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Winnipeg's first cannabis lounge touts itself as a safe place to light up and connect with other medical marijuana users for support.
Vapes on Main, in the 1400-block of Main Street, has been open for about two weeks to anyone 18 or older who uses medicinal marijuana.
Steven Stairs has glaucoma and uses medical marijuana to relieve his symptoms. He also served on the University of Manitoba Students’ Union as the Students Living With Disabilities Representative last year.
"I mean, marijuana smokers and medical marijuana users are just the same as anybody else,” said Stairs. “We like to sit around and talk and have a conversation about something just like we would over a Tim Hortons."
Vapes on Main owner Bill Vandergraaf (left with sunglasses) hangs out with others at the medicinal marijuana lounge on Main Street.(Nelly Gonzalez/CBC)
Stairs hopes the lounge will be a building block toward more such lounges on the prairies.
Owner Bill Vandergraaf, a retired Winnipeg police officer, said he hopes the club will create more awareness about medicinal marijuana use.
He said he got the idea after seeing similar clubs open in Vancouver and Toronto.