San Francisco Allows Pot-Smoking Lounges. Is Sacramento Next?

By Brad Branan
The Sacramento Bee

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) While there is no statewide registry of lounges, people in the cannabis industry say they know only of a cluster in the Bay Area — eight in San Francisco and one in Oakland. In South Lake Tahoe, Tahoe Wellness Center has a smoking lounge, too. Some other places in Southern California are in the process of approving on-site consumption, including West Hollywood.

SAN FRANCISCO

Marijuana may be legal in California, but that doesn’t mean Jeri Jirsa can light up any time she would like — which is often, thanks to the pain and mood problems she experiences from the muscle condition fibromyalgia.

Like a majority of residents in the city, Jirsa lives in rental housing and her ability to consume cannabis is controlled by a landlord who has said no.

When California voters 15 months ago passed Proposition 64 — formally known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act — it didn’t create a lot of options for where people 21 and over can legally consume pot.

They can smoke at home, if they own the house. Otherwise, landlords can ban marijuana use, just like they can ban tobacco smoking, and that can include the use of vaporizers. Tourists face a similar dilemma — smoke in a hotel room and risk a big fine, or do it on the street and risk a citation from a police officer.

Outside of homes, state law allows cannabis consumption in just two places — dispensaries and special events. Jirsa lives near a dispensary that has a lounge area and allows cannabis consumption on site. She says she goes to Sparc on Mission Street three to four times a day to imbibe.

“We need more places where people can use safely and comfortably,” she said.

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