Move over, Amsterdam: LA’s first cannabis cafe is open

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Lowell Cafe in West Hollywood opens today. You can buy, smoke, and eat weed there. 

The eatery and weedery has a light, bright, airy, laid back vibe with high ceilings, intricate Mediterranean tiles, living walls, and multiple patios.

The space includes a 1,600 square-foot cafe where diners can order food and non-alcoholic beverages; a 2,500 square-foot indoor lounge that allows cannabis smoking, vaping and edible consumption; and an 1,800 square-foot outdoor garden where cannabis edibles, vaping and smoking cannabis are allowed.

Eater LA’s Mona Holmes took a sneak peek.

Inside Lowell Cafe.
L owell Cafe restaurant and cannabis consumption lounge layout.

Can you go into this restaurant with your weed and just light up? 

Yes. Customers can bring their own cannabis for a small "tokage" fee (think “corkage fee”). You can also buy, smoke or vape Lowell Farms products, which is a cannabis farm in Santa Barbara, but they also have some non-Lowell vendors, too.

Cannabis edibles, vaping and smoking is allowed in the outdoor garden.

Is cannabis going into the food or drink?

Got the munchies? This might help.

No. State and local government regulations currently won’t allow that. As a workaround, Lowell will function as two separate businesses in the same building: a cannabis dispensary and a restaurant. 

But despite the fact that they can’t infuse cannabis into the food, the restaurant will pay particularly close attention to how both of those things go with one another.

“We're looking at the specific strains and we'll taste the flavors everyday, and then pair them or recommend the pre-rolls or whatever we have in house with the menu items,” said chef Andrea Drummer. “We want the guests to have the maximum experience where you're indulging in the food, you're having the cannabis experience, but they go well together and it's not intrusive. Like, we have a crepe on the menu that's stuffed with ricotta cheese and has a peach compote. So if you take something like that and then do an OG Kush, that's something that's more pungent and heavy. It could be intrusive and disruptive to the palate. We want to avoid that.”

You can enjoy this before or after a toke (but not during).
Chef Andrea Drummer.

Can you get a glass of wine with dinner?

No. The law does not allow alcohol to be consumed in the same premises where cannabis is consumed, so all the drinks are non-alcoholic.

A non-alcoholic cocktail at Lowell Cafe.

So no bartender?

Nope. But there’s a budtender. He or she will take your order, and that order will get sent to the cannabis vault, which is a temperature-controlled, secure room where another person (the budkeeper) will fulfil the order. The budtender will then go to the table and roll the joint for the customer.

Will the cafe be insanely smoky?

Lowell Cafe says it has an elaborate and expensive air filtration system that’s required by law.

What do you want to know more about?