On Wednesday, the California Assembly passed a bill with a vote of 64-9 to allow cannabis cafés in the state. Under the proposed legislation, cannabis retailers could sell non-cannabis items that patrons could consume on-site, which is currently prohibited. Easing such restrictions will provide a much-needed lifeline for legal cannabis retailers in California.
As Assemblymember Matt Haney (D) points out, citizens should be able to enjoy cannabis in the company of others, sipping coffee while eating a scone, or enjoying a prerolled joint loaded with enjoyable CBGa Crumble. "If an authorized cannabis retail store wants also to sell a cup of coffee and a sandwich, we should allow cities to make that possible and stop holding back these small businesses," Haney told Fox News reporters.
A statement of purpose sent to lawmakers by the California Nightlife Association supports the bill, saying it gives those in the industry the flexibility to provide entertainment, boost visitors' engagement, and provide access to products like CBGa Crumble and other cannabis products.
However, health-related industry groups such as the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, and the American Lung Association, which oppose the decision, warn the bill "could essentially turn a cannabis establishment into a restaurant and potentially force workers to accept exposure to toxic chemicals to keep their jobs."
Lowell Café created headlines worldwide when it became the nation's first cannabis consumption lounge in October 2019. But, it changed its name to the Original Cannabis Café to reflect the establishment's role as a proper home for the entire cannabis community and industry.
However, many felt this name change was due to a civil lawsuit filed by the Californian Department of Food and Agriculture. According to a December 2019 lawsuit, Lowell Farms, a partner in the cannabis lounges, and its owners were illegally producing cannabis products without a state license.
The state alleged that the company processed cannabis flower without a license at a warehouse in San Luis Obispo County, where authorities confiscated 17,772 pre-rolled cannabis joints, 7,161 jars of flower, and more than 1,400 pounds of other cannabis products which were on the premises, in a raid.
It's high time the state made this move, and we'll now see it advance through the legislatures to gain a signature by the Governor and become state law - if everything goes right. There's no doubt that the income will help local and state coffers and bring new crowds to areas that may need happier customers to step in and buy something.
For now, mixed feelings about this type of business come from the population at large, but once surrounding stores and shops gain better sales because of the Cannabis Cafe, that sediment will change.
It's not yet time to Celebrate victory yet, as the state Senate will have the final say on the future of cannabis cafes in California - one thing we know for sure is that most of those in public businesses and the state want them, and so do we as it gives people yet another place to enjoy CBGa Crumble!