Ik bezocht het eerste cannabiscafé in de VS en ontdekte dat het zoveel meer is dan alleen een plek om high te worden


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  • America’s first-ever legal cannabis cafe opened in Los Angeles, California, in October. 
  • The Original Cannabis Cafe, formerly called the Lowell Cafe, allows customers to order food, sip on nonalcoholic beverages, and legally consume marijuana all in one place. 
  • The cafe features a lunch and dinner menu, as well as a cannabis menu made up of edibles, pre-rolled joints, and more. 
  • Insider visited the Original Cannabis Cafe, and spoke to executive chef and partner Andrea Drummer, to learn more about the West Hollywood spot. 
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

America’s first-ever cannabis cafe in West Hollywood, California, opened its doors to significant fanfare. 

The Original Cannabis Cafe, formerly known as the Lowell Cafe, operates just like a normal restaurant, complete with servers and an extensive food menu created by chef Andrea Drummer. However, unlike the average restaurant, guests have the option to smoke weed or consume an edible at their table upon arriving.

Although recreational marijuana shops have been legal in California since January 2018, the Original Cannabis Cafe offers regular smokers, or anyone who is curious, a comfortable place to get high in public. 

With this in mind, I stopped by the first-of-its-kind cafe to see what it’s really like. 

The giant “Eat, Drink, & Smoke … Cannabis” sign was the first thing I saw as I parked my car and walked up to the cafe on a Monday afternoon.

across street The large sign above the Original Cannabis Cafe in West Hollywood, California. Tallie Spencer/Insider

I headed to the Original Cannabis Cafe in West Hollywood, California, on a Monday afternoon around lunchtime.

As I was about to cross the street to the cafe, I noticed a large sign pointing to my destination that read: “Eat, Drink, & Smoke … Cannabis.” 

On top of the earthy tones and greenery that surrounded the walls of the restaurant, it was hard to miss.

After I crossed the street, I headed straight for the sign and noticed the Lowell Herb Co. logo on the wooden walls outside of the restaurant.

lowells symboll front.JPG The Lowell Herb Co. logo disguised in flowers. Tallie Spencer/Insider

I kept walking and saw the Lowell Herb Co. company logo in front of the building. It took me a while to decipher what the image was at first because it was covered in flowers and greenery. 

Lowell Herb Co. is the organization behind the cafe, and also one of California’s largest marijuana companies. It’s known for its packages of pre-rolled joints, called Lowell Smokes. According to Weed Maps, the product is the top-selling pre-roll in California and is available in over 300 dispensaries. 

As I got closer to the restaurant, I was expecting the strong odor of marijuana, but surprisingly didn’t smell a thing.

fake door.JPG The Original Cannabis Cafe located on North La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles, California. Tallie Spencer/Insider

It’s not uncommon to smell weed on any given day while walking the streets of Los Angeles, but to my surprise, there were no strong scents coming from the restaurant.

In fact, the smell didn’t hit me until I turned the corner into the parking lot, which is when I got an immediate whiff of the smoke.

After approaching the cafe, I was able to quickly check in with the hostess, where she confirmed the age on my ID, as well as my reservation.

lowell signage front.JPG The check-in desk at the Original Cannabis Cafe. Tallie Spencer/Insider

When I first turned the corner into the parking lot of the restaurant, my coworker and I were greeted by a hostess with an iPad who asked for our reservation, as well as our IDs.

All guests must be at least 21 years old to visit the cannabis cafe. Even if you have a medical marijuana card, you won’t be allowed on the premises unless you’re 21.

As we walked in, our hostess told us that customers could also sit at the bar and order dabs as they waited for their table.

bar entrance.JPG The bar at the Original Cannabis Cafe takes walk-ins during the week. Tallie Spencer/Insider

You can order everything from a dab, which is a concentrated form of marijuana, to a joint at the bar, but you won’t be able to order alcohol.

All of the drinks offered at the Original Cannabis Cafe were nonalcoholic since California law forbids alcohol and cannabis from being sold on the same premises. 

As I looked around at the indoor seating area, I was surprised to find that the room wasn’t filled with smoke.

cannabis cafe one side.JPG The indoor seating area at the Original Cannabis Cafe was well-ventilated. Tallie Spencer/Insider

The cafe’s business license specifically states that the scent of marijuana should not be detectable outside the property, which is why its owners installed a special HVAC system that is designed to filter smoke out of the air.

But while I didn’t see a lot of smoke lingering in the restaurant, the odor inside was still strong. 

The hostess led us to our table outside, which is where most of the other customers had decided to sit as well.

outside area.JPG The outside seating area at Original Cannabis Cafe was peaceful. Tallie Spencer/Insider

The patio area was gorgeous, with wooden tables and trees filling up the entire space. 

Everyone that was seated outside could be seen smoking while enjoying their meal. As a Los Angeles native, I can tell you that it’s not uncommon to see people smoking marijuana, but seeing them do it so casually at a restaurant was a new experience for me. 

Shortly after we sat down, we were greeted by a server who placed two menus down in front of us: a food menu and a cannabis menu.

breakfast.JPG Breakfast at the Original Cannabis Cafe can be ordered until 3 p.m. Tallie Spencer/Insider

I flipped to the cannabis menu, which is when our server explained that we’d be placing any marijuana-related orders through a “flower host.” In order to comply with state law, the restaurant and cannabis retail establishment have to act as separate businesses, which is why guests order food and cannabis through two different servers. 

Our food server then asked us if we preferred “to smoke a bit before we eat.” Normally, that would sound like a great idea, but we just decided to order our food first so that it would be ready by the time we started smoking.

It was also more convenient to place an order with our regular server since I needed more time to review the intricate cannabis menu.

When I first heard about the Original Cannabis Cafe, I thought that the food would be infused with cannabis, but that’s not the case.

menu.JPG The main food menu included the main entrees and appetizers. Tallie Spencer/Insider

Executive chef and partner Andrea Drummer told Insider that although the restaurant is unable to legally infuse cannabis into the food as of right now, they do pair a lot of the food menu items with specific strains that they carry in-house.

“It’s really just a matter of pairing the particular strain with the cuisine,” Drummer said. “And you’re still able to do that outside of infusing because you’re thinking about the flavor profiles that certain strains inspire, and how it translates into a menu item.”

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