Higher Limits is Windsor’s first medical marijuana vaping lounge, and is locate in the center of downtown-right at the corner of Ouellette and University avenues. The facility, which provides medical marijuana users a safe and friendly environment to smoke, is strategically located not only to bring in customers, but also to raise awareness. Higher Limit’s co-owner recently told CBC news that by having the lounge situated in such a public place, he hopes to, “….bring cannabis out of the closet and put it in the forefront.”
Although the facility is fully licensed, Coun. Reno Bortolin is worried about the lack of regulating vaping lounges such as Higher Limits. He wants to make sure that from a regulating standpoint, laws are in place before another facility opens up.
One of Coun. Bortolin’s biggest concerns is ensuring that all customer’s entering the facility possess a valid medical marijuana card. The issue with this is that current medical marijuana laws forbid Higher Limits’ staff from asking to see a medical marijuana license. This means that in theory, anyone can walk in off the street and get high. And although Higher Times’ doesn’t sell marijuana, it does sell paraphernalia such as bongs and pipes, making it the perfect place for unlicensed smokers to get everything they need to get high-and a safe place to do it in for only the $5 cover fee the lounge charges.
To combat this problem, a retired police officer, Alan Adams, has been hired to run lounge security. Although he is prevented from actually asking for cards, he can still monitor patrons for suspicious behavior. Since most people come to the lounge to smoke and relax, there is not a lot of socializing going on, which makes it easier to spot recreational users, who tend to go from table to table for company-or to buy (or sell) marijuana. To further discourage recreational use, the lounge does not sell alcohol, cigarettes or other drugs.
Despite this, most customers enjoy having a place to safely smoke their medication, especially those smoking for mental health reasons. When smoking in a car, these people are under constant threat from police attention, something which can increase anxiety levels in people already undergoing treatment. In order to increase the friendliness of the environment they have added video game terminals and pool tables. They are also considering live jazz nights and yoga programs to help visitors relax.