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California Lawmaker Proposes Cafe-Style Cannabis Consumption Lounges

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Legislation recently introduced by Assemblyman Matt Haney of San Francisco would loosen restrictions for cannabis consumption lounges in California and create more opportunities for cannabis operators.

Assembly Bill 374, introduced Feb.1, would allow cannabis consumption lounges to sell non-cannabis-infused food and nonalcoholic beverages and host live music and entertainment events—like cannabis cafes in Amsterdam.

Currently, cannabis consumption lounges in California are not allowed to sell non-cannabis products, and this measure would open up opportunities for operators and allow them to diversify their product offerings.

“We’re saying that cannabis shops should be allowed to sell coffee,” Haney told SFGATE. “It shouldn’t be illegal for an existing cannabis business to move away from only selling marijuana and instead have the opportunity to grow, thrive and create jobs by offering coffee or live jazz.”

Haney said the measure could also help California businesses struggling to survive due to falling prices, competition from the illicit market, high taxes, and more, to stay afloat amidst the market downturn.

“What we’ve done, unfortunately, is put these really harsh restrictions and taxes on these folks, and they’re struggling, and this industry will not make it,” Haney told KTVU. “They’ll lose out to the illegal market unless we allow them to be creative and entrepreneurial.”

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