Despite some 13 states still not giving the green light to state-legal medical cannabis, more than a dozen other states have gone way beyond the medical market to legalize recreational consumption. That means a whole boatload of new opportunities for entrepreneurs willing to take a chance. Enter the cannabis lounge. It is the next big thing in state-legal weed.
The cannabis lounge is essentially the marijuana equivalent of the neighborhood pub that serves alcohol. It is a safe and welcoming place where cannabis users can get together to enjoy the social aspects of cannabis consumption. Cannabis lounges aren’t nearly as popular as bars and nightclubs, but they might someday catch up
Emerging from the Shadows
A detailed Cannigma article from contributor Jodi Green really does a good job explaining the phenomenon that is the cannabis lounge. Early in her piece, Green mentions the prohibition era during which people who wanted to consume alcohol had to go to speakeasies and other types of secret, private lounges. They were able to emerge from the shadows only after prohibition was finally repealed.
Green likens the emergence of the modern cannabis lounge to the many neighborhood pubs that opened after prohibition. Prior to so many states legalizing cannabis, users had to consume in secret. They were just as much in the shadows as illicit drinkers were back in the 1920s. But cannabis users are finally emerging from the shadows to frequent lounges.
Mostly Smoking and Vaping
It goes without saying that cannabis lounges appeal mostly to smokers and vapers. That is not to say that a cannabis user who prefers tinctures and gummies wouldn’t visit a lounge. Yet that same user could just as usually consume a gummy or put a drop of oil under the tongue in any public place.
The problem with smoking and vaping is that it’s still not allowed in most public places. By the way, this is the right approach for municipalities to take. If they are not going to allow smoking tobacco and vaping nicotine in public, they shouldn’t allow smoking or vaping cannabis either.
At the cannabis lounge, like-minded people can get together and consume to their heart’s content. Likewise, there is something similar in the tobacco market via cigar lounges. And of course, anybody looking to consume alcohol can visit a local bar.
Medical Cannabis Is the Wild Card
The wild card in all of this is medical cannabis. Perhaps the only reason a medical cannabis patient would consider visiting a lounge would be limits on how cannabis can be consumed at home. And of course, we are still talking about smoking and vaping. But it’s not a clear-cut issue in some states, like Utah.
Utah’s medical cannabis law doesn’t allow smoking, according to the experts behind the Utahmarijuana.org website. Vaping and dry heating are allowed, and both create a vapor that gets released into the air.
Let’s say a medical cannabis user is reluctant to consume at home because his choice of vaping or dry heating bothers a family member with respiratory issues. Being able to go to a cannabis lounge would be an immense help. But because cannabis is being used as a medicine, the patient may need to consume at various times throughout the day. At that point, having to visit a lounge seems impractical.
Cannabis lounges are proving to be a hit with recreational marijuana users. By all accounts, they could be the next big thing in state-legal weed. No doubt that states with legal marijuana programs are already looking at ways to make the lounges as commonplace as bars and nightclubs.