This Company Has A Modular Experiential Concept For When Weed Becomes Legal To Use In Public
The legalization of recreational marijuana is spreading at a halting pace in states across the U.S., but one entrepreneur is already thinking a step beyond.
J.J. Walker, who has founded and sold multiple cannabis-oriented companies, has plans and at least one lease agreement for an experiential retail space for pot consumption, not just purchasing, Marker reports. The concept, called Cannabition, is organized around things to do and see while under the influence, unlike the "coffee shops" in Amsterdam popularly associated with public use.
Cannabition is designed to stimulate, soothe or otherwise engage the consumer depending on the type of product they have imbibed, Walker told Marker. Built out of shipping containers, the modular concept is meant to have lightning-quick installations and be able to scale up quickly as demand increases. With enough of a head start, Walker plans to be first to market wherever public consumption is legalized.
In May, Las Vegas passed a law to create a permitting process for "social consumption" of cannabis, two years after the Nevada state government legalized its sale for recreational use. In the intervening time, Vegas has become something of a marijuana tourist mecca, Marker reports.
The state legislature threw up a roadblock to the city cementing its place as a trailblazer of cannabis retail when it placed a two-year moratorium on local consumption licenses. The federally regulated casino industry, possibly the most powerful lobbying force in the state, pushed for the temporary ban in the hope that a change at the White House in 2020 will open up the door for federal legalization, Marker reports.
Late last year, Larry Scheffler and Bob Groesbeck debuted the 40K SF first phase of Planet 13, the world's largest dispensary when it opened in Las Vegas. Since then they have been at work building out the rest of the 112K SF space with a restaurant, a coffee shop and an event space. They have left some space for a consumption lounge when the moratorium is lifted, as well as 7K SF for the first permanent location of Cannabition, Marker reports.
The Los Angeles-area municipality of West Hollywood has given out eight licenses for legal cannabis consumption spaces, and the first licensee to open to the public is a restaurant called Lowell Farms, Marker reports.
The restaurant is an affiliate of Lowell Herb Co., a growing operation that also sells pre-rolled joints to dispensaries and has attracted investment from celebrities Chris Rock and Miley Cyrus, as well as dispensary chain MedMen.
If Lowell Farms is a success, Planet 13 and Cannabition will be ready to piggyback at a moment's notice: Scheffler and Groesbeck already have a ground lease for a 40K SF lot in nearby Santa Ana, California.