Downtown Penticton business plans to open cannabis smoking patio

Owner of Cannabis Cottage Mariana Wolff posing outside of her shop and soon to be smoking patio.
Owner of Cannabis Cottage Mariana Wolff posing outside of her shop and soon to be smoking patio.
Image Credit: Cannabis Cottage

A dispensary in Penticton is getting ready to open a cannabis patio, which could be the first in the Okanagan and Kamloops, following a new regulation that allows pot smoking anywhere tobacco smoking is permitted.

The owner of Cannabis Cottage on Martin Street in downtown Penticton had a vision for it to be a safe space for weed smokers since cannabis legalization five years ago.

Budtender Jaimie Miller-Haywood said owner Mariana Wolff actually picked the location five years ago specifically to have a patio.

"She knew she could just wait out the regulations for a while unfortunately it was almost five years but here we are,” Miller-Haywood said.

The pot shop plans to set up a patio next month when the weather is warmer where people can gather to enjoy a smoke after work.

The BC government announced last month that anywhere smoking cigarettes is permitted people can light up a joint as well.

READ MORE: Cannabis now allowed on some outdoor patios in BC

“It was kind of quietly announced and the government has not really outlined their regulations. They have basically said any place where cigarette smoke is permitted, like three metres from doors on private property is allowed, and retailers can promote themselves as a place to hangout after consumption,” Miller-Haywood said.

She said the cannabis industry has suffered from too many regulations.

“We’ve been infantilized, it feels like, not going to lie. There have been so many regulations that make it difficult to be an adult who just makes their own decisions when it comes to cannabis,” she said.

“If they are just going to let us be responsible adults then we’re obviously here for it.”

She said the prospect of opening up the patio lounge is sheer excitement.

“I see nothing but positives," she said. “Before this we were still condemned to dusty parking lots and people’s backyards, and it’s not really what the tourist is looking for.

“From all of the studies I’ve seen on the topic, the top three most important aspects of travelling as a cannabis consumer are dignified accommodations, access to spas and access to a place to consume. Cannabis tourism is already poised to be a multi-billion dollar industry in the states and there is no reason it can’t happen here.”

READ MORE: Okanagan cannabis worker says weed products are unfairly taken off market

Miller-Haywood said the regulation change is overdue, but welcome.

“We are celebrating that the day is here and we can't wait to get that patio open and for the weather to get warmer.”

The pot shop is planning a big celebration on the patio on April 20 (4/20) with food trucks, demonstrations and more.

Click here to find out more about Cannabis Cottage.

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