Cannabis lounges are the latest trend in this growing industry. This trend also holds mainstream appeal, and experts predict that it will become wildly popular. In a few years’ time, smoking cannabis in a luxurious lounge could be as common as going to a bar for a couple of beers.
Cannabis lounges are a sign that the industry is gearing up for change, in the direction of better customer service. The cannabis experience of the future is going to look less like a trip to the dispensary, and more like a night out in a deluxe cigar bar.
A Natural Progression
Cannabis is a social substance. A big part of the subculture is the shared experience of enjoying your favorite plant. Up to this point, there have been attempts to provide a cannabis experience that is also social.
Lounges provide a space where like-minded people can meet, relax, and enjoy themselves. Such an idea is already appealing – and as legalization continues and the stigma lessens, the demand for such a service will only increase.
Cannabis lounges will provide a niche service and will become one of the cornerstones of cannabis culture in the future.
Mirroring the Alcohol Market
The growth of the cannabis industry has shown itself to mirror the alcohol industry closely. Lounges will serve as the cannabis equivalent to the bar. And there is huge potential for growth – there are only nine lounges in the US as of right now.
Seven are in San Francisco, while Denver and Oakland each have one. In the future, meeting a friend at a cannabis lounge for a quick joint may become a common occurrence.
Lounges will be able to provide a desirable, safe, and clean place to consume cannabis. There are many restrictions on where cannabis can be smoked, and some prefer not to do so at home – a lounge provides the perfect solution.
One of the leading criticisms directed at cannabis lounges are the safety concerns and the risk of “drugged driving.” But that has already taken this into consideration. To get the permits for the lounges, the management behind lounges adapts state alcohol regulations.
There is a four-stage scale of intoxication. When someone is taking it too far, owners and staff can deny them further service. The aim is to prevent anyone from reaching that last stage. If there’s a need, the lounge orders an Uber for the intoxicated customer.
In the Bay Area, where most lounges are currently located, public and mass transit is readily available. Together with ride-sharing apps, it’s easy to give customers an alternative to driving.
A Smaller Risk
Cannabis intoxication also poses a small risk of crashing. It is estimated that driving while drunk is ten times more dangerous than when under the effects of cannabis. The effects of cannabis peak in eight minutes, while the same period for alcohol sets in at 90 minutes.
Research shows that legal cannabis access reduces the occurrence of risky driving, especially during the weekend and nighttime.
Rules and Regulations
One of the issues cannabis lounges have to deal with is exposure to smoke and customers getting too high. Since anyone over the age of 21 can enter, staff are instructed to be extra vigilant.
Lounges have also taken measures and precautions to deal with those issues. Some use time limits, while others have registered nurses on site. All lounges throw out anyone that gets rowdy or tries to “party.”
Getting too high, using alcohol, other drugs or tobacco is also strictly prohibited. Most customers are respectful and enjoy their privacy, but it’s important to have these mechanisms in place.
Protection from Smoke
To protect both employees and customers from the effects of smoke, all lounges have state of the art ventilation systems. These high-power systems eliminate all smoke and odor, replacing it with fresh air.
According to regulations, smoke must not drift into other portions of the building, and the lounge must have a self-closing door with a gasket.
Businesses that operate cannabis lounges “may not require employees to enter the designated smoking room as a condition of their employment.
The room where smoking is done must also be designed in a way that doesn’t allow for it to be seen by the public through windows. Lounges also have to follow all the rules and regulations dispensaries do.
A New Type of Hotspot?
Cities in states that have legalized cannabis are keeping a close eye on cannabis lounges. They recognize the potential benefits that these establishments can bring to the table.
Like all forms of legal cannabis businesses, cannabis lounges help to curb the black market, depriving criminals of profits. At the same time, these businesses put money back into the community via taxes.
Lounges have the potential to not only become a core of the cannabis community but of social life and nightlife in general. All the lounges that are currently operational are luxurious spots with a focus on customer service.
Most of them are stylistically distinctive, attractive and unique – they have the potential to replace bars as the social hubs of tomorrow. They will provide a great avenue for an activity that is quickly becoming a part of everyday life for more and more people.
A New Source of Revenue
Cannabis lounges also have the potential to increase revenues from tourism. Several news outlets have already covered stories of customers coming from as far away as Egypt and India.
The tourism appeal isn’t just international – it is also internal. Purchasing cannabis products and enjoying them in the same spot will appeal to many US residents. Cannabis lounges can easily become destination spots.
On the other hand, they will also serve the needs of regular tourists. Las Vegas is one of the cities that is investigating the possibility of cannabis lounges.
With 45 million annual visitors, many of whom partake, there is a huge profit waiting to be made by meeting their needs. All of these reasons will propel cannabis lounges into the mainstream, and it will happen very soon.