“For us to have these types of spaces that are welcoming and safe and where people can come and enjoy the product will also create that kind of appeal for our city as a safe destination for cannabis consumption,” said Rocco.
The city will start accepting applications for “consumption lounges” starting in May and plans to grant 16 permits — eight that would allow for smoking, and eight that would be restricted to vaping and edibles.
There are currently four dispensaries in the city that can legally sell recreational marijuana. Zen West Hollywood is one of them. Manager Brandon Perrin said creating safe places for people to smoke is a no-brainer.
“There’s so many dispensaries, and it’s so easily accessible — it’s almost silly not to have a place where all like-minded people can enjoy flower,” he said. Perrin says about 70 percent of the dispensary’s customers are now tourists and he thinks pot lounges are the natural next step for the city.
“I believe it’s going to be like a modern-day Amsterdam. People are going to come to West Hollywood to go to the shops, go to a lounge, spend a day cruising around,” he said.