Cannabis Consumption Lounges: Putting the "Recreation" in Adult-Use Cannabis
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There are thousands of lounges and cafes across the nation, each offering patrons a place to enjoy a drink or two while relaxing in comfy seating and a laid-back environment.

But what's not so common are cannabis consumption lounges, a similar version of the aforementioned establishments, but with a twist: guests can enjoy their cannabis product of choice while still complying with the law.

Only nine cannabis lounges exist in the US — with seven in San Francisco alone. But it’s only a matter of time before lounges start popping up in other adult-use states. In California alone, several other cities are in the process of obtaining the necessary licenses to bring these unique experiences to their residents. 

So what exactly are cannabis lounges, and where can you go to enjoy cannabis in public with other cannabis aficionados?

The Rise of Cannabis Lounges

Simply put, cannabis lounges are places where people can legally consume cannabis on the premises. While cannabis may be legal in many states across the US, the laws are pretty stringent about where it can be consumed. And for the most part, cannabis cannot be consumed in most public places, except in the few cannabis lounges that now exist.

While cannabis lounges have only been around since January 2018 for recreational consumers, similar medical marijuana lounges have actually been around since 2010. Here, patrons can use any type of cannabis product they want to ease their pain, alleviate stress and anxiety, or whatever else ails them. 

Cannabis lounges give people a social environment to enjoy marijuana. These lounges generally accommodate anywhere between 40 to 60 people, offering people a place to enjoy their marijuana, though they don't sell alcohol or food like a typical bar or lounge. Just like bars that serve alcohol, patrons who use cannabis on-site at a cannabis lounge must be at least 21 years old. 

What Makes a Cannabis Lounge Legal?

Obviously, cannabis lounges can only be opened in states where legalized recreational marijuana exists. Even though cannabis consumption is not currently permitted in public places, cannabis lounges are legal if they exist on private property. 

However, in most states, owners are not allowed to sell marijuana to their customers, since laws prohibit the sale and consumption of cannabis in the same place. Instead, patrons typically must bring their own. They can also bring along their CBD products for medicinal purposes, be it CBD vape juice, CBD oil products, CBD gummies, and so forth.

Cannabis lounges can charge membership fees to qualified members. There may also be entry fees collected at the door. These establishments may also provide some form of entertainment, such as televisions, dart boards, and so forth, and may charge a fee for guests to use such amenities. 

Cannabis lounges require the appropriate licenses obtained from their respective states and would be subject to municipal regulations, particularly when it comes to on-site consumption of cannabis. For instance, the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDH) has established rules when it comes to cannabis consumption and is the municipal entity that issues Cannabis Consumption Permits.

Like any other type of establishment, cannabis lounges must ensure that patrons are safe while on the premises. That means adhering to standard building codes, such as ensuring adequate exits, appropriate ventilation, and sufficient smoking room. 

Some lounges have time limits after which patrons are expected to leave in order to ensure no one is using more cannabis than they should, while others go so far as to employ healthcare professionals in the event of a medical situation. Most lounges will cut customers off if they appear overly intoxicated, much like bartenders would do at a conventional bar.

Located on Mission St., Barbary Coast Collective cannabis lounge offers patrons a comfortable and sophisticated interior to hang out in.

Barbary Coast Collective

As already mentioned, seven of the currently opened cannabis lounges are located in San Francisco, including Barbary Coast Collective, a trendsetting retreat that is garnering plenty of attention among cannabis enthusiasts. 

Located on Mission St., Barbary Coast Collective cannabis lounge offers patrons a comfortable and sophisticated interior to hang out in, resembling a high-end cocktail bar or steakhouse with its burgundy plush booths and lush hardwood floors. The place is decked out with quartz glass appliances for guests to consume cannabis concentrates, as well as a smoking area for other marijuana product consumption.

It's a cool and trendy place for people to hang out with others and enjoy themselves in a public place outside of the home — without worrying about breaking the law. 

Originally opened as a medical marijuana dispensary in 2013, Barbary Coast is now open for recreational cannabis consumption for anyone over the age of 21 years. The place promises to provide customers with top-notch cannabis products - including flowers, vape cartridges, pre-rolls, concentrates, topicals, and edibles - in a clean, comfortable and safe space. All products are third-party lab-tested and comply with California Bureau of Cannabis Control regulations.

Patrons can enjoy consuming cannabis while watching their favorite movies, TV shows, or sporting events on one of the lounge's 5 HDTVs. Complimentary smoking utensils can also be used if patrons don't bring their own. 

What do Cannabis Lounges Mean For the Cannabis Industry?

There are already a slew of applications for cannabis lounge businesses in Los Angeles County over the recent past. West Hollywood is slated to have the most cannabis lounges and cafes open over the next few months, once these licenses are issued. Los Angeles County recently modified its municipal codes and zoning regulations that would permit public consumption in specific lounges and cafes. West Hollywood will also permit chefs to add cannabis to menu items for customers at new eateries and cafes.

Cannabis lounges are yet another stepping stone for the industry to weaken the stigma associated with consuming cannabis. And with a slew of other cannabis lounges in the works applying for the appropriate licensure to open up shop, the stigma associated with cannabis use should continue to lessen and even open the doors to new research into the world of marijuana.