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Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Café, America’s first cannabis restaurant, opened in West Hollywood, California, on Tuesday, two years after it received the city’s consumption lounge business license. It’s an offshoot of the Lowell Herb Co., the number-one seller of pre-rolled joints. Its chef, Andrea Drummer, has been cooking with cannabis since 2011. It has many celebrity investors, including Sarah Silverman, Miley Cyrus, and Chris Rock.
But there won’t be any cannabis in the food at Lowell Farms because of state laws that prohibit the sale of food infused with cannabis. Instead the dishes on the menu will complement the various strains of marijuana for sale, sort of like the food at a wine bar. You can smoke your cannabis, or vape it, or eat it as an edible, prepared out-of-house. The food menu has salads, sandwiches, avocado toast, mac and cheese bites, and vegan nachos, among other things, plus milkshakes with a full array of mix-ins. The cannabis menu is more extensive, and it is not cheap: a single-strain pre-roll can set you back between $18 and $30. (Management has installed a very strong air-filtration system, Eater LA reports, on par with the kind used in casinos.) There’s no booze for sale, again because of state laws. And no one under 21 is allowed in, even with a medical marijuana card.
The cafe is fully booked for its first month, which is as far in advance as it’s taking reservations. But maybe the best thing about it is that it’s following Lowell’s policy of hiring people who have served time for nonviolent cannabis-related crimes. (It found them by advertising on a billboard along a freeway in L.A.) Although Forbes reports that these employees only make up 8% of the company’s workforce, it’s still an encouraging start.