Must-Visit Cannabis Cafe and Consumption Lounges [Updated January 2023]
There is a kicker about cannabis legalization: in most places where recreational use is legal, consumption is only allowed in specific areas. Assuming any product can be ingested anywhere can be an embarrassing, and possibly costly, mistake. Consider cannabis to be similar to alcohol. While it’s illegal to drink alcoholic beverages in public for the most part, there are establishments specifically meant for legal consumption: bars, restaurants, professional sports stadiums…you get the picture. In certain states, there are weed bars and other kinds of establishments where you can legally consume cannabis. Take a look at our updated review of states with laws that permit weed bars, also known as cannabis consumption lounges, as well as a few recommendations on where to smoke cannabis.
States that Currently have Cannabis Consumption Lounges
In these states, cannabis consumption lounges are open to adults age 21 and over. Check out a few of our favorite weed bars in each state!
In 2019, Alaska passed laws allowing public consumption at licensed dispensaries, but the first public cannabis lounges did not open until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the current laws, dispensaries holding on-site consumption endorsements may allow adults of age to purchase cannabis products and then consume them on-site in a specially zoned area. This area must be completely separated from the retail sales floor by walls, doors or be located on an outdoor patio.
Must-visit cannabis cafe: Good Titrations
The first cannabis lounge license to be approved in the USA went to Lowell Herb Co., a farm and business establishment in West Hollywood. Today, on-site consumption is permitted in weed bars throughout California.
Must-visit cannabis lounges: The Studio Lounge at The Artist Tree, Mission Cannabis Club, Cookies Coalinga, The Original Cannabis Café, and Barbary Coast (SF).
In 2019, Colorado also passed laws allowing public consumption at licensed dispensaries, but the first public lounges did not open until 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Must-visit cannabis cafes: Tetra Lounge, The Coffee Joint, JAD’s Mile High Smoke
Cannabis can be legally used in businesses with a commercial cannabis consumption license as well as anywhere you can smoke tobacco (depending on local ordinances).
Must-visit cannabis lounge: Affinity Dispensary
Cannabis consumption lounges are allowed and open to the public, but they are not regulated directly by the state. Local governments may choose to allow or prohibit ‘cannabis cafes’ and set their own regulatory guidelines. Illinois law allows these weed lounges to be connected with existing cannabis dispensaries or other entities with government permission to allow cannabis consumption.
Must-visit cannabis lounges: RISE Mundelein, The Luna Lounge
In Michigan, cannabis consumption lounges are known as designated consumption establishments. These weed lounges each hold a Designated Consumption Establishment license, which permits the business to allow cannabis consumption onsite. However, it does not allow the establishment to sell cannabis or cannabis products. It is possible for a cannabis retailer to obtain this type of license, effectively permitting them to sell cannabis and allow its consumption in a different section of the premises.
Must-visit cannabis cafes: Kalkushka Cannabis Lounge, Hotbox Social
Some public consumption is allowed here, including in specific parks and during some festival events. Cannabis consumption establishments, also known as cannabis lounges, fit into two licensing categories:
- one for “retail cannabis consumption lounges,” under which existing retailers are able to sell products to be consumed onsite
- another for “independent cannabis consumption lounges” that may open as standalone lounges and sell single-serving and ready-to-consume products
Must-visit cannabis lounge: NuWu Cannabis Marketplace (Las Vegas Paiute Tribe Land)
The state’s first cannabis lounge opened in April 2022. In New Mexico, specially licensed businesses are permitted to have a consumption area.
Must-visit cannabis lounge: Las Cruces’ Sol Cannabis
Both residents and tourists are legally allowed to openly consume cannabis wherever cigarettes and other tobacco products may be smoked. Cannabis consumption lounges are allowed and regulated by the state.
Must-visit cannabis lounges: Astor Club, HAZY Haus, High Garden NYC
Venue owners can get a license to allow open consumption of cannabis, but cannot actually serve open-container cannabis. To enter a licensed cannabis consumption lounge, you must show a state-issued MMJ card. Pennsylvania also has several weed bars which market primarily as CBD lounges, as CBD can legally be sold on premises while offering an entourage-effect boost to the cannabis brought in by consumers.
Must-visit cannabis lounge: Homegrown Cannabis Store
States that have Approved Cannabis Consumption Lounges
These states have passed legislation permitting weed bars, but don’t yet have any operational cannabis lounges. In most cases, that’s because the legislation passed very recently and businesses aren’t up and running yet.
Municipalities can authorize on-premises social consumption establishments. Bill S 3096, signed by Gov. Maura Healey in August 2022, “promote(s) greater diversity in the legal marijuana industry, ratchet up oversight on the host community agreements that marijuana businesses are required to enter into with municipalities, and to lay the groundwork for cities and towns to greenlight on-site cannabis consumption establishments within their borders.”
December 2022 saw New Jersey moving closer to establishing regulations that would allow cannabis retailers and medical facilities to create public consumption areas. Following this agreement, the public will have 60 days to comment before the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission votes to adopt the proposals.
Heading to a Weed Lounge? Bring your Stuff in Style
FreshStor is a favorite of cannabis lounges and Bring Your Own Cannabis (BYOC) establishments around the world. The brand that brings you the renowned CVault and the new EVault always has you covered. Get the best storage for the best results!
Originally published January 6, 2022. Last updated January 24, 2023.