CannaBeat is a curated biweekly selection of top new stories impacting business, research, and culture in the cannabis industry, crafted by Emerge Law Group.
Emerge’s Hot Take
A bill has been introduced in California that would allow a retailer to offer a similar experience as a local venue or cafe (Assembly Bill 374). Retailers with approved consumption lounges could offer the sale of non-cannabis infused foods, non-alcoholic beverages, and tickets to live music. This would be comparable to general venues, providing the cannabis space with equal opportunity for tourism and potentially “nightlife.” Furthermore, allowing for larger or more inclusive events would permit for further educational platforms and work to promote the industry in a positive way. There are other events such as music festivals that have included these types of platforms such as Outside Lands in San Francisco (see “Grass Lands”). This bill would allow smaller and similar events accessible to the local community.
Although the bill looks to expand opportunity, whether or not it will do so is unknown. As written, the proposed bill states that “a local jurisdiction may allow the retailer or microbusiness….” This would leave the decision up to the local governments which has proven difficult in California (56% of jurisdictions do not allow any type of commercial cannabis operations, as shown HERE). California Emerge attorney Delia Rojas commented: “Given the tough market, I could foresee certain jurisdictions being open to these types of consumption lounge models, but the bill will likely receive the same local government pushback as similar past bills.”