On August 14th, 2020, Toronto’s Vapor Central re-opened their cannabis lounge, providing a cannabis-friendly event center and safe public smoking space… despite this pandemic. How? The measures they are taking are pretty extensive. It’s a bold move forward but for the stoner community in Toronto, this reopening offers a breath of fresh air. At first, opening a cannabis lounge during COVID-19 seems like a dangerously bad idea. However, a deeper look might change your mind. Either way, here is a look at the situation and all the factors leading up to Vapor Central re-opening the cannabis lounge.
Let’s review some facts about COVID-19
If a business is open during this pandemic, adapting its policies and procedures protects the safety of its patrons. If an operation is unable to adapt, maintain social distance, and keep everything clean and sanitary, they have to close. Covid-19 is spread through contact with respiratory droplets containing the virus or, touching contaminated surfaces and then touching a mucus membrane. Basically, if you have COVID-19 and you cough, you are coughing out the virus and it will linger in the air. Plus, anything that you cough into or on will also be covered in the coronavirus. (Nobody wants to be this person.)
Let’s review some facts about cannabis
Inhaling cannabis is extremely popular because you feel the effects quickly, making it easier to control your dose. Considering that our lungs are meant to breathe air, smoking weed can make you cough. With the right temperature and equipment, you can really tailor a session to be quite mild on the throat. Still, regardless of the setup and how fancy it is, sooner or later, you’re going to cough.
So, how Vapor Central re-opening of the Cannabis Lounge going to work?
Ready to be asked that question, Vapor Central addressed questions and concerns in a public letter on Instagram. It outlines the measures in place that will protect everyone in the space; including guests, performers, and staff.
Key points include:
Everyone entering their doors has a temperature check, regardless of whether they are a guest, performer, or even the owner.
Staff will undergo weekly Covid-19 testing.
Contact tracing has been implemented.
Events will be limited to 50 guests maximum
The room has been rearranged to ensure guests are at least six feet and facing away from each other.
They are working with Citron Hygiene, a Canadian Cleaning Supply Company, to ensure that their practices and products are top-notch.
The entire room is sanitized every night and every morning.
They are constantly cleaning the air… literally.
Clean air in a cannabis lounge?
The space has been updated, including the air filtration system. Two new air filters have been added to their existing system of six. According to Vapor Central, “We have over 8,000 CFM of 2 stage air filtration. We also added two new 1000+ CFM fans to help move and direct all air towards our filters and away from guests. All air in the room is scrubbed and recycled every 2.5 minutes. Our giant exhaust fan also ensures at least 1000 cubic feet of fresh new air is being pulled in to the room every minute…at VC you will NEVER meet the same air particle twice. ”
It may add a noise factor but it also gives Vapor Central an edge to open. “The room may sound like a jet engine now but we’re happy to sacrifice a few decibels for our guests’ and staffs’ safety!“
Still not convinced?
Regardless of the measures, they are taking, the staff at Vapor Central are expecting that for some members of the public, it won’t be good enough. In their Instagram letter, they made their argument known.
“We get it if you’re on the fence about visiting but we don’t believe that our lounge is inherently more dangerous than any other bar. As activists for cannabis normalization, we believe it is imperative to challenge the hypocrisy that cannabis lounges pose more risk than alcohol bars when properly managed.”
Everyone wants to go back to being able to go out, do stuff, and socialize. Bars have been opened with new policies in place but many people question whether its too soon. With safety measures, cleaning procedures, and new filters installed, Vapor Central is back in business, providing stoners with entertainment during a stressful pandemic. They are taking every precaution available and even came up with a few of their own. All in all, the safety plan looks pretty good in theory. In practice, only time will tell.
For more information on events at Vapor Central, check out their Instagram.