VANCOUVER, Wash. A local restaurant and shop is pushing the legal envelope, by allowing customers to smoke pot in a designated spot on its patio.

The management at Mint Tea said they ve had a cannabis-friendly tent set up for a while, and it s become more popular now that legal retail marijuana is being sold just a few blocks away on Main Street.

We re just offering a safe place for people to come and chill out, take their time to relax and have some good food, said Mint Tea Chef Josh Simpson.

Monday during lunchtime, several people smoked pot on the patio, right off the sidewalk in front of the Mint Tea. Two men on a business trip from Texas said Washington is on the cutting edge of progress for marijuana, and this was part of it.

Now it s out in the open, it s available. And then to be able to walk down the street and be able to enjoy the company of a friend, a nice meal and a good smoke, I think that it s great, said the young man who didn t want to be named.

Not everyone seemed to appreciate the open air marijuana smoking at Mint Tea. And that may include the Washington State Liquor Control Board regulators. They told KGW on Monday that businesses which have liquor licenses cannot by law allow marijuana on their premises. Mint Tea sells beer and wine and has a liquor license.

Also, although the tent obscures the view, the state could argue the pot smoking is happening in the public view, which is illegal.

We re still in some gray areas with it all and we re still kind of waiting to see where it goes. Until then we re just going about it the way we feel is the right way to go about it, said Simpson.

So far, no legal or regulatory action has been taken against the popular Uptown Village shop and eatery.

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