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California welcomes Cannabis Restaurants and Cafes with ‘flower’ and ‘budtender’ service

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Cannabis restaurants are coming to California

Just like any good chef planning to open a brand new restaurant, Andrea Drummer wants to get her work done just right. But her plantain-mango salsa with lamb chops will not be matched with beer or wine. 

Instead, a “budtender”- widely popular in the industry as ganjiers, as in ganja sommeliers- will assist guests at the soon-to-open Lowell Farms cannabis cafe to pair their meal with the perfect amount of farm-to-table cannabidiol. 

Drummer said that a kush is slightly bit more pungent, so it tastes better with a stew or a meal like meat or beef product. A lightly lemon profile goes well with a fish. One of her personal favourites, Blue Dream, tastes really good with both sweet and savory. Drummer tells that she has done done it with bread puddings, and with ice cream, but she’s also tried it with octopus. 

When the vintage-like, rustic, hemp-filled cafe with 220-seat capacity will open, it will be the first of its kind in the United States: a cozy place for tourists and locals to relish high-quality meals and smoke a joint in public. Other restaurants are soon to follow. 

But if they are planning to incorporate weed on the menu, restaurateurs in the city will have to work their way through a complicated workflow of regulations. The progressive city had approved an ordinance in 2017 and allowed businesses for this purpose. 

Jackie Subeck said that they are building the boat as they’re on the water, with cannabis. Subeck plans to launch a cannabis cafe, spa, clinic and serves as the chairwoman of the cannabis legislative subcommittee for the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. 

States that have legalized cannabis for recreation will watch the town pull it off. In Mayallowing cannabis lounges, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed a bill. Cannabis restaurants may eventually become as normal as wine bars if legalization remains apace.

Sean Black, the co-founder of Lowell Herb Co., the cannabis organization launching the cafe said that whatever West Hollywood will be doing now will be followed by other blue states, three years later. 

According to the proposition 64, cannabis is legalized in California, but consuming cannabis in public is still banned. 

When a research session on the subject was held by the West Hollywood City Council in 2017, it was determined that access to locations for smoking was an issue of social equity.

John Leonard, the city’s community and legislative affairs manager said that many people in the city are renters, and they may not be allowed to smoke cannabis in their apartments. These people who stay on rent are forced to smoke in their cars or public places, and run a higher risk for getting arrested for that. 

But this wasn’t the only reason why cannabis was legalized for smoking in public by the council. 

Leonard said that people enjoy the nightlife in West Hollywood, so the cannabis legalization was sort of a natural evolution, that people can easily enjoy while staying in the West Hollywood in a hotel, or they could go out to cafes or bars to smoke a joint, and now they can go for cannabis consumption as well.  

Cannabinoid, a hemp-derived compound was legalized from the federal government in December 2018 under the Farm Bill Act. The substance was removed from the list of Controlled Substances and made legal for production, processing, distribution and consumption. 

CBD is widely popular for its medical benefits. From treating stress, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness to reducing acute pains, aches, inflammation, swelling, irritation, CBD has been used by numerous people for various health ailments. 

There are public places for marijuana use elsewhere in California and Colorado, but there are many lounges connected to dispensaries or vape clubs that resemble a dingy cellar. These places are quite different from what West Hollywood had in mind when it launched applications for 16 on-site consumption licenses in May 2018. 

The process drew a lot of attention and more than 300 applicants, who were scored on multiple factors such as social equity and innovation. The top eight participants in each of the five categories were permitted to proceed. 

Drummer’s application was amongst the highest scorers in the category for cannabis consumption in lounge (vaping, smoking and edible), featured a “bright and airy oasis” with tableside “flower” service- hand-rolled cannabis buds into joints. Drummer also called for a full-fledged menu infused with cannabis, which Drummer has been creating for several years as  a private chef for her clients including comedian Chelsea Handler. 

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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