The Wellness Connection of Maine, a soon-to-open dispensary in Portland, has announced plans for a really cool new idea: a vapor lounge. Patients would be allowed to vape or enjoy their edibles, tinctures and oils in comfort with free tea and coffee in a cafe-like setting. Of course, like most good ideas, some controversy’s been stirred up over the lounge.
The manager of Maine’s medical marijuana program says a dispensary with such amenities would violate state regulations aimed at ensuring that dispensaries are places to get medicine for serious illnesses, not places to socialize.
Creating a social setting for the dispensation of medical marijuana is unhealthy because it promotes more marijuana use than is medically necessary and puts users and the public at risk if customers drive home under the influence, said John Thiele of Maine’s Department of Health and Human Services.
Admittedly, it’s complicated, but smoke houses are hugely popular in Amsterdam and Japan, where they serve to cut the public and out-and-about consumption of marijuana and cigarettes respectively. It’s not quite clear whether smoking will actually be allowed in the lounge or if the consumption allowed will stick to Maine’s existing law, which allows any patient to consume marijuana in a dispensary as long as it’s baked in edibles.
Luckily, Thiele claims the Maine Department of Health and Human Services does not intend to crackdown on The Wellness Connection, so we’ll be able to see what kind of real effect this has once it opens on January 29th, according to The Forecaster.