Lowell Café, the Nation’s First Cannabis Consumption Lounge, Opens in WeHo on Tuesday

The patio at Lowell Café

The nation’s first cannabis consumption lounge will open Tuesday in West Hollywood.

At Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Café, located at 1201 N. La Brea Ave. at Lexington, people will be able to smoke, vape and consume edible cannabis products on an outdoor patio enclosed

with fencing and plants. A separate restaurant adjacent to the consumption lounge will offer salads and sandwiches along with coffee and tea and juices but no cannabis-infused products. Alcohol will not be served.

The lounge and restaurant will cover almost 6,000 square feet, with 2,500 square feet devoted to cannabis lounge and 1,800 to the outdoor consumption patio. The restaurant will cover 1,600 square feet.

The city’s cannabis ordinance would allow Lowell to operate between 6 a.m. and 2 a.m. the following day. Lowell will operate from noon to 10 p.m. daily. At this point, all reservations are booked for the Tuesday opening. Reservations currently can be made on Lowell Cafés website from Oct. 6 forward. Guests must present a government-issued photo I.E. to confirm that they are age 21 or older. Cash is required for all cannabis purchases. Debit and credit cards will be accepted for food and drink orders. Lowell’s general manager is Kevin Brady, former director of restaurants at TAO Group, and its executive chef is Andrea Drummer, who is known for her cannabis-infused cuisine.

Lowell is owned by Flore Flora LLC. Hollywood Reporter reports that it was the idea of Sean Black and David Elias, co-founders of the Los Angeles-based cannabis brand Lowell Herb Co., whose pre-rolled Lowell Smokes are sold at over 300 dispensaries. Their partners in the venture include Mark and Jonnie Houston, whose nightclub and restaurant business attracts celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Jimmy Kimmel, Paris Jackson, Chelsea Handler, Usher, and David LaChapelle. MedMen, which failed to qualify for a recreational cannabis license, is said to be an investor in Lowell Herb Co.

A major supplier of the café’s cannabis products will be  Black and Elias’ Lowell Farms, which is known for its campaign against the War on Drugs and jail sentences for cannabis consumers. Lowell created a jobs program to hire those convicted of cannabis consumption before the passage of Prop. 60, which made recreational cannabis legal in Los Angeles. In May 2018 it erected a sign that read: “Recently Pardoned? We’re Hiring,” outside the L.A. Men’s Central Jail.

For Flore Flora, the opening of Lowell brings to an end a long process that began in April 2018 when the City of West Hollywood released a draft application form that included dozens of criteria that an independent assessment committee used to decide who would qualify for one of the eight consumption lounge licenses.  The city also has authorized eight licenses in each of four other categories – medical cannabis sales, retail recreational cannabis sales, edible cannabis lounge, and WeHo-based cannabis delivery services. Like the other applicants in its category, Flore Flora has to pay an application fee of $9,880. It then had to secure a physical location for the business, obtain appropriate planning permits from the city’s Current and Historic Preservation Planning Division, and go before the city’s Business License Commission for final approval of a business license. 

After its initial application was approved, a change in state law required that it separate the cannabis consumption lounge from the dining area. It also faced opposition from Rabbi Denise Eger of Congregation Kol Ami, which is located across La Brea Avenue from Lowell Café, who feared the impact of cannabis smoke on Kol Ami. Lowell Café is required to install equipment and vegetation outside the consumption lounge to prevent fumes from cannabis from spreading outside its boundaries.


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Bobby OG
Guest
Bobby OG

The huge difference between leaving a restaurant high instead of drunk is that the you won’t be stupid and angry and aggressive like a drunk. You will be happy, peaceful and kind. Take it from a good 70 yr old pothead who has loved cannabis and driven since 17 and does know what he is talking about. Also, because potheads are nicer, more thoughtful and considerate, there will be more designated drivers than stubborn pig headed alcohol drinkers. These serial complaining haters just have no clue. Probably voted for and support the ugly orange thing in the White House. So… Read more »

Sharon Kidder
Guest
Sharon Kidder

I think this is a TERRIBLE MISTAKE! People leave HIGH ON WEED and are INVOLVED IN ACCIDENTS!!
BAD BAD IDEA!! I will never participate eating there!

