Cannabis lounges are gaining traction in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry, offering individuals a safe and responsible space to consume cannabis while enjoying a unique social experience.
In an exclusive interview, Cirrus Social Club founder Arend Richard shares insights into the regulations, challenges, innovations, and societal impacts associated with cannabis lounges.
Richard highlights the wide range of regulations governing cannabis lounges in different jurisdictions. Some areas allow “Marijuana Hospitality” with limited or no food and beverage service. Denver-based Cirrus Social Club, however, stands out by offering food and drinks.
‘No Bad Highs’
Creating a safe environment for responsible cannabis consumption is a top priority for cannabis lounges.
Richard emphasizes the importance of age restrictions, comprehensive staff training, clear consumption guidelines, and obtaining the necessary licenses and permits.
“With dozens of brands about to pop up at the same time, it’s important that we all keep our cards close,” he says.
Cirrus Social Club, for example, focuses on catering to first-time cannabis consumers and ensuring a positive experience for all guests, under its motto “no bad highs.”
Richard plans to create a ballroom with a 10-foot floral display, a private room for up to 12 guests, as well as a 3,000-square-foot ballroom called the Rose Room. To meet cannabis hospitality standards, Richard and his partners are reportedly investing $3.5 million in renovating the building, aiming to open by the end of September.
Public Perception & Social Acceptance
Cannabis lounges face challenges in gaining mainstream acceptance due to the industry’s varied approach to social consumption.
However, Richard believes that by creating an environment where even non-regular cannabis consumers like his own grandmother would feel comfortable, cannabis lounges can change generational perceptions of cannabis overnight.
“My Nana, who is semi-retired and spends her time jet-setting to beautiful destinations, hasn’t consumed cannabis since the 60s (…) If I can get my Nana to go, I can get my whole family to go,” he says.
Richard draws a parallel between social drinking and social cannabis consumption, emphasizing the mind-opening abilities of cannabis to bring a genuine curiosity about life.
“Having that state of mind exist in a familial dynamic has the power to heal ‘generational trauma,'” he adds. “A hot-button topic right now, but certainly has a reason to be so hot.”
Innovative Experiences & Collaborations
“We can’t wait to share the multitude of different experiences we will be offering. What I can say is, that Cirrus will be like a magic show. We will captivate your attention and ignite your excitement,” claims Richard.
Richard also anticipates industry collaborations and reveals plans to partner with organizations like ‘This is Jane Project’ to “offer meditative seshes for trauma healing in a safe space in our Rose Room Ballroom.” “I’m most excited about hospitality collaborations, though. The future of big hospitality names and up-and-coming cannabis lounges is a bright one!” he says.
Cannabis lounges ensure inclusivity by targeting specific demographics, avoiding the mistake of trying to cater to everyone. By considering who might feel uncomfortable, license holders can create a welcoming environment where others will also feel at ease.
It’s not necessary to have an extensive range of products; instead, focus on catering to a specific group, and others will follow suit, he recommends.
Cirrus Social Club will play a significant role in debunking common misconceptions about cannabis, Richard says. By providing a lavish and sophisticated space for cannabis consumption, the club aims to elevate the perception of cannabis in society.
Not all cannabis lounges may contribute positively to destigmatization, but Richard asserts that places like Cirrus Social Club focus on how cannabis can spread joy.
“The distinction that some lounges will make, Cirrus being one of them, is making it about the place that cannabis takes you when consumed, and how to operate from that place more often. It’s not about the sesh, it’s not about the smoke, it’s not about any of that. Those things are important! However, the true focus is on the mind-opening capabilities of this plant to spread joy,” Richard concludes.
By debunking misconceptions, promoting open conversations, and addressing diverse consumer preferences, cannabis lounges like Cirrus Social Club are pushing the boundaries and transforming the social landscape surrounding cannabis. (Full Story)