Cannabis Lounge on La Brea Wins Approval

The cannabis lounge Lowell Café proposed at the northwest corner of Santa Monica Boulevard at Lexington won approval from the City of West Hollywood Business License Commission. (source: WeHoVille.com)

The West Hollywood Business License Commission has approved Lowell Café’s application, likely making it the nation’s first cannabis café, according to WeHoville.com.

“The commission agreed to grant Flore Flora LLC the necessary license to open the cannabis consumption lounge at 1201 N. La Brea Ave. near Lexington. Customers will be able to smoke, vape and consume edible cannabis products on an outdoor patio enclosed with fencing and plants. The café also will offer a menu that includes salads and sandwiches along with coffee and tea and juices. Alcohol will not be served.

Flore Flora must next obtain a state cannabis license, which is not expected to be difficult. Richard Brenner, the chief operating officer of Hugo’s restaurant for 18 years, will be the general manager of the café. He said he expects Lowells to open next month.

The city’s cannabis ordinance would allow Lowells to operate between 6 a.m. and 2 a.m. the following day. However, the state cannabis law bars the sale or delivery of any cannabis product after 10 p.m.  The license granted Lowells would allow it to be open between 10 a.m. and 2 a.m., with the provision that no cannabis could be sold after 10 p.m,” reported WeHoVille.com in their story posted earlier this week.”

It seems the only opposition to the café came from Rabbi Denise Eger of Congregation Kol Ami located across the street. There was a well orchestrated campaign of support organized by political consultant Renee Nahum, on behalf of Flore Flora, the corporation behind the café. Scott Schmidt, executive director of AURA, the Adult Use Retailers Association, which represents the city’s eight recipients of recreational cannabis licenses, and Genevieve Morrill, president and CEO of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, supported the license according to WeHoVille.com.

“There is some concern about the café, but no one is speaking up about it,” WeHoVille.com publisher Henry Scott told the Buzz. “I have heard people say,  ‘we already have more bars per capita than most other cities, do we really need cannabis lounges?”

City Councilmember Lauren Meister has raised some concerns and at one point had asked for funds for an education campaign about the effects of using cannabis but nothing came of the request, explained Scott.

There’s isn’t a lot of research on the effects of cannabis in the brain, but as more and more states legalize the use, there’s greater interest in understanding how it effect the brain, especially the developing brain.  In 2017, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published a review of scientific research published since 1999 about what is known about the health impacts of cannabis and cannabis-derived products concluding that more research is needed.

The Business License Commission also approved the application for PleasureMed to open a retail store at 7715 Santa Monica Blvd.

“PleasureMed was approved without any objections from the community. It is a project of Brian Robinson, owner of the nearby Pleasure Chest for more than 20 years.  It will feature recreational and medical use cannabis spaces on the first floor of the new building. On the second floor, there will be a lounge where customers can consume cannabis products. PleasureMed also will deliver cannabis products to customers within a 10-mile radius. A staff report to the Business License Commission describes PleasureMed’s interior as “designed to create a museum-like setting with high ceilings, decorative beams, crawling greenery and ornamental arched windows,” reported WeHoVille.com.

Interior of PleasureMed at 7715 Santa Monica Blvd. (photo from WeHoVille.com)

 

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About Patricia Lombard

Patricia Lombard is the co-editor and publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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