Rob Bergstein
Guest
Rob Bergstein

Here is my concern both with this business and the others to follow…..their customers will be leaving these businesses after having consumer marijuana products. They’ll be high or buzzed, however you want to term it. I asked the owners of Lowell at a neighborhood meeting how they’d keep their customers from driving while under the influence & their response was they they are valet parking only & that they’ll take the keys away from anyone they think shouldn’t be driving. I say good luck with that; how do you determine who should or shouldn’t be driving and what do you… Read more »

Vigilant
Guest
Vigilant

Anyone who thinks or thought that the exponential effects of this latest revenue scheme could be contained has evidently smoked too much dope. And to the commenter Alison that says Mj is not addictive I say, show me a person that no longer uses and I will GIVE you the country of Iceland.

Manny
Guest
Manny

Forget it Rob, there is no plan and they’re sticking to it. The train has left the station, the ship has sailed, the genie is out of the bottle and so is the toothpaste…….Thanks California voters!

Xxxxxx
Guest
Xxxxxx

Well, people go to restaurants and nightclubs that serve alcohol. ….same thing.

Sil
Guest
Sil

Well…you guys are at the beginning of more destruction of your city. I am from Amsterdam Netherlands. Let me tell you this…the only masses that visit Cannabis cafes are tourists. And it is a SH*t hole now due to cannabis tourists. Mass tourism made centre of Amsterdam a drama to live.Cannabis and mushroom cafes atrack the wrong people. Dutch hardly use Cannabis we…been there done that …its just a big menace.lived over 30 yrs in centre Amsterdam so I know. Cannabis cafes, homelessness, corrupt maffioso politics, diseases from Medieval times, rats and a middle class leaving California… WeeeeeHooooo good luck…you… Read more »

Neighbor on Formosa
Guest
Neighbor on Formosa

Welcome to Area 51 Lowell Cafe. And good luck staying in business. Been here since 2002. NOT an easy corner.

learntobeajournalist
Guest
learntobeajournalist

The city already has 2 business closing become of vermin, Micky’s and Tender Greens.

This isn’t going to help the situation. All these glamorized pot shops that were supposed to be for “medical reasons.” Let me guess, you won’t post this comment either. Fine, weed city. Whatever you want it’s not a good image, it stinks. Hope everyone likes making Miley Cyrus richer while young people get hooked on this drug.

Randy
Guest
Randy

It is not supposed to be for “medical reasons.” We already had that. Since the 90’s. A majority of Californians voted to legalize marijuana in 2016. What the opening of this lounge has to do with vermin infestations, I do not understand (nothing, at all).

My concern with this business is if they can survive without serving alcohol. One can only consume so much MJ in one sitting, and only spend so much. I suppose if cannabis and food are priced correctly, they will do just fine. There are cannabis lounges in Amsterdam, and they seem to do well.

Alison
Guest
Alison

I would like you to point me to any scientific evidence you have found showing that marijuana is addictive. Otherwise, please stop posting falsehoods.

Vigilant
Guest
Vigilant

Scientific evidence? Just look around for empirical evidence. Tune up your nose if nothing else. We do not have a forest of skink cabbage in Weho. Silly.

Vigilant
Guest
Vigilant

That was forest of Skunk Cabbage…..

John
Guest
John

I smoke a lot of weed and it’s definitely addictive as is a lot of things. It’s not as addictive as some things and is more addictive than others. If you have never experienced an addiction to cannabis that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Plenty of people drink alcohol and are not addicted.

learntobeajournalist
Guest
learntobeajournalist

“Federal health officials said almost 77 per cent of cases of patients with vaping-related lung injuries had used products containing THC — the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana — adding to evidence that such vaping devices and cartridges are lead suspects in the widening epidemic. ” Bloomberg news.

Vigilant
Guest
Vigilant

We are moving toward the next epidemic and no one seems to be paying attention. Hard to see beyond the piles of revenue. Foolishness.

Countesss
Guest
Countesss

Calm. Down. It’s been proven to be illegal/unregulated vape cartridges containing cyanide.

Rob Bergstein
Guest
Rob Bergstein

ok countess, what’s your source? I have yet to see a single article where they have pinpointed cyanide in cartridges. They “think” its from marijuana being vaped, but they haven’t yet determined it. What’s your news source/

John Horlieca
Guest
John Horlieca

Sorry
She is correct I read the same article. The New York Post I believe was the source.

John Horlieca
Guest
Manny
Guest
Manny

The article DOES NOT say that cyanide caused the illness’. (although that is a very dangerous discovery) What it DOES SAY is, “The exact cause of the illnesses remains unclear”.