Newfoundland and Labrador cannabis enthusiasts celebrate last illegal 4-20, they hope

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There are four, 12-inch industrial air filters attached to the ceiling of the Puffin Hutt at 268 Water St.

The air filters keep the smoke of customers at a reasonable level as they sit, relax and get stoned on cannabis they brought from home — the Puffin Hutt does not sell cannabis products.

In the mid-afternoon on Friday, about 80 cannabis enthusiasts were in the lounge, the former home of the Stetson and, most recently, Velvet Nightclub.

At 4:20 p.m. on April 20, the four, 12-inch industrial air filters were turned off.

Each customer lit their cannabis cigarette and let the smoke fill the room.

Shortly thereafter, the fog over St. John’s harbour was merely the second-thickest fog in the city.

The revelers enjoyed what will be the last illegal 4-20 in Canada.

Local Rapper Radar, who started his set as the cigarettes were lit, sang an original song that repeated the line “Make weed legal.”

It’s not legal yet, but the federal government is working on it.

The patrons at the Puffin Hutt were gearing up for the first-ever Weed Olympics in the city.

There were five events at the Weed Olympics.

The first was a weed triathlon, which required the competitors to hit a vaporizer, a bong, then take a dab — a 200-milligram hit of concentrated THC — again and again until only one puffer remained in the competition.

The second event, the most self-explanatory, according to organizers, required contestants to hit the biggest bong hit they possibly could.

The third was all about creating the prettiest joint, as judged by a panel of experts selected for the event by organizers.

The last two competitions were variations related to dabs: who could do the biggest, and who could do the most 200-milligram hits.

Dabbing requires concentrated cannabis — usually as a wax — to be heated with a blowtorch, vapourized and inhaled in a single breathe.

The Puffin Hutt had specialized machines — not blowtorches — available for rent for those brave enough to take a whiff.

Employees of the Dabber Hashery, a local business selling cannabis paraphernalia, were on hand to demonstrate how to handle the machines safely.

“This is the new future,” said one enthusiast, who asked not to be named.

Health Cannabis, an Ontario-based medicinal cannabis company, had an information booth at the lounge on Friday. The company is focused on “improving the quality of life for those living with chronic and terminal illnesses through the use of medical cannabis.”

The qualifications that must be met for a person to be prescribed medicinal cannabis are tight from the company.

A person must present a statement of diagnosis from a medical professional, proof of injury, a letter from a doctor describing the condition, a copy of one’s medical file, a disability report, a six-month prescription history and a registration with Health Cannabis.

The timeline for when that future arrives remains as hazy as the air in the lounge.

Provincial Justice Minister Andrew Parsons stated earlier this week that the July deadline originally set by the federal government is unlikely to be met. He suggested it could be up to six months before cannabis is legal in Canada.

While the government and the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corp. are still operating as though legalization will occur in July, cannabis smokers will have to continue to sit in a legal limbo, wondering whether another federal election promise could go up in smoke.

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