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Cannabis cafe bill awaits Newsom's signature

Smokey Coffeeshop, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tom Jutte
Flickr / Creative Commons
Smokey Coffeeshop, Amsterdam, Netherlands

If you’re one of the millions of Californians who use cannabis recreationally, you might have been frustrated to find you can’t enjoy your legal weed with a cup of coffee or afternoon snack. While some spaces allow customers to spark up in a lounge-like setting, it’s currently illegal for California cannabis dispensaries to sell you a cup of coffee, or weed-free food.

A new bill, authored by State Assemblyman Matt Haney, would allow current cannabis dispensaries to convert their businesses to mixed-use cafes.

If approved by Governor Gavin Newsom, Californians will soon be able to enjoy their legal weed onsite, with non-cannabis food and drinks. Cannabis cafe operators will be able to host and sell tickets to live music events, opening new avenues for increasing sales and tax revenues.

Under the bill, cannabis will not be sold or legal to consume at standard cafes. But the change will allow dispensaries to develop into more social spaces.

Speaking to the bill’s intention, Haney said “The current laws are arbitrary and irrational…and frankly harmful to this legal cannabis industry that we need to survive and thrive in our state.”

I was born and raised in San Francisco and grew up in SF Unified, listening to KALW. An avid traveller and cultural adventurer, I spent the 15 years leading up to the 2020 pandemic running youth hostels around the Bay Area and exploring as much as possible. More recently I've completed my MA at SF State in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts. I'm passionate about culture and community, and believe joy and pleasure are radical routes to social progress.