The rate at which cannabis consumption lounges in Illinois are raking in good money is serving as an inspiration to other states that have plans to establish these cool spots.
After Illinois approved cannabis legislation, the government acted on the need to provide safe spaces for cannabis users. Smoking weed In public remains illegal, but thankfully cannabis lounges have opened up and smokers have been visiting these spaces at a record rate. Pot cafes may be off-the-cuff term for them, but they are going to be big business!
Consumption Lounges In Illinois
Illinois approved the use and sales of retail cannabis in the early part of 2020. The state took 18 months after the measure was passed to set up the regulatory bodies and other necessities. While this went on, it also issued permits to applicants that wanted to set up cannabis lounges.
The time duration may have been shorter than this if the world had stayed ‘pandemic-less’.
Finally, the highly anticipated cannabis bars opened their doors for business sometime in July. As at the time this article is being written, there are only two lounges that have opened up for business. According to reports, more of these cannabis lounges are on the verge of opening their spaces for daily operations.
Since their opening in July, these two opened lounges have entertained thousands of cannabis users. These visitors at first visited the lounge out of curiosity, but then they got drawn in and continued to have regular visits.
How the cannabis lounges operate
The lounge is opened only to adults at least 21 years of age. From the existing legislation, cannabis lounges are not permitted to sell any amount of weed to their customers. Users are mandated to bring their products while visiting these establishments. Plans are underway to modify this, but for now, lounge owners and visitors have to maintain the status quo.
They make their revenue by charging customers to enter the legal spaces. They also create social gatherings for cannabis users to share weed among themselves while networking at the same time.
Operating Lounges In Illinois
For now, only two cannabis lounges are in business.
Located in Sesser, the first cannabis lounge was opened July 10 and it is called the Luna Lounge.
At Luna, customers are also required to bring their weed. All weed brought into these lunges must be legal products kept in sealed containers from registered dispensaries.
The space offers smoking papers, pipes, and other delivery devices for sale or rent. Whenever customers are unable to finish their buds, they are offered legal bags to carry the leftover pot home.
Luna has generated a lot of revenue, being the first to open the licensed space. The lounge charges $4.20 as an entry fee for all customers. This is separate from the cost of rented or purchased devices within the space. On a normal night in Luna lounge, there are video, card, and board games available for the guests’ pleasure.
The second cannabis lounge operating in Illinois is Aromas Hookah Bar. It is located in Dekalb. However, it is more expensive to access than Luna. Dekalb charges #12 as an entry fee and it only operates for about four to six hours daily. The bar has a menu that contains snacks and non-alcoholic drinks, like other bars, patrons are to bring in their pot. It also entertains in the form of arcade games and music.
Both venues have been successful in their dealings since they got established. It is worthy to note that there have not been any reports of violence from any of the facilities. Patrons have been very organized and respectful in their dealings.
New Lounges on the way
During summer, the city council got to work on zoning locations for cannabis lounges in towns. They were also contacted by the Trinity compassionate Care Centers. The founder and vice president of this company, Ronald DiGiacomo has shown interest in investing in cannabis lounges.
Plans are underway in West Pretoria to open a cannabis lounge before the year runs out. The investors say the place will be known as ‘High Harbor’, it is to be established on the same site that used to host the former sky harbor steak house.
From the announcements made by the investors, the space would organize events that have to do so with comedy, music, and educational themes. Even corporate events and yoga classes will be added as time goes on. Christiana Patellaro, a real estate agent working with the investors said that renovations would be completed soon, and the establishment will open by late fall.
The opening event of High Harbor will be held outdoors on September 10 and 11. High Harbor and Trinity plan to make this a two-day event to draw in more publicity.
They’ve also announced to the public that there would be no on-site sales of cannabis, so customers are to bring the pot they intend to consume.
The event would feature artisans, music, live art, and vendors. Patellaro also added that High harbor promises to be a creative environment for people to enjoy their pot.
Another proposed location for a cannabis lounge in Illinois is in Carbondale. An adult-use cannabis dispensary, Consume Cannabis, will be the main investor in this project. This would be a unique establishment because the store would be offering a consumption area within their dispensary. It means customers can have the choice of buying their cannabis at the location.
The fun fact is that Carbondale already has an existing cannabis culture, even the resident university, Southern Illinois University has a history of being a hippie town in the 1960s and 1970s. It would not be unusual to find the old folks visiting this lounge once it opens up.
The lounge will also give interested students that are above 21 years a chance of experiencing the cannabis culture from way back.
There are other investors who are ready to open up cannabis consumption lounges within Illinois, the only factor delaying this is the city council zoning system.
The happenings in the Illinois community will also serve as an encouraging blueprint to not only other cannabis legal states but to the federal government and other international countries.