Ontario is proposing to ban e-cigarette and medical marijuana users from smoking or vaporizing anywhere regular cigarettes are prohibited

Ontario is proposing to ban e-cigarette and medical marijuana users from smoking or vaporizing anywhere regular cigarettes are prohibited
Photo Credit: Regis Duvignau /Reuter

Ontario’s only marijuana “vaping” lounge may forced to close


It has only been open for about a little over a month, and already the Windsor Ontario establishment may be forced out of business by a new provincial anti-smoking law.

John Liedtke is the owner of “Higher Limits” a vaping lounge where those with medical authorization to use marijuana. One regular customer says it is a safe place for medical marijuana users to go without facing any judgement.

The bar may become the victim of proposed new legislation in the province which would ban e-cigarettes (vaping) and medical marijuana users from smoking in public spaces, or smoke or vape where regular cigarettes are banned.

“We have made a determination that smoking whatever it is — whether it’s vaping, whether it’s medical marijuana, whether it’s cigarettes — that there should be restrictions on that,” Premier Kathleen Wynne said Thursday.

Jon Liedtke, owner of Higher Limits vaping loung, could have to close up shop because of the Ontario government’s plan to ban ban e-cigarette and medical marijuana users from smoking in public spaces.
Jon Liedtke, owner of Higher Limits vaping loung, could have to close up shop because of the Ontario government’s plan to ban ban e-cigarette and medical marijuana users from smoking in public spaces. © Ioana Draghici/CBC

Stricter e-cigarette rules came into effect on January 1, which would ban vaping in public places, the workplace, and certain other outdoor spaces, similar to rules on tobacco smoking.  It also became illegal to sell or supply e-cigarettes to anyone under 19, and puts limits on which places can sell e-cigaretters and how they are displayed and promoted

However, an exemption for users of medical marijuana meant that users  could “vape” in restaurants, at work, or in playgrounds.  Because of this exemption, the provincial government had to rethink the rules.

Liedtke says at least one of his clients live in public housing and under the proposed law couldn’t take his medical marijuana at home. Quoted by the National Post he says, ““They can’t tell people where and when to take medication,” Liedtke said. “You have your medical rights.”

Jonathan Zaid, the founder of Canadians for Fair Access to Medical Marijuana, had applauded the original exemption, saying users need their medication to live a better quality of life. Quoted by the Canadian Press he says,  “I thought the government was willing to work with medical cannabis users to create a regulation and an exemption that works for both the public health and public safety and medical marijuana users, but it seems like this backtrack has kind of made it fully inaccessible for people to use their medicine, which I believe is against their human rights.”

Liedtke says his lounge remains open and he’s contacted legal counsel and has been contacting his local Member of the Provincial Parliament.

The proposed changes, which have a 45 day consultation period and could come into effect on July 1st.

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4 comments on “Ontario’s only marijuana “vaping” lounge may forced to close
  1. Avatar Daide Murphie says:

    Ontario’s only vaping lounge? Are you kidding me? I live downtown Toronto and have at least 5 vaping lounges within a 10 minute drive that I know of and that’s just off the top of my head. This article missed the mark by a decade on the first vaping lounges and a couple decades if count the previous weed smoking lounges.

    • Marc Montgomery Marc Montgomery says:

      only “marijuana” vaping lounge. Marijuana was not legal in decades past, and is only ‘legal” now with medical authorization.
      Vaping is/ was not included in Ontario’s anti-smoking laws which prevent smoking (of any sort) in any public place such as restaurants, offices, coffee shops and “lounges”.

  2. Avatar Bob sanders says:

    The date mentioned saying that it is a place for medical cannabis users is a lie all you need to partake in vaping/smoking at that establishment is your I’d stating you are over 18 years of age. This isn’t right should be at least smoking age of 19.