Ryan Stanton of mLive.com shares that Ann Arbor’s first approved marijuana consumption lounge could be be joined by many more:
“We are going to allow 28,” said City Planner Alexis DiLeo, citing a cap in the city’s regulations.
When City Council decided in October 2019 to give the green light to the recreational marijuana industry in the city, it limited the number of permits for marijuana micro-businesses, dispensaries and consumption centers to 28 each.
While the city has since gotten about all the dispensaries it’s going to see under the cap, the door is still open to potentially 27 more entrepreneurs interested in creating spaces where customers can consume cannabis onsite.
But they’re not lining up just yet, DiLeo told the Planning Commission as it approved a permit this week for what’s expected to be Michigan’s first marijuana consumption lounge — in the house next to the Liberty Provisioning Center marijuana dispensary on Ashley Street downtown.
“This is our first taker,” DiLeo said, noting marijuana consumption lounges don’t seem to be as popular a business proposal as dispensaries.
It’s tough to find a model that’s profitable, but the main reason why no one has opened a marijuana consumption lounge in the last year or so is strictly because of COVID-19, said Mark Passerini, co-founder of the Om of Medicine marijuana dispensary on Main Street.
…Passerini points out downtown streets are already lined with bars that serve alcohol and he hopes the city isn’t overly restrictive about marijuana lounges.
“I was having a conversation the other day with the folks at the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association and we’re considering starting a whole new campaign to deregulate cannabis like alcohol,” he said. “The original campaign for legalization was regulate cannabis like alcohol, but now that we’ve regulated it, we’ve gone way too far. It’s starting to be regulated like it’s enriched uranium, as opposed to, you know, one of the least-toxic substances known to man.”
“One of the biggest issues is that the way it’s set up right now, you can’t serve food or drinks, and that would not be Amsterdam-style,” he said. “Amsterdam has had bakeries and obviously coffee and, you know, a very different model than what we’re going to see.”
photo courtesy Cannaclusive. Cannaclusive was created to facilitate fair representation of minority cannabis consumers. They were inspired by the growing opportunities yet disappointed by the diversity issues taking root in mainstream cannabis culture.