Windsor’s cannabis community has been brought to the next level with the opening of Higher Limits, a vapour lounge that owner Jon Liedtke said is the largest in the country.
Less than two weeks old, Liedtke said the 6000 square foot facility was opened as direct response to Justin Trudeau’s election, earlier in the fall, a change in the political climate that made it possible for operations like Higher Limits.
“Laws are changing at a federal, or even provincial, level so there’s no point any more in kicking your heels into the sand and trying to resist the coming tide of water — this is it, cannabis is here and we’re not going anywhere,” Liedtke said. “Here in southwest Ontario it’s a big, big community, but we really haven’t felt comfortable in coming out. There hasn’t been a legitimate, visible cannabis operations. It’s been a very hushed and quiet situation down here.”
Higher Limits features a video arcade, karaoke and programming that Liedtke hopes will attract names like Joe Rogan, the Trailer Park Boys and Doug Benson.
The lounge is strictly available for customers authorized to use medical cannabis, there are no cannabis sales on site, a distinction that allows Liedtke to operate.
“At the end of the day, we are operating within the law, 100 per cent,” said Liedtke. “The issue comes down to, we can’t check someone’s prescription or their medical license because of the Canada Health act. We simply act like every other vapour lounge does and we’re happy with it.”
Constable Andrew Drouillard told Blackburn News that there’s no criminal element to the lounge, as all patrons have the right to possess and use medical cannabis.
“Until we get a complaint that criminal activity, such as drug trafficking or some type of illegal possession is going on; that’s when we would get involved.”
Liedtke said he’s aware there may be recreational users that enter the lounge, but he has no control over those that choose to not follow federal rules.
“I might be taken advantage of, but, at the end of the day, that’s not really up to me to enforce,” Liedtke said. “If the police choose that they want to enforce on a case-to-case basis, and send a lot of resources to do so, that’s well within their prerogative and equally, if the federal government wants to download powers onto me to be able to check to see a prescription or a license I’d gladly take those. But it’s not even up to me to even bring forward these recommendations to them. So, as it stands right now, I’m going to continue to operate within the law.”
Liedtke said he’s excited to be part of the community and change the narrative surrounding cannabis.
“We really want to look at becoming Canada’s first true cannabis community centre, a place where we can have honest and meaningful conversation about cannabis, bring forth a dialogue help overcome some of the existing stigmas about it,” Liedtke said.
“I welcome every regulator that wants to come in, I want to be fully compliant with everything that’s out there to help portray cannabis on a national scale as something that’s not taboo.”
For more information on Higher Limits, visit their Facebook page.