Is There A Cannabis Lounge Near Me
Nowadays, the politics of cannabis lounges are shifting along with changing social narratives surrounding the substance. Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize adult-use cannabis in 2012, but it wasn’t until 2019 that the first state – Alaska – adopted a law on cannabis consumption lounges. Since then, several other states have followed suit. Find out where to smoke cannabis in a cafe near you!
What is a cannabis consumption lounge? They are retail lounges that permit on-site cannabis consumption, such as smoking and vaping cannabis flower, as well as cannabis-infused products like edibles and tinctures. Similar to a bar that serves alcoholic beverages, many of these lounges are set up with areas to relax and socialize while openly consuming your cannabis of choice.
Why has it taken so long for cannabis lounges to start opening? When states started to adopt cannabis legalization laws, the conversation around public consumption was noticeably absent. In fact, early legalization initiatives included bans on public consumption in general. Even three years after Alaska became the first U.S. state to allow consumption lounges, there are still only a few states where someone can actually find a cannabis cafe. This is largely due to the high cost of compliance and local restrictions.
While some states, like Illinois, offer BYOC (bring your own cannabis) only lounges, strict regulations have prevented weed cafes from spreading, but that’s about to change. Lawmakers across the country have enacted legislation that will make it easier to open cannabis cafes. Though there are only a few states that are actively operating cannabis lounges, there are several that are in the process of opening these types of cafes within the next year. So where can you find a cannabis lounge near you? We’ve created a list just for you.
Alaska approved legislation for consumption lounges years ago, but currently, the only open cannabis lounges are in Fairbanks and Ketchikan.
California’s legislation allows a local jurisdiction to allow a licensed retailer or microbusiness to sell cannabis products in an area where consumption is allowed. Choose from a variety of weed cafes in Los Angeles.
Colorado residents and visitors can find several cannabis lounges throughout Denver.
The lounges in Illinois provide a legal place for adults 21 and over to smoke or vape, but the lounges operating so far can’t sell cannabis, so users bring their own (BYOC).
New Jersey’s law regarding cannabis consumption spaces is highly restrictive – only licensed cannabis retailers or medical dispensary permit holders will be allowed to own and operate consumption spaces. This means that there will be no stand-alone cannabis consumption spaces in New Jersey. Currently, cannabis lounges have been approved in Hoboken, Jersey City, Atlantic City, Hudson, Newark, Elizabeth, Highland Park, Long Branch and Trenton.
While open public cannabis lounges are nearly a year away, New York City has multiple “members only” cannabis consumption clubs. These clubs are currently operating in a grey area, allowing members to give donations to enjoy cannabis on-site.
Cannabis lounges have taken off in Nevada with Las Vegas leading the way. If you’re looking to hang out at a weed cafe in Vegas, you have a variety of glitzy clubs and laid-back lounges to choose from.
New Mexico has approved consumption lounges, which are expected to open to the public sometime in 2022.
Wondering where to smoke cannabis in PA? Currently, there is only a single space that allows weed consumption, The After Dispensary, located in Abington, PA. This BYOC (Bring Your Own Cannabis) is open to PA residents with a valid MMJ card.
Without federal cannabis legalization, states must regulate their own cannabis markets and these state regulatory agencies are responsible for drafting the regulations for cannabis consumption lounges. California and Colorado have fewer limitations, likely because both states are home to mature markets. In these states, there are not only more lenient regulations but cannabis-friendly cafes, hotels, bus tours and more.
Overall, it is likely that social weed lounges and cafes will become much more common in the future. Especially in major U.S. cities with legal adult-use cannabis programs. While Dutch coffee shops may have inspired the emerging U.S. cannabis cafes, we’re not turning into Amsterdam anytime soon. The U.S. market must comply with much stricter regulations that vary from state to state. So if you’re looking for a cannabis cafe near you, stay up to date on your state’s cannabis legislation.