California Cannabis Cafes Bill Would Allow Live Performances, Food and Drink

A California proposal would allow for live performances and the sale of food and non-alcoholic beverages at legal cannabis cafe locations.

Full story after the jump.

The bill that would legalize cannabis cafes in California includes provisions allowing live performances at cannabis-friendly clubs, and allowing food and non-alcoholic beverages to be served at the locations, the Los Angeles Times reports. The measure would require municipalities to opt in to allow the cafes and create their own guidelines.

Assemblyman Matt Haney (D), the bill’s sponsor, said allowing cannabis cafes is necessary if the state wants the regulated cannabis industry “to survive.” He described the businesses operating under the current system, which allows on-site consumption but no food or beverage sales, as “pretty sad places.” 

“They’re losing to the illegal cannabis industry, and one thing that the legal cannabis small business can offer is an experience. Cannabis businesses told us that they may have to close their doors unless the laws change. The regulations that prohibit them from offering other products like food are a huge burden.” — Haney via the Times 

Some California businesses have found workarounds to the current laws. In West Hollywood, at the Artist Tree Dispensary & Weed Delivery on Santa Monica Boulevard, cannabis-consuming customers can gather at the second-floor lounge as if dining at a restaurant and order food from Fresh Corn Grill, a restaurant that has a deal with the Artist Tree. 

Lauren Fontein, a co-owner of the Artist Tree, told the Times the setup mimics “the experience of being in a restaurant” even though they don’t sell customers food. 

The bill has not yet been sent to a legislative committee but a note attached to the measure indicates it could be heard by a House panel next month. 

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