Meet the new bars. Not the same as the old bars.
The city of Los Angeles is exploring licenses for cannabis consumption lounges, according to Cat Packer, Director of the Los Angeles Department of Cannabis Regulation, who spoke Wednesday at the “Dawn of Cannabis” summit hosted by Eaze.
Los Angeles would follow the lead of San Francisco, which already permits some on-site consumption at lounges outfitted with expensive ventilation requirements, and West Hollywood, where last year the City Council approved new zoning regulations that could allow for lounges there.
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Packer was the first speaker at the Eaze event, telling a standing-room-only crowd that LA is “interested in considering consumption lounges. That’s a huge evolution in this.”
Packer said the City Council has instructed the city attorney to explore the issue of a permit infrastructure for on-site consumption, a process that could take months or years to see through.
Earlier in the fireside chat, Packer was asked what she has found most surprising in her short time as the first cannabis regulator in the history of Los Angeles. Packer took a beat to consider the question, and said: “There is policy, and there is politics. Sometimes we let politics get in the way of good policy. When you have right folks as part of the conversation … and have a sane conversation? Then we can have good policy.”
Asked what she does for fun, Packer—appointed to the newly created post late last year—took another pause to pick the perfect answer.
“I’m the director of a department of four,” she deadpanned. “I … work casually.”