cannabis cafe lowell LA
cannabis cafe lowell LA

Why Cannabis Cafes Will Put Bars Out of Business - LA Opens First Cannabis Cafe

This trend could upend the bar business and coffee shop model

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Monday Oct 7, 2019

And Thus Begins the Age of Weed - LA Opens the Door to First Cannabis Café

cannabis cafe in LA

As 2019 draws to its final quarter, we have seen some immaculate changes within the global cannabis market. LA recently opened its doors to its first sanctioned legal cannabis café. With a dab bar, fresh food, it serves as both a restaurant and café.


The Lowell Café, in west Hollywood declared an official “end to prohibition” with their historic move. While it’s true, cannabis cafés are nothing new; the Dutch have been experimenting with these establishments for decades. The difference however, is that in Holland, cannabis isn’t legal – at least not the way it is in California.


"For over a century we've been forced to hide cannabis consumption out of public view, but that time is now over," the Lowell Cafe website reads. "We're proud to announce Lowell Cafe — America's first cannabis cafe serving farm fresh food, coffee, juice, and cannabis daily."


The café has a weed lounge, where you can order cannabis with a meal, and a dab bar for more experienced consumers. Additionally, the establishment has a “flower house” which is designed to help consumers find the right product for their needs.


The staff asks questions to the consumer to determine their tolerance level and whether they have a save method to travel home. This is something that bars could learn from. Nonetheless, the idea of the Lowell Café is to break the stigma and open up the country to view public consumption as something responsible adults may do without legal repercussions.


Breaking the Stigma


While some people might simply smirk at the idea of a cannabis café operating on US soil within a legal capacity, the mere fact that this was allowed to happen is a victory in the cannabis world. Since 1937, prohibition has kept cannabis from the public. Only over the past twenty-odd years, have the industry evolved from a medical approach, to a full blown recreational infrastructure.


The mere presence of this café on US soil means that prohibition has lost in an official capacity. While there still are federal laws against the plant, the café firmly plants itself against the notion that cannabis should be illegal in the first place.


This café will be the first of many. Over the next few years, we will begin to see a vast array of cannabis-friendly establishments come into play. Cannabis lounges, stand up bars and so forth will incorporate cannabis into their scene, increasing the acceptance of the plant and normalizing adult use.


As with the Lowell Café, it would be ideal if all of these establishments enforce a 21 year and older age restriction since there has to be a definitive line in the sand between adult (recreational consumption) and younger (medical consumption).


Fortunately, with recent discoveries within the medical field, by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, we can expect the nature of medical cannabis to create a greater divide between recreational and medicinal use.


These types of cafes and similar establishments will create a social gathering point for those who are avid cannabis consumers, and those who are “canna-curious”.


How will this affect alcohol sales?


For the most part, legalization hasn’t hurt the sale of alcohol. Beer might be the one exception to the trend, however, this is also because there were no public spaces for consumption of cannabis. What happens when consumers suddenly have the ability to “go somewhere” to consume cannabis?


How many people will begin to substitute their weekend drinking, for going out and smoking some weed at a comedy club or restaurant? While it is very difficult to calculate what the impact would be on the alcohol marketplace, it is safe to say that there will be an impact.


This might even make the roads safer. While it’s true that this development might increase the “cannabis impaired” drivers, it is also possible to decrease “alcohol impaired drivers”. While nobody is arguing that impaired drivers are good, when we compared the intoxication severity of alcohol compared to cannabis, cannabis is by far less dangerous.


Nonetheless, as with Café Lowell, it is recommended that a “safe way home” is always ensured by anyone who is partaking from psychoactive substances.


It’s better to be safe than dead


I know that many people can drive under the influence of cannabis. This is especially true for those who are chronic consumers. However, when we’re talking about handling a machine that weighs tons and travels at high speeds, sobriety is the best approach.


I surely hope that future consumers will treat consuming cannabis with the same prevention as with alcohol. If you toke, take an Uber, we don’t want more “statistics” on the road.


Nonetheless, with Lowell Café opening its doors, it marks a significant shift for cannabis in the United States. Welcome to the Age of Weed!







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