SoCal cannabis lounges on their way

Now that recreational is legal in California, cannabis lovers need somewhere to consume. You can’t smoke in public, in your car, and many renters can’t smoke in their home. The answer? Legal cannabis lounges.

San Francisco and Oakland have both seen the success of cannabis lounges, which are akin to bars. Patrons can consume cannabis in a safe environment, talk to educated staff who ensures they don’t get “too high,” and feel comfortable enjoying themselves.

State regulations say that these lounges must be permitted to sell cannabis, and lay at least 600 ft from sensitive uses. Alcohol and tobacco are not allowed to be consumed at cannabis lounges.

Denver just opened their first smoking lounge, and Los Angeles is not far behind. West Hollywood’s recreational dispensaries have been serving Californians and tourists alike since January 1st. Now, WeHo is slated to permit cannabis lounges in the city. The city’s plans include eight permits for lounges that allow smoking or vaping cannabis, and eight more permits for edible-only consumption. Distinct edible-only lounges allow for the comfort of people who are not keen on smoke.

West Hollywood is expecting to begin accepting cannabis lounge permit applications in May. MedMen, owners of six dispensaries in Southern California, plan to apply for and open a lounge in WeHo.

“Lounges can help dispel this myth that this is something seedy, and to show that it can be consumed safely if people are educated and given legal options,” Jackie Rocco, WeHo’s Business Development Manager, told The Cannifornian.

Palm Springs, a city of leisure and relaxation, has begun accepting cannabis lounge permit applications already.

“It’s a little bit hypocritical to say we can’t have a cannabis lounge if we’re going to allow bars,” PS city attorney Edward Kotkin, via The Cannifornian.

For tourists, the lounges will only add to the allure, as many hotels and Airbnb’s strictly prohibit cannabis consumption. Considering that in 2016 Palm Springs hotels set a record of an average 61.2% occupancy rate, it’s an ideal city for lounges to prosper.


By Cara Anderson
IG: @carajojo

Featured photo: Barbary Coast cannabis lounge in SF, via The SF Chronicle.