The marijuana industry is booming in the United States, with one of the most rapidly growing sectors in the country. In the past year, the number of marijuana-related businesses has increased by over 10,000. With this growth comes a need for more places to consume. Consumption lounges will provide the public a place to consume marijuana and potentially light up a bong without the fear of being prosecuted or going to jail.
The number of states with medical marijuana laws is growing. In the past year alone, more than half of the nation’s 50 states have taken steps to legalize cannabis for at least certain medical conditions. As more states permit cannabis for health reasons, more people are interested in using it as a medicine.
Well, if you’re a fan of marijuana, you’ve probably got a few questions about “cannabis consumption lounges” (CCLs). How many people can fit in a lounge? What about security? Will cops or other law enforcement be able to stop someone? What about the smell? Will people start smoking indoors at your workplace? These questions and many more will be answered by this report. Also, if you’ve ever been to a “cannabis consumption lounge”, you’ll be happy to hear that the programs and policies that have been developed over the last few years will soon be implemented on a large scale.For years, cannabis lounges were kept on the sidelines, although recently legislation to support lounges has been gaining traction in the legal cannabis market. Some cities, such as Ann Arbor, National City and Las Vegas, are already experiencing flooding. New York has included cannabis club licensing in its recently passed adult-use cannabis legalization law. While there are still uncertainties about regulations and revenue estimates, many are optimistic.
What led to this increase?
Cannabis operators in the U.S. say the holdouts are the result of a maturing market and increased demand. Tim Wright is the CEO of Shasta Management, which plans to open the largest consumer lounge in the U.S. in Imperial County, Calif. in late May. Above all, he trusts the public. Just like in bars and restaurants, people want to be able to hang out with friends while consuming cannabis, Wright said. David Farris, vice president of sales and marketing at Planet 13 Holdings Inc. said the continued legalization of marijuana is driving the development of the market. Farris said that with the right approach, scholarships can not only benefit the community, but also the state coffers at all levels by creating jobs and additional tax revenue. Mr. Farris thanked Las Vegas for its commitment to this emerging industry and noted that the city needs consumer destinations for tourists. Harold Sims, a Denver-based chef and winner of the Netflix Inc. The Cooked with Cannabis competition drew attention to the need for consumption spaces as legalization becomes more widespread. He noted that 17 states have legalized cannabis for adults, although most still prohibit its use in public places or rental properties. According to Sims, it is in this grey area that cannabis lounges have found their market. He noted that lounges can have multiple benefits, such as giving people a place to consume and reducing resistance to public consumption and the odors associated with it. Ultimately, this will boost the region’s economy, Sims said.
Uncertain market development, supported by expected opportunities
Shasta Management COO Mai View said the company does not expect to make an immediate profit, but at the same time is focused on creating an enhanced customer experience for guests. It is important that we offer our customers a safe, comfortable and – in the desert – cool space to enjoy their products and try out new ones, says Mai View. Many in the New York entertainment industry see a great opportunity in the Big Apple’s hotel industry, legislation permitting.
What about alcohol?
Although cannabis rooms are often compared to bars, one wonders if the legislature will ever allow these two establishments to operate together. Early indications are that this will not be the case. In 2019, California regulators required Lowell Cafe and seven other licensees to split their business into a restaurant and a retail cannabis business to meet regulatory requirements. Under California law, cannabis lounges cannot sell food or drink. Chief Sims, on the other hand, is optimistic. He says Las Vegas will be the main beneficiary when cannabis consumption sites come up. He cited the bars, the nightlife and the smoking ban in Sin City (which only applies to jobs outside the hotel) as attractions.
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