Why Legal Social Consumption Lounges Need to Be the New Norm
Image courtesy of Moe Greens
Social consumption lounges have the potential to be the safest places to consume and experiment with dosing. Other potential benefits of social consumption lounges are less tangible, but no less important: de-stigmatization, social connection, industry partnerships, and product innovation.
In order for the responsible adult-use cannabis industry to continue to thrive and expand throughout the United States, licensed social consumption lounges must become as prevalent as modern retail dispensaries. The future of these bar- and brasserie-like spaces for interactive cannabis use is promising in certain areas: the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Massachusetts, Alaska and, most recently, Colorado, where a new law permitting social consumption lounges will take effect in 2020. Other states where recreational cannabis is legal, including Washington and Oregon, are still behind the curve. What’s the point of allowing recreational cannabis if you don’t provide responsible adults with a safe, friendly venue where they may consume openly?
The potential benefits of licensed social consumption lounges are immense, but let’s begin with a few of the obvious: curbing the black market, regulating public consumption, ensuring safety, and boosting the economy.
To briefly summarize these points, expanding access to regulated spaces for adults to consume cannabis encourages people to purchase products from licensed dispensaries for enjoyment in sanctioned venues, as opposed to buying from unlicensed dealers and consuming in clandestine places like parks or parking lots. This is especially helpful in cities where tourists, who may be staying in smoke-free hotels, are prominent cannabis customers. Social consumption lounges welcome visitors and locals alike into safe, protected hubs to enjoy both new and familiar products while bonding with others. Social consumption lounges are poised to be another cannabis tourism attraction and, as a result, revenue stream for their respective municipalities. In addition, regulated spaces are crucial for many medical marijuana patients, who may live in apartments or government-funded housing that ban federally illegal drugs.
Published: November 12, 2019
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News