California Assembly Passes Cannabis Cafes Bill

california cannabis cafe

Authentic cannabis cafe California might soon be a reality. This is after Matt Haney, one of the state’s assembly members, introduced a bill that would make this possible. If passed, it will allow legal marijuana sellers in California to also retail foods and beverages that are not laced with cannabis or alcohol. 


The report by San Francisco Chronicle says the newly introduced bill A.B. 374 will allow amendment of California law to pave the way for selling freshly prepared foods to be sold in cannabis stores. The bill also seeks to permit sellers to entertain their customers through live musical performances. 


Meeting the growing demand for the social use of cannabis


If passed, the bill will allow the establishment of legal California weed cafes and entertainment in the facilities. It will help seal a gap in the law that discourages the consumption of weed socially. This has been a growing need that is likely to be welcomed by many Californians. 


The start of cannabis cafe California will encourage weed users to consume the products with their friends while having a burger, sandwich, or enjoying music.  During an interview with the Chronicle, Haney said this is something the law should allow although mostly it doesn’t. 


The California cannabis law allows users to legally consume the products at home or at legal places for use which are either limited or do not exist. The establishment of a California weed cafe system will eliminate this challenge. It will provide additional places where users will not only consume cannabis but also order and use alcohol and cannabis-free food and drinks. 


This style of business is already established in Amsterdam. Users and sellers need to be clear on the purpose of the bill. Its purpose is not to allow coffee shops to sell cannabis products but to allow cannabis shops to sell coffee and other freshly made foods and beverages. They must however get pre-approval by the local government in their area of operations. 


Opening more business and employment opportunities in California


Allowing cannabis cafes in California will open more business and employment opportunities in California. The California Nightlife Association sent a statement of purpose to the state’s legislators. The statement in part said that allowing cannabis retailers to sell foods and beverages that are not prepackaged will boost their income lifeline. 

The statement said the retailers are already struggling through thick and thin to stay operational in the market. The association additionally said allowing California weed cafe operations will open new work opportunities to Californians in the art and entertainment sector. They will be able to economically make use of their skills.


The bill did not lack opposition from various groups in the state. Among the opposers are the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society Action Network, and the American Lung Association. Together, they warned passing the bill could create a loophole where a cannabis dispensary turns into a restaurant. 


They said this might have further consequences where employees are forced to accept exposure to dangerous chemicals to keep their jobs. They argue that if passed, it will put workers on a thin line where they must choose between their health and work. The groups reiterated that California has come a long way in establishing laws that protect the rights of workers. 


Passing AB 374 will jeopardize the right to work in a safe, smoke-free, and healthy environment. The bill will take the state backward to the time when workers had no choice other than working in toxic environments. The bill will soon move to the Senate before it becomes law. 


Municipal governments to be allowed to create their own guidelines


The new cannabis cafe California bill will allow the hiring of live performance bands and the sale of non-laced foods and beverages in marijuana cafes. The law however will not demand that municipal governments automatically allow the establishment of California weed cafes in their jurisdictions. 


The Los Angeles Times reports that the municipalities will be allowed to create their own sets of guidelines. The bill’s sponsoring legislator Matt Haney said it is crucial to allow California weed cafe operations for the sake of the survival of the regulated marijuana market in the state. The legislator described the current cannabis sites as “really sad places” because users are only allowed to consume their products on-site but not to consume food or beverages. 


Haney said due to this, the cannabis legal market is losing to the cannabis illegal market. To save itself from this situation, the best solution the legal market can do is to offer experience. He said he received reports from the legal market that they might have to close doors unless drastic changes were made to the existing laws. 


California cannabis retailers finding ways to cheat the current laws to survive


Currently, cannabis retailers are developing new ways to cheat the existing laws for the sake of survival. A good example is the Artist Tree & Weed Delivery located on Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood. The seller is offering additional services to their cannabis customers by delivering food to them in a lounge located on the second floor. 


The retailer made a deal with Fresh Corn Grill to prepare and deliver the food to their customers. This makes it look like the customers are dining in a restaurant while enjoying their weed products. In an interview with Times, The Artist Tree co-owner Lauren Fontein said the purpose of the arrangement is to provide their customers with an experience of being in a restaurant. 


He noted the dispensary does not sell food to customers but only weed products. The new bill is yet to be presented before the legislative committee. Indicators show how it could be discussed by the House committee next month. Haney said the main obstacle to the prosperity of the California weed market is not what the law allows dispensaries to sell but what it prohibits them not to sell. 


Trying to get around the law to sell food in a prohibited scenario is complicated. Allowing the launching of California weed cafes will make the entire process simpler and more profitable for the state’s economy.

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