana vapor lounges take people out of their basement or closet. They realize (by seeing) how many different types of people consume cannabis. It’s strange, no longer in dark alley’s, people begin pushing back much harder against prohibition because they see they’re not alone.
Where The Bring Your Own Cannabis Lounges Are
The Vapor Trails (Niagara Falls)
Puff Dogs Internet Cafe and Vapor Lounge (St. Catharines)
Niagara Cannabis Club (St. Catharines)
Vapor Central (Toronto)
Hot Box Cafe (Toronto)
Vape Social (Toronto)
Vape On The Lake (Toronto)
Get Melted (Toronto)
Planet Paradise (Toronto)
Kingston 420 (Kingston)
Dr. Greenthumbs (Moncton)
High Life Social Club (Halifax)
Farm Assists (Halifax)
Vapes Off Main (Winnipeg )
Vapes On Main (Winnipeg)
Cannabis Culture Lounge (Vancouver)
Seymour Wellness Society (Vancouver)
British Columbia Marijuana Party Vapor Lounge (Vancouver)
The Whiffing Well Oxygen Bar & Vapor Lounge (Vancouver)
Mega ILL (Vancouver)
Mega Chill (Vancouver)
Garden Lounge (Vancouver)