Cannabis Lounge Coming to Palm Springs

Cannabis Lounge Coming to Palm Springs

News Staff

The first cannabis lounge in Southern California is coming to Palm Springs, and it prospective neighbor isn’t pleased, it was reported Friday.

Palm Springs just issued a permit for what may well be the first legal cannabis lounge in Southern California — a place where people will be allowed to smoke and hang out in the way drinkers can gather at a pub — triggering a standoff with a neighboring business owner who’s worried about odors, the Orange County Register reported.

Coachella Valley Green Dragon doesn’t yet have an estimated opening date, and the owners still have a couple regulatory hurdles to clear before they can welcome marijuana consumers. But they’re positioned to open the only public space within 400 miles where adults 21 and older will be able to legally consume cannabis in a social setting.

If that happens, Casey Bahr, who for 20-plus years has leased space for his Revive Wellness Center and Revive Salon & Spa in a portion of the same building coveted by Green Dragon, said he’ll be forced to relocate.

“We can’t subject our clients and patients to that kind of indoor pollution,” Bahr said, adding that he believes the city’s strict odor control requirements won’t be enough to prevent an offensive smell from reaching his customers.

It’s illegal to consume cannabis in public, a restriction included in the 2016 ballot measure that legalized recreational marijuana in California. That measure, Proposition 64, also gave landlords the right to regulate marijuana use on private property.

So, while a small number of hotels are permitting consumption and a few marijuana-themed festivals are held throughout the state, those two provisions can severely limit legal cannabis use for certain groups, including tourists and many renters.

One potential solution are cannabis lounges, which California cities can choose to permit. Though state law offers only a few hurdles to lounges — they can’t operate within 600 feet of schools, they can’t let people consume alcohol or tobacco in the same venue, and they have to keep all cannabis consumption out of public view — only San Francisco and Oakland have issued permits. West Hollywood and Cathedral City have said they plan to allow lounges, but they have yet to give the green light.

In December, Palm Springs voted to welcome standalone cannabis lounges. And on June 14, the city gave Coachella Valley Green Dragon a permit to open a lounge inside a portion of a building on Palm Canyon Drive, in a spot that used to be occupied by a hearing aid centerd. The plan, Goedhart said, is for the operators to have a dispensary on the first floor and a lounge on the second floor.

The space leased to Coachella Valley Green Dragon takes up about 25 percent of the building at 353 S. Palm Canyon Drive. The rest is occupied by Bahr’s medical spa and salon businesses.nge in West Hollywood could open in spring of 2019.