Alongside many others, my heart is grieving the closure of Victoria’s first public cannabis lounge, The Green Ceiling. November 24th, 2017, the doors unexpectedly closed… but rather than focus on the loss, I want to tell you about what it was for so many people.

After all, Bob Marley said it best, “We just can’t live in the negative way…Make way for the positive day!

To someone who has no interest in cannabis, The Green Ceiling might have seemed like a place where people just came and smoked pot. However, there are many of us who know better…. According to The Oxford Dictionary, a community center is defined as a place where people from a particular neighborhood can meet for social events, education classes, or recreational activities. This smoking lounge was our cannabis community center.

canna mall

Classes, events, and recreational activities? Let me tell you!!! FIRST, we added weed…

Imagine a yoga class where you get baked beforehand but instead of worrying about being busted by your instructor, they are taking bong hits right beside you? Now imagine you can also do that belly dancing, learning to draw comic book art or even while bedazzling a bong? Comedy nights were an obvious hit because stoners make for an encouraging audience. We were even planning to have a talent show…

GREEN-CEILING-FINE-720x423

A different kind of 19th birthday…

For those who like to party, a rite of passage in Canada is becoming legal drinking age on your 19th birthday… or at least it used to be. Thanks to cannabis becoming more and more accessible, young adults all over Canada are getting baked on their birthdays and falling asleep by 9:30 pm, many without a drop of alcohol. If you don’t believe me, you can ask the staff of the green ceiling or this one particular mom. Bewildered by her daughter’s choice, she chose to join in with the group and was frequenting the lounge ever since.

Art by Paul Archer

On a personal note…

We can all remember someplace special in our past that we used to spontaneously visit knowing our friends were likely to be there… it’s just not all of us had the luxury of smoking weed on site. A lot of us did a great deal more than just visit, we healed physically and mentally; nurtured by a safe environment. It was the only place I knew of where you could smoke a joint then get a massage (just imagine the muscle relaxation…).

I grew in that space as a person and I know I am not the only one; a lot of emotions got sorted in that place. At least one celebration of life, Gayle Quin’s estate sale, the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club Annual General Meeting, and many other serious events all took place on this common ground for cannabis lovers.

On behalf of Victoria’s cannabis community, I think I can speak for all of us when I say our hearts will always break a bit everytime we walk by The Green Ceiling.

Despite the fact that I know it is closed, I can’t get out of the habit of looking in the windows for my buddies, ready to smoke a joint. I am really going to miss that place.

The Green Ceiling Goodbye