It’s happening right in front of you. And it looks like there’s no stopping it.
City after city is warming up to the idea of opening cannabis lounges, with many pushing for legislation to allow establishments where people can enjoy marijuana products. In places like Ann Arbor, MI and Las Vegas, NV. New York state also included cannabis club licenses in its recently passed adult-use legalization bill.
While future regulations and revenue projections are still fluid, many are optimistic about the overall prospects of this rapidly growing industry. As more more and states approve legalization and subsequently provide guidance for lounges the momentum increases.
Why the change in popularity?
Cannabis operators across the United States have been opening consumption lounges in an effort to keep up with demand and help people enjoy their cannabis. According to articles published on multiple industry blog websites, Tim Wright, CEO of Shasta Management, planned to open the largest consumption lounge in the U.S. in Imperial County, California–and he credited his consumer base for this
Wright was quoted as saying, “Just like in bars and restaurants, people want to be able to socialize with friends while consuming cannabis.”
VP of sales and marketing for Planet 13 Holdings Inc., David Farris, said that marketplace evolution is the result of marijuana legalization continuing its rapid pace.
Farris commented that, “Done the right way, consumption lounges can not only be beneficial to the public, but also to government coffers at all levels, adding jobs and additional tax revenue.”
Regarding Las Vegas’s need for tourist consumption spaces, the city is credited with getting involved in emerging sector.
Though most of them continue to prohibit consumption in public or rented spaces, more than a dozen states, (18) have legalized adult-use cannabis in place.
This grey area where cannabis lounges see their market, and its explosive growth potential. Lounges can provide a convenient place for people to consume outside of public spaces while also mitigating many opposition cries that may stem from visible consumption.
In the published articles, Acclaimed chef Harold Sims also emphasized, “Finally, it will stimulate the economy of the surrounding community.”
Expected Opportunities Shore-up Uncertainties in Market Performance
Mai Vue, Shasta Management’s COO said the company does not expect immediate profits to hit the bottom line. In the meantime, they remain focused on “creating an elevated consumption experience for guests.”
She continued, saying, “It’s important that we provide our customers with a safe, comfortable and – in the desert – a cool space to enjoy their products and to try new ones.”
The common notion among New York’s entertainment world is one of ample opportunity in the Big Apple’s hospitality sector if legislation allows.
How About Serving Alcohol?
Though cannabis consumption spaces are often compared to bars, early signs suggest they may not be allowed to operate in a combined setting. The industry responded swiftly and began integrating subtle design changes.
In April 2019, Lowell Cafe and seven other license holders in California were required to divide their business into separate restaurant and cannabis retail spaces in order to comply with regulations.
According to current California law, a cannabis consumption lounge cannot serve food or drinks. The industry responded swiftly and began integrating subtle design changes. These allowed compliance with what regulators see as an issue and consumers view as an inconvenience.
According to Chef Sims, when cannabis consumption spaces hit their stride, Las Vegas stands to reap huge benefits. The bars, nightlife and smoking bans in workplaces (limited to non-hospitality) are just a few of the reasons for this.
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