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Smoke-Free Ontario Act to Keep Vapes Hidden at Cannabis Stores

June 10, 2019
vaporizer retail store vape
Jesse Milns/Leafly
If you’re a non-smoker who values your lungs, there’s a lot to like about the Smoke Free Ontario Act.

But then there are the parts of it that don’t make any sense at all, and included in one of those is the law that says if you sell a vaping device, you may neither show it to customers before they buy it, nor let them handle it.

Since vaporizing cannabis is considered by most to be a healthier alternative to smoking, one might imagine there’s an error in there somewhere, except the GTA’s Peel Region health inspectors have made it clear they’re coming for any vape retailer who allows customers to see or handle the forbidden devices.

Inspectors are adamant they’re doing nothing more than following the law, and to that end, have made multiple visits to warn Nilsson Gonsalves, owner of GTA head shop Culture Rising, against letting customers consider devices that present a healthier alternative to smoking.

Instead, he’s supposed to sell them out of a catalogue or by showing customers a computer display of what the devices look like.

When premium vaporizer devices can cost north of $300, forcing a customer to pay before they can see or test the product in their hands may seem bizarre on both sides of the transaction.

“It killed my sales by about 30% right away,” said Gonsalves to Global News.

Jesse B. Staniforth's Bio Image

Jesse B. Staniforth

Jesse B. Staniforth is the editor of the free cannabis-industry
newsletter WeedWeek Canada. He also reports on Indigenous issues,
cybersecurity, and food safety.

View Jesse B. Staniforth's articles

  • videosavant

    Agree that this is a stupid, nanny-oriented law and enforcement.

    On the other hand, I would bet that more than 75% of all vaporizers are sold online, where having the ability to touch and feel the merchandise beforehand is not feasible. I’ve bought three vapes and all of them were purchased online. Seeing other people testing and using them on YouTube was a reasonable substitute.

    Still, a stupid, pointless that makes no sense on any level. I wonder what the government-mandated protocol will be for a customer who is returning a vape, either for refund or servicing…

  • Anna

    Researches say that greening out symptoms are temporary and will usually dissipate within 15 minutes to one hour for smoked or vaporized marijuana flowers, but can they reappear over and over again without using it?