It was only a matter of time. Consumers in California will have another option in how they spend their social time out come 2024. The state legislature has passed a bill that will allow cannabis dispensaries to prepare and serve food and non-alcoholic drinks on-site, opening the door to cannabis cafes across the state. The measure is on the desk of Governor Gavin Newson where it is expected to be signed.
Add another distraction for consumers who are increasingly looking for new and different options when dinning and drinking out. Assembly Bill 374 (Haney) is intended to help the struggling cannabis industry in California, beset by high taxes, burdensome licensing and a thriving black market. But it will also add a new type of venue for consumers to choose from, in addition to brewpubs, bars and restaurants. There are over 1,000 dispensaries in the state.
Currently, cannabis dispensaries in California are not allowed to sell food or beverages for on-site consumption. Eleven states, including California do allow on-site cannabis consumption in so-called cannabis “lounges” but prepared food service is not allowed.
If the Governor signs the bill it will become law January 1, 2024.