Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect that the cafe will not serve a THC nor CBD-infused menu, instead just a normal food menu with cannabis consumption on site.
The first-of-its-kind weed restaurant in America, Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe in West Hollywood, California, has announced its opening date of September 1, 2019. It was granted final approval in a unanimous vote July 16, 2019, by the West Hollywood Business License Commission.
The commission approved its application unanimously, and the license is good for one year. Although it still needs approval for its California retail license, Lowell Farms is poised to be the first to open America's first cannabis restaurant.
“We are excited to set the example, one we do not take lightly,” said the cafe's Head Chef Andrea Drummer. Being the first restaurant to serve food alongside cannabis consumption is a responsibility that she doesn't take lightly. Drummer believes that she and her team can show how cannabis be “responsibly integrated into society.”
“It is a historic moment not only for cannabis, but the country as a whole,” Drummer said. “We are proud to bring the first-ever cannabis restaurant to the United States, and it's gratifying to open a space that will foster educational and responsible consumption.”
Drummer is a longtime marijuana advocate and has worked as a private chef for Miguel, Wiz Khalifa, and Chelsea Handler. She's also the author of “Cannabis Cuisine: The Art of Cooking with Marijuana” and has appeared on Netflix's “Cooking on High” and “Chelsea On!” The cafe's menu, designed by Drummer, will include non-infused dishes meant to complement the cannabis being consumed. Treats to expect include fried chicken sandwichs, grilled peaches and burrata, white bean hummus, and a dessert platter complete with beloved stoner bites like peanut butter cookies and ice cream sandwiches. Drummer reported to Eater that the menu will no longer include cannabidiol (CBD)- and THC-infused items.
In the cafe's smoking-approved areas, the restaurant will offer “Tableside Flower Service.” Guests will be offered different Lowell Herb Co. strains by a “Flower Host” who can explain the weed's specific effects and flavor profiles and roll joints for the table. Bongs and dabs will also be available.
Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe was given the final approval during the West Hollywood Business License Commission meeting on July 16. Eater Los Angeles reported that Rabbi Denise L. Eger of Reform Congregation Kol Ami, the new cafe's neighbors, sent West Hollywood's City Council an email about his concerns regarding the cafe's location right next to the synagogue. John Leonard, West Hollywood's Community and Legislative Affairs Manager, explained that Lowell had anticipated potential weed odors and installed an air purification system.
“We screened countless air filtration proposals and selected a system that specializes in local capture,” said Kevin Brady, the restaurant's director, “similar to what's used in a luxury Las Vegas hotel, chemical lab, or hospital.” In addition to the custom air filter, Lowell is “planting air-purifying and odor-absorbing landscaping as an additional precaution.”
Brady said the restaurant acknowledges the concerns of the community, including Congregation Kol Ami's, and wants to be clear in its respectful, responsible, safe-use approach.
Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe released more renderings of the highly anticipated restaurant, which shows plants draped on every available space, pothos flowing down off of ceiling rafters. One of the patios of the cafe will be for non-smoking guests.
The restaurant will be located at 1201 N. La Brea Ave. in West Hollywood. Mark and Jonnie Houston of Houston Hospitality have partnered with Lowell to make “Lowell Cafe into a true one of its kind cannabis destination,” according to a statement from Lowell.
"Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe has been four years in the making,” Drummer told Weedmaps News. “As pioneers of ending cannabis prohibition, we are devoted to the treatment of cannabis in the same light as alcohol. The first step was making it for sale, and now it is to give the public access to a safe, communal space where cannabis can be consumed without stigma.”
Featured image courtesy of Lowell Farms.