Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Retail & Industry
Published on November 30, 2020
Haight smoke shop owner arrested in Salt Lake City after allegedly refusing to wear a face mask to board an airplanePhoto: Instagram

A man who made international headlines after allegedly attempting to board a Delta flight out of Salt Lake City while refusing to put on a face mask turns out to be the owner of Upper Haight smoke shop Pipe Dreams (1376 Haight St.), which advertises itself as the oldest smoke shop in San Francisco.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, 44-year-old Joshua Colby Council "became argumentative" after allegedly trying to outrun a gate agent who insisted he put on a mask and boarded a Delta flight maskless last Wednesday night. The incident delayed the flight by 45 minutes, and Council was reportedly escorted off the plane and taken into police custody.

All of the plane's other passengers, reportedly "several dozen" of them per Salt Lake police, got off the plane before Council would agree to get off himself. The UK Daily Mail says that he was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct, and released the following morning, on Thursday.

For the past five years, Council has co-owned Pipe Dreams with Cassandra Chatham, and they were featured in an SFGate piece last fall regarding the city's ban on vape products. While the co-owners both expressed a bias toward the more ancient practices of smoking tobacco and cannabis in their natural forms, they said the shop was being kept afloat in part through the sale of vape cartridges, and giving that up would be hard for them financially.

"People are going to get their nicotine somehow, they’ll have it shipped here illegally or get it on the black market," Council said at the time.

The airplane/mask refusal case follows a few months in which we heard fewer of these stories than we had heard earlier in the pandemic, and Council's views on the efficacy of masks or the public-health requirements dictating their use are not known.

Pipe Dreams originally opened in 1968, and has survived as a tobacco- and cannabis paraphernalia store through medical marijuana legalization and, more recently, full recreational legalization.

Throughout the last nine months, Pipe Dreams has been advertising their wares on Instagram, primarily glass bongs and pipes, but also, ironically, face masks.

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A post shared by Pipe Dreams SF (@pipedreamsonhaight)