Socially Stoned; Where are the consumption lounges?

As someone who doesn’t really enjoy drinking, I find myself doing it more often than I’d expect and mostly in social settings or for celebratory causes. Rarely do I find myself just “wanting a drink”. Personally, I am not too fond of the taste, especially when the drinks are made stiff. I’m also someone who gets hung over easily after drinking, regardless of the amount of food or water that I have. The second I get enough alcohol in my system to be considered drunk is the moment I’m doomed with a hangover.

That being said, I still enjoy going to bars to meet new people and socialize — but it’s considered weird to be at a bar and not drink. The bartender will usually give a disapproving or shocked look accompanied with a sassy comment, so I usually grab a cocktail. Which is interesting that even as adults just to meet with others, we feel pressured into things we wouldn’t generally choose for ourselves.

It makes you wonder, what other options do adults have for meeting other adults in a social setting that isn’t revolved around drinking? Really, what other options are there? Yes there’s coffee shops and yes they can be an okay place to meet people, but they aren’t as promising since most people aren’t there to meet new friends. Book stores can work, Powell’s even, but then again, it’s hit or miss and very unlikely.

Where are all the cannabis lounges?

Why is it that we are confined to such limited activities for meeting new people and socializing? Where are the cannabis lounges? And not just the ones we see now that are dark and grungy and make you feel like you’re back on the black market. But the lounges that play good music and create an environment that people can enjoy themselves in! Where are the lounges that mimic a movie theater or coffee shop? We need more variety on the social side of the cannabis industry. There needs to be places that people can not only go to safely consume cannabis in, but to give people like myself a place to socialize without the pressure of drinking and the opportunity to use cannabis if desired.

Even today, where we see cannabis being legalized in Canada and across states in the U.S., we still see a huge lack of social consumption spaces. It makes you wonder how even in the midst of legalization, cannabis can still be dictated unsafe and stigmatized. Here in Oregon, we have the Clean Air Act that was passed shortly after cannabis became legal. This bill made it illegal to smoke inside or within 10 feet of any public building. By default, making it illegal for any cannabis social lounge that may have come on the scene, unless they are a private property and it’s a private club - event then it’s tricky. The laws have become so absurd around this matter that people are just opting out all together and waiting until they are changed. Within Colorado, California, Oregon, and even Canada I have yet to see a cannabis lounge as innovative as would of hoped to have by 2019.

Maybe this year is the year we’re blessed with that cutting edge space. But I find it a tad disappointing that we as cannabis users don’t have adequate and safe spaces to use cannabis and coexist. All the while there is a plethora of ways you can go poison your liver with your friends.

*Author Notes: If you know of any cutting edge and innovative cannabis consumption lounges, please share them!