Crains Detroit shares that although they have been allowed since 2019, the first cannabis consumption lounges in Michigan are only now getting ready to fire up in Hazel Park and Kalkaska:
“We’ve heard from quite a few people who have interest in that, but obviously with the pandemic, that kind of derailed their plans,” said Andrew Brisbo, director of the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency. “I think it’s been a license type that’s also been more slowly adopted by municipalities … because it is a little bit different.”
The name of the cream-painted storefront along John R in Hazel Park reads in stark black letters: Hot Box Social. The business is in line to become the first in Michigan where smoking pot at a business is legal. It submitted application materials in January and is waiting on some changes before it could potentially receive a consumption establishment license and start operating.
Hot Box Social, at 23610 John R, north of Nine Mile Road, is owned by Trucenta, a vertically integrated cannabis company based in Troy. Trucenta runs cannabis stores in Hazel Park and Battle Creek under the Breeze brand. Breeze is also in the process of expanding its shop down the road from Hot Box Social from 1,300 square feet to 4,800.
The space is currently open for non-consumption events and has hosted bud-tender training sessions with edibles brands Wyld and Select X-Bites in the last several weeks, said Sandy Aldrich, chief marketing officer for Trucenta.
A big catch for Hot Box Social and all other consumption lounges is that they can’t legally sell cannabis on site. How they get around this, generally, is by either having patrons buy product at a nearby retail establishment and bring it in themselves, or by getting their edibles or flower delivered to the consumption site.
Another potential cannabis social space, the aptly named Kalkushka Lounge in Kalkaska in northern Michigan, is about a month behind Hot Box Social when it comes to license application and is the second of two consumption establishments with applications currently pending at the state level.
The lounge would open in half of an old opera house downtown, co-owner Russ Chambers said. The other half is taken up by Chambers’ already open dispensary business, The Botanical Co.
More news about marijuana consumption lounges on the Michigan Cannabis Trail!