mLive shares that although Michigan voted to legalize recreational marijuana five years ago and at least 21 municipalities have approved cannabis consumption lounges, the state has only received four license applications in the past three years with only two opening. Here’s some highlights from an interesting story about Kalkushka and Hot Box Social:
“In a lot of ways, we’re creating something that no one’s ever really seen or heard of before,” said Kalkushka general manager Chris Atteberry.
Only 10 states, including Michigan, have greenlit marijuana lounges and cafes in recent years. It seems like a promising concept – a place for people to use cannabis legally in public – but strict Michigan laws have made it tricky for lounges to gain traction.
The biggest restriction: consumption lounges can’t sell marijuana on site.
“I think that’s the most important one because imagine you’re a bar, but you can’t sell alcohol,” said Scott Roberts, managing partner of Detroit cannabis law firm Scott Roberts Law.
…Hot Box Social, the first licensed social cannabis consumption business in Michigan, opened as a private venue in March 2022. Customers who rent the space in metro Detroit can bring their own cannabis or order products from local retailers.
“We created a safe space for people to not just consume in their home, but to meet in that social environment,” said Hot Box Social general manager Samantha Baker.
Big windows, plush couches, leafy wallpaper and green tiling make Hot Box Social feel like a coffee shop. A specialized ventilation system, similar to a cigar bar, whisks away smoke. And state regulations don’t allow alcohol on site.
Baker says this eliminates a pressure for customers to drink.
“I’ve heard the same feedback from others that it’s nice to have a space, whether you’re there for an event or just hanging out with friends, where you don’t necessarily have to have alcohol present,” she said.