The legalization of recreational cannabis is changing the hospitality industry as we know it. We’re already familiar with bars serving alcohol and mixed drinks, and similarly, we’re now seeing cannabis bars, lounges, and even restaurants around the United States. The growth of the cannabis industry is booming, and will only continue to grow as more and more states get on board with recreational cannabis use.
Best Cities for Alcohol and Cannabis Pairings
Some cities are ahead of the game with their approach to cannabis. Pairing alcohol with cannabis is quickly becoming popular around the states for a unique and exciting experience. Generally, cannabis and alcohol are not served in the same facility as legislation debates on the ethics of doing so, but you can still have an amazing experience with both of these industries coming together.
Las Vegas. The city that never sleeps is known as the perfect place to gamble some money at the casino, see a magic show, and just get away from it all. Cannabis might not be the first thing you think of about Las Vegas, but as of 2017, cannabis consumption lounges and recreational shops have come onto the scene. Vegas boasts a big variety of wineries as well, making it the perfect destination to have a luxurious experience. Essence Cannabis Dispensary in Las Vegas has some great tips on how to pair their cannabis strains with some amazing wines for an interesting flavor experience.
Denver. Colorado was one of the leaders in legalizing cannabis at a medicinal level, and later recreational. When we think of legalized cannabis, Denver is one of the first cities to get mentioned. The mile-high city (no pun intended) has over 200 dispensaries, selling thousands of different types of products every day. One of those products is from Ceria Brewing Co., based out of Arvada, CO, which has a new take on beer, creating THC-infused non-alcoholic craft beers. With less than 0.5% alcohol, you can enjoy the taste of a specialty craft beer while feeling the effects of cannabis.
Portland. Portland ranks high as being a city with a lot of bars. There’s plenty of nightlife and fun experiences in Portland, With that energy, Portland has a lot of cannabis lounges to check out as well. You can pay to take a cannabis tour with a guide, some even have wine in the mix. You can spend the day visiting some of Portland’s best cannabis lounges and dispensaries and have the night to go bar hopping to any number of Portland’s best bars.
Cannabis Cuisine and Recreational Cannabis
With the recreational legalization of cannabis, we’re noticing some big changes in the industry. Previously, it wasn’t rare to find people holding cannabis dinner parties and private events featuring cannabis-infused cuisine. Edibles are nothing new to cannabis users, but the idea of incorporating cannabis into dinners and pairing flavors is gaining popularity. In the past, it was very much a secret “in-the-know” type of thing to do. With the legalization of recreational cannabis, however, we’re seeing more and more publicly available services for people who want to enjoy a meal that can get them stoned. Everything from catering to hiring a private chef, and in some places, bending the rules to serve food, cannabis, and alcohol all in the same space. While in many if not all areas this is still considered illegal, people are figuring out ways to work around the law to provide everything you’d want in one place. You can grab a coffee and sit down with an infused cookie, or smoke with your friends while having a beer. People are seizing the opportunity to find new, creative ways to help people use cannabis.
Cannabis Consumption Lounges
Lounges have been mentioned a few times so far, and they’re increasing in popularity. A cannabis lounge is a storefront where you can purchase and consume cannabis, usually via dabbing or vaporizing with the tools they provide. In many states, it’s illegal to smoke indoors for health reasons, so the process of direct combustion is the main thing that isn’t allowed. These lounges are meant to be comfortable, chill, and overall just a cool place to hang out while you get stoned. There are plenty of experts around who can help you dab or vaporize if it’s your first time and talk you through the process of using their equipment. Some places even have a dab bar, where you’ll sit at a bar, choose from a menu of dabs, and have a budtender assist you in using the dab. We’ll be seeing more of these spaces in the future as more states pass recreational cannabis laws.
CBD vs THC Popularity
THC has been the main focus of cannabis consumers for a while now, but CBD has become popular recently as it’s identifiable as the main medicinal component of cannabis. People struggling with chronic pain, anxiety, digestive problems, depression, or any number of health-related things can potentially find major benefits from using CBD-based products. With the removal of hemp from the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (the start of the War on Drugs), CBD is technically federally legal in all 50 states. In many areas, you can see CBD at smoke shops and even gas stations in all kinds of different forms. THC is still as popular as ever because people love the psychoactive effects, but CBD is becoming more accessible for people interested in trying something new for their health concerns or just looking to relax.
Changes in State and Federal Laws
As of April 2022 the House of Representatives has approved a law that would lead to decriminalizing cannabis on a federal level. This doesn’t mean it’s a law yet, but this is the second time in history that this has ever happened. It’s unclear how promising this is, but it could be a huge deal for people incarcerated for cannabis. It also leaves the legality up to individual states, who would ultimately still have the final say on what’s legal and what’s not.
How Changes in Local Small Business can Impact Future Market Growth
Many people fear legalization and assume that it’s likely to destroy the community, but it’s actually generating more money for the area and creating a safer environment for most of the communities having dispensaries open up. Cannabis dispensaries have a lot of safety procedures as well, making it a safer environment all around. All walks of life have an interest in cannabis products, so it stimulates the local economy, bringing new people in. In turn, local small businesses benefit too! This means you can see more businesses and more success stories with the increase in traffic.
Provi’s Outlook on Cannabis in Hospitality Businesses
Cannabis is making an interesting comeback. In relation to the hospitality industry, cannabis can change the game in a lot of ways and bring fresh new ideas for how we operate and what we serve. One day in the near future we might see bars, restaurants, and cannabis lounges come together into one big hub. We’re already seeing products like CBD kombucha on menus, so it’s only a matter of time!
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