By Emily Ledger
West Hollywood in California is now the home of the US’s first Cannabis cafe. Lowell Cafe opened its doors to the public today (1st October), becoming the first venue to allow on-premises consumption of Cannabis.
Despite still being illegal under US federal law, the new operation is completely legal in the state of California, and more ventures are expected to follow. Recreational Cannabis was legalised in the state in 2016.
The cafe, which has been opened by California Cannabis company, Lowell Farms, opened for its first day, on Tuesday 1st October. Managers of the cafe hope to create an environment where marijuana is treated in the same way as alcohol.
In a statement, the Lowell Cafe stated:
“For over a century we’ve been forced to hide Cannabis consumptrion out of public view, but that time is now over.”
Despite being legalised, and subject to the same laws as alcohol, there still remains a stigma around the plant. Consumers are forced to purchase from dispensaries, where consumption is not permitted.
However, Lowell Cafe wants to bridge the gap between Cannabis and alcohol, by supplying a space where people can smoke or vape while enjoying tasty meals, and coffee.
The owners have created a light space with exposed brick walls, surrounded by plants and trendy furniture.
There is also an outdoor space (with high walls and a filtration system to minimise smoke reaching neighbors). Tobacco and outside vape pens are to be prohibited, among the current concerns around vaping. Customers must also be over the age of 21 to enter the premises.
While the cafe sells its own Cannabis, it is also allowed to bring your own to smoke on-premises. Customers who choose to do this will be required to pay a $20 “tokage fee”. The concept is being compared to the familiar “corkage fee”.