Tokyo Smoke co-founder Lorne Gertner announced his company was planning an 8,000 square-foot cannabis consumption lounge called byMinistry in downtown Toronto to open before the end of the year.

  • At first, the lounge will only sell non-cannabis fare, “using the language of cannabis, so infusions and terpenes and all that,” but founders expect laws will change over the next two years to allow indoor cannabis consumption sites.
  • Gertner has been involved legal cannabis since the late 1990s, when he bought into Canada’s first LP, Prairie Plant Systems (located in a decommissioned mine in Flin Flon, Manitoba). It later became CanniMed Therapeutics and was sold to Aurora for $1.1B.
  • Lounge advocates worried the major company might “gentrify” lounges, which High Values PR founder Erin Gratton said would mean squeezing out “existing cannabis lounges which have been serving medical patients on fixed budgets.” Twitter

Quick Hits

  1. Health Canada released a policy statement clarifying the ban on products that “appeal to young people.” Things Health Canada believes make cannabis appealing to young people include: references to people, animals, and characters; edible shapes that evoke brand names, toys and games, sports equipment, or candies; colours/lettering/design that “evokes a food product associated with young persons”; scents or flavours that evoke soft drinks or energy drinks, and vape devices with multicoloured lights. The full details are here.
  2. Namaste Technologies doesn’t have a license to produce chocolate edibles, and neither does its subsidiary, Calgary’s Choklat. But together they’re set to increase Choklat’s production by 1,100%.
    Globe and Mail