Cannabis, although legalized in California since 2016 for recreational purposes, it is still illegal to smoke the herb in public. This has seen the marijuana business develop to allow entrepreneurs to take advantage of the law. The city of West Hollywood has created a licensing process to allow cannabis restaurants.
Lowell Café, the first of its kind in America, opens its doors on October 1. Patrons can look forward to being greeted by ‘budtenders’ who will help them navigate the menu of joints, bong service, dab rigs and other cannabis treats, according to a Guardian report.
Lowell’s owners have not yet found a way to legally serve fresh food infused with cannabis. There is no state health regulation permitting it at the moment but they have secured approval for both food and cannabis consumption at the same location.
Lowell Café have set themselves apart from existing lounges and clubs where people gather to smoke. Their cannabis-based options will be served with dishes ‘meant to complement the heightened senses from THC consumption’.
Chef Andrea Drummer explained that recreational weed users will be able to enjoy the atmosphere at Lowell Cafe without judgement, saying:
‘’Cannabis consumers have had to kind of be closeted. To be able to engage in and consume in a space with like-minded people and not have it be secret and not feel judged, I think it’s an exceptional concept.’’
The restaurant’s staff will be much like wine sommeliers, chatting to guests about their experiences and interests to offer them the best options.
Kevin Brady, director of Lowell Cafe, described the restaurant as a ‘light, bright, airy oasis of a space’ where people can consume cannabis. He explained:
‘’It’s a fun opportunity, because it’s so unknown. Being the first, we want to make sure we set the benchmark very high.
It’s not the college, Dave Matthews Band kind of vibe. It’s this really elegant place.’’
The Guardian reported that neighbors have expressed concern about the pungent smell of marijuana leaking from the restaurant but Brady explained that Lowell Cafe will have an ‘advanced air filtration system’ ensuring the smell doesn’t escape.
Co-founder Sean Black hopes the cafe will help tackle remaining stigmas around cannabis consumption, saying:
‘’There are people in other states who are in jail while we are serving fancy meals. It’s inherently unfair. We want it to have the same respect as fine wine… Cannabis can be a fun recreational part of society, like alcohol, without being dangerous.’’
Lowell Cafe will be open from 10am to 10pm. Brady has already started taking reservations, even people from all over the world making, planning ahead to ensure they have a reservation.