Ashley Abraham has received a total of seven bylaw tickets so far from the city of Victoria for operating the Green Ceiling, a popular downtown vapour lounge where people can consume cannabis in a safe and social setting.
Unfortunately, she only remembered to file disputes for six of them, and so has recently received a letter from City Hall demanding she pay the $500 within the next 21 days or risk a bench warrant for a court appearance.
Abraham, better known as Ashtree to her regular customers, took to Facebook to express her frustration.
“On October 7th we received a cease-and-desist letter from the city asking us to stop our operations and telling us to shut down,” she said in a video posted to the site. “We refused to do this and that resulted in seven different bylaw fines being brought down on the Green Ceiling for $500 each and they are for allowing consumption on site… They are saying because I didn’t bring it in for dispute, I am automatically deemed guilty.”
The letter from bylaw clerk Heather Jernslet states that the fine can only be paid in person or via snail mail rather than online. She also adds that, if Abraham wants a payment hearing, it’ll be another $90.
While the majority of dispensaries in the Victoria have shut down all on-site consumption to not risk running afoul of the new rules, Abraham said her first priority is continuing to provide a safe space for medical users. She previously told CLN the reason she opened the lounge in the first place was in response to an elderly patient who wasn’t allowed to consume medical cannabis in her own home and was forced to smoke in the street.
The Green Ceiling is located in the Great Canadian Canna Mall, the country’s first all-cannabis retailer space, on Quadra Street.