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West Hollywood to Begin Application Process for Consumption Lounges

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West Hollywood, the first city in Los Angeles County to allow recreational cannabis sales, could soon be one of the first cities in Southern California to allow on-site consumption lounges in the style of Amsterdam’s coffee shops. The city plans to have two types of lounges: Places for smoking and vaping, and places only for edible ingestion.

In November, West Hollywood City Council adopted a cannabis ordinance that outlines the specific criteria that each applicant must meet during the application process. The application process opens May 2 and will end May 31. A single cannabis business license will cost $9,880. There will be 16 licenses available, eight being available for the smoking establishments and eight for vape and edible lounges. In total, the city plans to issue a total of 40 licenses for cannabis businesses, and the remaining 24 licenses will be used for adult-use retailers, medical dispensaries (the city currently has four), and cannabis delivery services.

San Francisco is currently home to the state’s only cannabis consumption lounge, Barbary Coast Dispensary, which doubles as a dispensary and a consumption lounge. Smoking is allowed on the premises of medical cannabis dispensaries, according to the San Francisco Office of Cannabis.

Jackie Rocco, West Hollywood’s business development manager, says that giving cannabis consumers a safe space to consume is a win-win. “For us to have these types of spaces that are welcoming and safe and where people can come and enjoy the product will also create that kind of appeal for our city as a safe destination for cannabis consumption,” said Rocco.

A public meeting for questions related to the screening and application process took place on April 11 from 2-4 p.m. at the West Hollywood City Council Chambers at 625 N. San Vincente Blvd.

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