Restaurant patrons wanting to spark up a joint now have a place this summer.

For the rest of the summer, the Grand Bizarre at Exhibition Place is offering a 600,000 square foot outdoor smoking area for cannabis.

The space, called Cannabis Carnival, is the brainchild of restaurant president Zlatko Starkovski and is the first of its kind in Ontario.

His proactive approach to the new venue took months and is in line with the Smoke Free Ontario Act as the area is 10 metres away from any door and there is no roof.

Starkovski says people were over-consuming marijuana before going out because of a lack of dedicated spaced to smoke

“We are taking a proactive approach so smokers have a safe place and don’t have to over-consume,” Starkovski said, adding the club doesn’t allow drunk people on the premises.

They also don’t sell cannabis.

Grand Bizarre has partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and the Ontario Cannabis Store as educational partners.

MADD Canada will be providing an educational component with posters for the smoking area, said spokesperson Eric Dumschat.

“There is a myth that people drive better while high (over being drunk). We want people to know driving impaired on cannabis is driving impaired,” Dumschat said.

George Smitherman, president and CEO of the Cannabis Council of Canada, says the cannabis patio will start the “normalization of cannabis culture.

“There will be more opportunities. There will be more of these opportunities with edibles, drink sand the food evolution of the cannabis consumption culture,” Smitherman said.

People must be 19 years of age to be in the smoking area, where alcohol is not served.

Cannabis has been legal since 2018.


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