After many states across the United States began adopting marijuana legislation, the stigma surrounding the use of cannabis was beginning to soften. Dispensaries became mainstream establishments in states like Colorado, Washington, and California, however, noticeably absent in the cannabis realm were legal places to enjoy and experience cannabis in public. This lack of suitable places to consume cannabis evolved into legislation to change the rules to allow for cannabis consumption lounges, pot cafés, and private cannabis lounges. After legal obstacles regarding the indoor use of cannabis, equity concerns on licensure, and the rules surrounding public consumption for businesses were ironed out, creative entrepreneurs were able to apply for their cannabis consumption licenses.
Cannabis Lounge Delays
In 2019, the path to enjoying and experiencing the lounge life was just starting to make an entrance in the cannabis industry. However, just as cannabis consumption lounges were rolling out the green carpet for their grand openings, the pandemic swiftly shut them down.
Why are Cannabis Consumption Lounges Becoming So Popular?
A laid-back atmosphere with music and great food combined with legal space to consume cannabis is the biggest appeal to consumers. As mentioned, though numerous states have legalized cannabis, few have established legal places to consume it outside of private residences. Many states have guidelines in place for the creation of consumption spaces, but have been slow to implement them and issue licenses. After years of waiting, both consumers and local cannabis businesses are fed up, which has driven the recent push.
The First Wave of Cannabis Lounge Openings Begins
Although COVID is still looming, many United States cannabis lounges are planning to re-open as early as this summer. In Nevada, the Vegas Tasting Room, a cannabis consumption lounge located within their extensive NuWu Cannabis Marketplace is open offering tourists and locals alike a legal place to consume. In Colorado, where the legalization of cannabis use has paved the way for many other states to follow suit, Denver’s premier cannabis social club the Tetra Lounge is taking hospitality to the next level with daily smoke sessions and private cannabis lounge events providing customers with a one-of-a-kind experience.
What to Expect in 2022 with Cannabis Consumption Lounges
New and existing laws surrounding the public use of cannabis will open doors for entrepreneurs who are not interested in growing, processing, and distributing with a traditional dispensary model. Tourism dollars are expected to rise in the states where cannabis is legal, however, consumers have nowhere to legally smoke it, not outdoors in public places nor in private hotel rooms. Because cannabis is not legal on a federal level, it will be up to each state that has legal marijuana laws to enact rules and regulations surrounding cannabis consumption lounges. Currently, 7 US states have legislation in place for cannabis consumption lounges with more states following close behind with legislation in the works. States like California and Nevada with more mature marijuana laws will continue to see a wide variety and styles of cannabis consumption lounges opening in the near future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which States Have Cannabis Consumption Lounges?
California, Colorado, Nevada, Michigan, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey
What is a consumption lounge?
Similar to an establishment that serves alcohol, cannabis consumption lounges are designated public spaces for legal age cannabis users to enjoy cannabis in an atmosphere of like-minded individuals. Meant for avid and new users and everyone in between, cannabis consumption lounges offer an array of products including edibles, pre-rolls, infused beverages, vapes, cannabis flower, concentrates, and smoking accessories.
What is it like to be inside a cannabis consumption lounge?
Cannabis users who want to immerse themselves in a laid-back atmosphere while enjoying cannabis will feel right at home inside a cannabis consumption lounge. From the quaint coffee shops and eclectic cafés to the flashier Vegas lounges, the experience is friendly, centered around community and cannabis. Some cannabis consumption lounges also have professional chefs who craft cannabis-infused food, art, live entertainment, and personalized “flower hosts” who provide recommendations and help guide customers through the experience. Budtenders are also available to help cannabis consumers find the perfect pre-roll, vape, or concentrate based on the customer's level of familiarity with cannabis.