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

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 Staniforth reports on cannabis, food safety, and Indigenous issues. He is the former editor of WeedWeek Canada.

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