Marijuana enthusiasts queue around the block as America’s first cannabis cafe Lowell Farms opens in Hollywood offering $18 dollar joints after backing by celebs including Miley Cyrus, DJ Mark Ronson and Comedian Chris Rock
- The 220-seat cafe has indoor and outdoor seating for customers to legally buy and smoke pre-rolled joints
- ‘Flower Hosts,’ or ‘budtenders,’ help patrons pair food with strains of cannabis
- No booze is sold because California state law prohibits consuming pot and alcohol at the same time
PUBLISHED: 04:55 EDT, 2 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:06 EDT, 2 October 2019
America’s first cannabis cafe offering guests farm-to-table cuisine alongside vaping, joints, bongs and prepackaged edibles has opened in West Hollywood on Tuesday.
After much anticipation Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe opened to a full house of smoking guests and long queues of marijuana enthusiasts outside its front door.
New Yorker Joy Alison Cohen, was among the first customers. She was excited that her weed-and-dine experience no longer required a flight to Amsterdam’s infamous ‘coffee shop’ scene.
‘I’ve had to fly to Amsterdam to experience this. No more. We have better pot now too, so it is awesome,’ she said.
People share a joint at Lowell Farms, America’s first official Cannabis Cafe. The restaurant offers farm-to-table cuisine alongside vaping, joints, bongs and prepackaged edibles
The restaurant venture is funded by cannabis farmers Lowell Herb Co, whose backers include the likes of pop star Miley Cyrus, actor Chris Rock and comedian Sarah Silverman
People queued outside the door of Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe, eager to be one of the first to visit America’s first dining establishment offering guests marijuana-based products
Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe is the first business in the United States with the license to sell marijuana-based food, beverages and products that visitors can also smoke on site.
‘Flower Hosts,’ or ‘budtenders,’ help patrons aged 21 and over navigate the menu, giving advice to connoisseurs or novices on what strain of cannabis to order with their meal and the potency and flavor of each product.
On offer are pre-rolled joints starting at $18 dollars apiece, highly potent concentrates, some edibles, and accessories such as bongs, pipes and dabbing devices.
While the food served at Lowell Cafe will not be infused with cannabis, diners will be offered the services of a ‘flower host’ who will advise how to pair different strains of marijuana with menu items and roll a joint at the table.
Tess Paige smokes a joint at the Lowell Cafe in West Hollywood, California at a soft-opening of the cafe, the day before it officially opened on Tuesday
The cafe’s management hopes the experience will rival that of Amsterdam’s famed coffee shops
Pop-star Miley Cyrus is one of the celebs who has provided financial backing for the new cannabis cafe venture in West Hollywood
Executive chef Andrea Drummer compared the experience to that of a wine tasting.
‘Each day we will smell and taste the strains of the cannabis and offer pairings, much as you would do with wine pairings,’ she said.
‘It’s amazing to be a part of making history, I never thought I would have been.’
‘It’s important to have a safe space to consume in a very communal setting,’ she added. ‘The only other place that I know that to be the case is Amsterdam.’
Ms Drummer said the restaurant’s 40 ‘Flower Hosts’ have been trained to keep an eye on guests to make sure they are able to tolerate the cannabis they order and that nothing gets out of hand.
‘Our bud hosts are very proficient in enquiring and asking guest where they are at in their consumption level,’ she said. ‘You go to a bar and you know the cut-off point for the person who has ordered five whiskeys. So you have a conversation if that is the case. ‘
The restaurant’s 40 ‘Flower Hosts’ have been trained to keep an eye on guests to make sure they are able to tolerate the cannabis they order
The food on the menu will not be infused with cannabis but diners will be offered the services of a ‘flower host’ who will advise how to pair different strains of marijuana with menu items
The restaurant also has an indoor and outdoor dining space and a high-tech air filtration system that managers say will scrub out the smoke and ensure that no diners go home high for free.
General manager Kevin Brady said: ‘We are excited to be that flagship, that benchmark, to show people that a cannabis business isn’t something that is scary.
‘It’s something that hasn’t been legal for 120 years,’ he added of the restaurant venture, which is funded by cannabis farmers Lowell Herb Co, whose backers include the likes of pop star Miley Cyrus, actor Chris Rock and comedian Sarah Silverman.
On offer at the cafe are pre-rolled joints starting at $18 dollars apiece, highly potent concentrates, some edibles, and accessories such as bongs, pipes and dabbing devices
Seven other cafes or restaurants offering cannabis-based products are expected to open in the near future in West Hollywood
Californians have been enjoying cannabis-infused food in private homes and at dinner parties since the state began allowing sales of recreational cannabis in January 2018.
But Lowell Cafe is the first to open of eight cafes or restaurants that were awarded licenses by West Hollywood for public consumption, and the first in the United States.
Seven other eateries are expected to open in the near future in the city which is one of the first to embrace the concept.
Patrons are able to enjoy food along with their chosen strain of weed either inside the stylish cafe or outside in its expansive yard
Bongs, or water-pipes, are seen among other assorted items on the bar at the Lowell Cafe in West Hollywood, California as guests peruse the menu
Currently, recreational marijuana is legal in 11 states and Washington, DC.
Meanwhile, medical marijuana has been legalized in 33 states and DC.
To get medical marijuana, users need a written recommendation from their doctor, while recreational marijuana can be grown or bought at dispensaries.
Medical marijuana states:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
Recreational marijuana states:
- Washington, DC
The cafe’s launch comes almost two years after California began allowing sales of recreational cannabis.
More and more states across America have legalized marijuana in recent years, both for medicinal and recreational purposes. The drug, however, remains illegal at the federal level.
In California, which has the world’s largest legal marijuana market, recreational pot became legal in 2018, setting off a mad rush by entrepreneurs to cash in on the multi-billion-dollar industry.
‘This is a great idea and I do think that normalizing cannabis is something that we should do,’ said Derek Bollella, 22, a business student who drove 45 minutes to be part of the happy few who managed to secure a reservation at Lowell’s on Tuesday.
‘If you go to Amsterdam, they have one of these every 10 feet,’ he added as he smoked a joint while munching on nachos topped with avocado. ‘They tried that over there and it seems to work.’
Antonela Balaguer, 23, another patron sitting nearby with a friend, said it was only fitting to finally have a cannabis cafe where customers could get high while enjoying some ‘nice stoner food.’
‘I could probably come here every day,’ she said. ‘I would consume cannabis every day if I could.’
For Matt Kirschner, the new eatery is long overdue and marks a major milestone for the country.
‘This is the greatest thing that the United States has implemented into its culture in a while,’ said the 22-year-old law student as he smoked a joint and nibbled on mac and cheese bites and a chicken sandwich with a friend at Lowell’s.
‘We’re pretty stoned right now,’ he added, grinning. ‘We’re enjoying the day, the music’s good, the weather’s good and we’re in California.
‘Life can’t get better.’
The restaurant also has an indoor and outdoor dining space and a high-tech air filtration system that managers say will scrub out the smoke and ensure that no diners go home high for free
A server brings food from the indoor to outdoor setting at the Lowell Cafe in West Hollywood for the lucky few guests able to get in on its first official day being open
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