!-- Global site tag (gtag.js) - Google Analytics --> Marijuana Business Magazine March 2020

Marijuana Business Magazine March 2020

Marijuana Business Magazine | March 2020 100 L os Angeles-based Lowell Herb Co. grabbed headlines in October by opening a cafe in California where customers can legally consume cannabis while taking in a meal or a cup of coffee. Original Cannabis Cafe in West Hollywood is one of the first regulated locations in the United States where adults can openly consume cannabis in a restaurant-style atmosphere. Getting the green light for the concept, which blends cafe and dispensary, required the cajoling of California regulators and provided a framework for Lowell to duplicate the cannabis restaurant concept elsewhere—although the cannabis business and eatery parted ways in late 2019, when Lowell became embroiled in a legal dispute with California regulators. Despite the breakup, the restaurant’s launch sheds light on how Lowell sought to expand its brand beyond California and into on-site consumption, an initiative that other cannabis companies are expected to join in the months and years ahead. As part of its expansion effort, Lowell hosted a pop-up infused restaurant and consumption Care for a Pre-roll With Your Parmesan Fries? By Adrian D. Garcia California’s Lowell Herb Co. launched a groundbreaking cannabis restaurant but then split with the business amid legal difficulties with state regulators BusinessStrategies | Retail Last October, marijuana firm Lowell Herb Co. opened what it billed as “the first restaurant in America where guests can openly consume cannabis,” attracting national headlines and establishing a model for others looking to blend cafe and dispensary experiences. In December, Los Angeles-based Lowell parted ways with the Original Cannabis Cafe amid legal difficulties with state regulators. Here are tactics the company undertook to launch the restaurant: • Lowell lobbied officials in West Hollywood to obtain a license for a social consumption area. The company provided feedback on potential rules, then worked with city officials plus state and county agencies to clear additional regulatory hurdles. • A “weed chef” with experience pairing cannabis and elevated dining experiences was brought on to run the kitchen. • The cafe was set up to be an “experiential part” of Lowell’s overall business, where customers could buy and use pre-rolls and concentrates from the company. • The eatery and Lowell split up in December just before California regulators filed a lawsuit against Lowell, alleging it lacked a valid license while producing cannabis products in March 2019. Original Cannabis Cafe made headlines when it opened in West Hollywood in October 2019. Courtesy Photo