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On-site Eureka parlors deal with tough laws and health concerns

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California, one of the frontiers of a changing landscape of cannabis consumption, is seeing new business in the cannabis lounge, and Humboldt County is no different.

Eureka’s two cannabis lounges – the Papa & Barkley Social Dispensary and the High Tide Cannabis Lounge – are part of this new breed of cannabis consumption business that allows customers to consume products on-site, although each one must deal with questions of local law and law compliance.

“There are two challenges. One is on the regulatory side, and that has a lot to do with smoking, but also with public health concerns. And then the other is really what is the business model? How does it work? Because you have to pay rent for that space,” said Dominic Corva, co-director of the Humboldt Institute for Research Marijuana is multidisciplinary at Cal Poly Humboldt, I think that’s the main challenge for lounges.

The regulatory challenge Corva cited is around California’s indoor anti-smoking regulations aimed at protecting employees from working in smoky environments, even though the regulations were initially aimed at cigarette smoke.

Papa & Barkley overcomes this problem by having a smoking section in an outdoor lounge, and High Tide uses a high-powered HVAC air filtration system to prevent the store from becoming a bulky hot box.

“There aren’t any rules and regulations that directly regulate indoor cannabis consumption, so you have to follow these tobacco laws until the state adopts indoor cannabis consumption laws. What we have to stick to is just making sure that we don’t We are violating any internal consumption laws.” “The actual (smoking) space has to be a separately confined space, we have to have a complaint HVAC system, that system has minimal air changes per hour, and we have to make sure that we monitor and track data from Such that our employees are not subject to having to work in that environment. ”

High Tides are taxed the way the regular cannabis business is taxed, which means higher prices have to be paid, and cannabis retailers pay a 15% excise tax on purchases from distributors. However, the lounge area does not add an additional tax rate, it simply allows people space to consume cannabis products.

Many landlords add no-smoking clauses in rental agreements, and smoking in public places is very limited, especially for tourists, according to Markland.

“You can’t smoke in your car, you’re not supposed to smoke in public on the sidewalk and alley, anything like that. People don’t want to smell weed in public if they don’t want to participate. It was really a big meltdown,” Markland said. of the legal structure of cannabis, as there is nowhere for people to consume it.”

Catering to this venue from people who do not have a designated legal venue for the use of cannabis products is partly how the marijuana companies can continue operations and achieve success.

Papa & Barkley answers the question of commercial viability by providing several on-site services, including food trucks, a convenience store and a spa, according to Brittany Le Beau, director of social club events and marketing.

Both lounges also have retail cannabis and food items available for purchase. Only customers 21 years of age or older can enter the store and lounge.

While not all regions embrace the idea of ​​cannabis lounges — 57% of California cities and counties have completely banned all types of cannabis businesses — Korva noted that Humboldt County’s culture and legacy of world-famous cannabis cultivation, both legal and illegal, mean that local cannabis consumption lacks stigma. Often associated with other parts of California.

“The Humboldt is probably where the stigma around cannabis or cannabis use is lowest because it has been so central to their economy and culture for decades,” Korva said.

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