Cole Harbour restaurant creates pot-friendly smoking area on outdoor patio
Published Tuesday, November 20, 2018 9:19PM AST
A month after recreational cannabis was legalized, cannabis lounges are springing up in the Halifax area and a restaurant owner in Cole Harbour has turned his outdoor patio into a full-fledged smoking lounge where pot-smokers are welcome.
Police admit it's a grey-area in the new age of legalization.
Jamaica Vibes has been in business for almost a year and prides itself on bringing a little bit of the Caribbean to Cole Harbour.
Owner Dwayne Green remains a hands-on kind of guy, making sure food and drink on the menu is authentic to the homeland he left six years ago.
That's not the only piece of home he wants patrons to enjoy and it’s led to a subtle transformation -- but an important one.
These days, food and drink are no longer being served on the outdoor-patio at Jamaica Vibes and the place is reserved entirely for smokers, no matter what they choose to smoke.
“When it became legal to smoke marijuana -- just like you would in Jamaica -- we just thought it would be fitting to capitalize on the opportunity.”
Although the smoking area has not been widely advertised, Green says customer response has been positive.
So much so, he's considering a second location in Dartmouth.
“Yeah, we like alcohol, but, at the end of the day, I think the kind of socialization that comes from smokers getting together, is way different from a few people having bar talks,” Green said.
It’s all part of an exploding cannabis cottage industry, with smoke and vape lounges springing up across the country.
With new legislation on the books about where people can, and cannot, light up, it's all led to some big changes for law enforcement.
While police say Nova Scotia's Smoke Free Places Act generally prohibits smoking on outdoor restaurant patios, it doesn't specifically ban it if food and drink are no longer being served there.
“Now, with cannabis being legalized, and designated smoking areas now in place throughout the HRM, there's a number of factors that have to be looked-at in a case such as this,” said Halifax RCMP spokesman Cpl. Dal Hutchinson.
Green says he’s done his homework.
“We have done the checks and balances,” he said. “We're not a sitting, designated smoke area, but we're a safe place for smokers.”
So, for now, Green says he'll keep rolling the dice on his interpretation of the law, which he says he doubled-checked with the city.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.