Although using marijuana recreationally is legal in several states, where to indulge publicly continues to be a work in progress. With lounges and weed cafe concepts being at the forefront of the U.S. cultural revolution with Washington and Colorado being the first two states to legalize marijuana, others are following by decriminalizing it. Picture this: you are in a posh bar with relaxed crowd energy. Instead of tossing back the shots, you share a vape pen with a friend or share cannabis baked good from a local bakery. It’s trivia night in one corner and you ask a “budtender” about new products at the counter or request table service with rolling papers and other components from your reserved booth. While this may be further down the road, the idea of a weed cafe is not.
U.S. Weed Cafe Locations
Given the newness of the legalization of marijuana in a handful of states, numerous weed cafe locations are beginning to open their doors in the United States with Lowell Café recently opening in West Hollywood. Lowell Café is one of the first legal weed cafes in the United States thus bringing the activity into a more concentration and public setting. In addition to the weed cafe, the parent company, Lowell Farms, offers CBD products on their website and grows high-quality, organic cannabis. At the time of this article, there are a few weed cafe locations in San Francisco and Oakland respectively, one in Worcester, Massachusetts, one in Denver, and another option opening in West Hollywood soon.
What to Order
Think of a weed cafe like a local pub except instead of going to grab a drink with friends, you would be going to grab a smoke. At a weed cafe, you would be able to order different types of marijuana that offer different effects, and you could smoke, vape or eat cannabis in various food formats. Marijuana servers must be trained properly, like bartenders, with training focusing on identifying customers who are too intoxicated to continue to be served. In addition to marijuana products and food, guests can order various non-alcoholic weed cocktails since most states prohibit selling marijuana and alcohol.
What to Eat
At Lowell Café in West Hollywood, guests can enjoy a variety of cannabis-free dishes from chef Andrea Drummer. The idea is that the food menu is meant to complement cannabis consumption. The menu is diverse and includes items like grilled peaches and burrata, crispy Brussels sprouts, fried chicken sandwich, and white bean hummus. Drummer also developed an extensive dessert menu with caramel popcorn and Thai chili almonds, candied bacon, sweet potato beignets, peanut butter cookies, homemade s’mores, an ice cream sandwich, and crème brulee. The purpose of these dishes is to connect the dots between food and cannabis in a manner that matches wine pairing to enhance the overall experience.
Weed Cafe Setup
A weed cafe varies based on the theme of their establishment but all locations must have some type of smoke filtration system. For instance, Lowell Café reviewed countless air filtration systems before selecting a system that rivals those used in luxury Las Vegas hotels, hospitals, or chemical labs. Lowell Café also has a back outdoor seating area so-as to not disturb neighbors and a street-facing front patio that is smoke-free. The back-patio area also contains numerous plants that absorb odors to further be respectful to the surrounding community.
As cannabis becomes more socially accepted, society will learn that consumers wish to use marijuana in the same manner that they casually go out for a drink. A weed cafe will fulfill that exact need and soon be as prevalent as a neighborhood pub.