A newly introduced California bill could create a statewide industry for cannabis coffee shops and weed-friendly music venues.
Assemblymember Matt Haney (D-San Francisco) introduced AB 374 on Monday.
"Lots of people want to enjoy legal cannabis in the company of others," Haney said in a press statement, according to Bay City News. "And many people want to do that while sipping coffee, eating a scone, or listening to music. There's absolutely no good reason from an economic, health or safety standpoint that the state should make that illegal.”
“If an authorized cannabis retail store wants to also sell a cup of coffee and a sandwich, we should allow cities to make that possible and stop holding back these small businesses,” he continued.
As Haney himself clarified, AB 374 will not permit existing coffee shops or music venues to sell weed. Instead, existing pot shops would finally be allowed to sell non-infused food and beverages, just like any other business.
"We're saying that cannabis shops should be allowed to sell coffee,” Haney said. “It shouldn't be illegal for an existing cannabis business to move away from only selling marijuana and instead have the opportunity to grow, thrive and create jobs by offering coffee or live jazz."
Currently, several cannabis consumption lounges or venues are legally operating in California. The majority are concentrated in the Los Angeles and Bay Areas. However, these have only been licensed at the local level.
If AB 374 becomes law, any currently established cannabis business could potentially expand to include selling food, drink, or live music, too.
Last year, Hollywood pot icon Woody Harrelson opened his own LA cannabis store, The Woods. The announcement included plans to build a pot lounge… which is looking more and more likely by the day, now.
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