U.S. Consultant Criticizes Ontario’s Bid to Ban Public Smoking, Vaping of Pot

Ottawa Public Health has recommended banning all smoking and vaping of cannabis in the province of Ontario’s apartments, condos, and even marijuana lounges. But a U.S. consultant, who shaped Denver’s marijuana policy in the state of Colorado, finds the proposal problematic.

“You’re leaving a lot of people in a place where they can legally grow this product, can legally carry this product, can legally purchase this product, but there’s not a lot of places for them to legally consume it,” CBC News quoted Dan Rowland, a consultant with Alberta-based 420 Advisory Management, as saying.

Rowland, who has seen these issues firsthand, added: “That will create some issues.”

In 2014, Colorado was one of the early U.S. states that have legalized marijuana but it is still grappling over what are the best regulations to have to govern the cannabis industry.

While some Colorado cities have businesses where customers can consume cannabis but in Denver, smoking a joint is only allowed in private residences, but not in hotels or apartments.

Denver’s new licensing regime will be permitting vaping and edibles but not smoking indoors, might violate the state anti-smoking legislation, Rowland said.

This poses a problem for tourists, who make purchases at legal pot shops but have nowhere to use them without breaking the law, Rowland said.

“They don’t necessarily always want to consume (cannabis) alone in their own home,” Rowland said.

“There is a social aspect to it.”

This has compelled some to break the law and smoke in public.

People have also found creative ways to play around the ban by smoking while partying on buses.

Rowland is expecting similar problems in Ontario.

“You’re going to see people breaking the law. That’s clear,” he said.

This will also push people to opt for edibles, he said. But legalization edibles won’t happen for another year, increasing prospects for more violations.