Stylized as Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe but also referred to as Lowell Cafe, the restaurant is the first of its kind in the United States.
Part dispensary and part eatery, guests choose from an extensive menu of pre-rolled joints, ounces of flower, vape pods, and dabs.
It looks like any other West Hollywood restaurant: the nachos are vegan, the outdoor patio is lined with live plant walls, and the dappled sunlight sets customers up for a perfect boomerang of them ripping a bong.
The cafe is a fully stocked dispensary, and its selection includes pre-roll packs ranging from six to 14 joints per package, edibles with up to 100 milligrams of THC, and an eighth of the flower.
Also, like buying alcohol in bars or restaurants, expect a steep up-charge; eighths will cost you $55 to $65. Patrons can also bring their own weed for a “toke-age” fee of $20, like a corkage fee in a traditional restaurant.
Customers can also snack on a variety of dishes designed to compliment the inevitable munchies. It’s almost like visiting a gastropub, but instead of splitting fries and sipping whatever beer’s on tap, you can smoke whatever flower is in season.
Regardless of whether or not they consume cannabis products on-site, customers must be over 21 years old. To ensure this policy, a bouncer stands at the door with a tablet and scans various ID’s, which was added to an internal database used for cannabis purchases.
Because regulated cannabis is a legislative nightmare, Lowell Cafe is actually two different businesses. Under California’s current laws, cannabis lounges like Lowell Cafe aren’t allowed to sell food or beverages.
Therefore, at Lowell, the front patio facing the street is a basic, run-of-the-mill eatery that serves food but can’t sell weed. The interior and enclosed back patio are 420-friendly areas where patrons can order food from the restaurant, buy cannabis products, and consume it.
Basically, as West Hollywood’s community and legislative affairs manager John Leonard told Eater LA, there are “two separate businesses on two separate premises.”
“Patrons in the cannabis consumption area are allowed to order food from the adjacent restaurant,” he continued. “And the food from the adjacent restaurant is delivered to the consumption area.”
To be honest, if there is one distinctive lesson it is that Lowell Cafe’s cannabis selection is packaged in an intimidating leather-bound menu similar to wine menus at fancy restaurants and choosing weed is quite a ride.