Cannabis cafes have been a bit of a disappointment in one of the cities which spearheaded the movement to legalize weed.

“We’re very happy to have them, they just aren’t profitable,” said Rita Tsalyuk, owner of The CoffeeJointCo, a cannabis cafe in Denver, Colo.

The cafes in that city currently operate on a bring-your-own weed model — they are not permitted to sell any cannabis products.

There is no smoking allowed but users can, “dab, use vape pens, and consume edibles.”

The experience in Colorado should raise concerns in Ontario where provincial officials are now conducting an online consultation designed to come up with rules for cannabis cafes and lounges.

Colorado implemented legislation allowing hospitality spaces where cannabis users can consume edibles and other non-smoking products, but the cafes have been a disappointment because of how they’re regulated, said Tsalyuk.

She explained customer demand was very high initially, but quickly faded.

She said anyone can get a licence to open a lounge but that the current business model only works if a cafe opens next to a dispensary. “It doesn’t work as a standalone,” she said.

Legislators are currently looking at tabling a bill that would permit “retail marijuana, retail marijuana concentrate, and retail marijuana products (to be) sold and consumed on site in the establishment’s hospitality space.”

“It’s going to take a year,” Tsalyuk said of the legislation changes. “How it’s going to be next year, nobody knows.”


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