…“The state of Michigan is projected to be $3 billion a year in retail sales, which is significant,” (Michigan Cannabis Industry Association Executive Director Robin) Schneider said. “We are a large state and considered possibly the second largest market in the country. With the Great Lakes, we also have a lot of opportunities for cannabis tourism, which is where the social consumption lounges come in.”
Social consumption lounges, or cannabis cafés, are relatively new terms being used to describe what the state of Michigan refers to as Designated Consumption Establishments, or DCEs, something Michigan attorney John Fraser is very familiar with.
“The consumption establishment is essentially just a place where folks are allowed to consume on the premises,” Fraser said. “The best way to think about it is for folks who have made the trip to Amsterdam. It’s going to be more similar to a coffee shop type of experience.”
Fraser, who specializes in cannabis law, said the DCEs could start popping up at any time, but they require a special license.
“Right now, I’m not aware of a single one that’s been licensed, and a lot of that I think has to do with the pandemic,” he said. “Starting a business that requires people to come be physically present on the property is not something that’s a huge revenue generator right now, and obviously the concept of having a place where people can gather to smoke when there’s a prevalent respiratory disease in the environment, not maybe the money maker or business model for opening at the present.”
But the months ahead, Fraser said, look promising.
“We think there’s a lot of potential for these businesses in the future, and I think we will see a lot of retail establishments and also microbusinesses, which are kind of small-scale marijuana facilities, that want to add on this consumption establishment license to their existing facilities, he said. “One group of people I think would probably be very appreciative of a designated consumption establishment is hotel chain operators, especially for folks visiting out of town.”
“They could have a shuttle bus there that would essentially transport their hotel guests to and from the consumption social lounge,” Schneider said. “It’s going to attract more tourism to their facilities. Cannabis consumers, when they’re traveling, they want to know where they’re going to be able to consume.”
photo credit: Coffee Shop – Amsterdam by Budget Travel Accommodations