Indulge in (Legal) Weed at These 8 U.S. Cannabis Cafés

The recreational cannabis industry is budding across the country—but the issue of where to enjoy marijuana publicly is still a work in progress.

Green booths, walls, and tables at Rise Mundelein Lounge, with white and green check tile floor

Chicago-based interior designer Sasha Adler created the eye-catching space at Rise Mundelein Lounge in Illinois.

Courtesy of Rise Mundelein Lounge

Envision this: You’re at a bar, but the energy is decidedly relaxed—even a bit posh. Instead of throwing back shots, you’re sharing a vape pen or tasting a cannabis confection from a local bakery—maybe there’s a latte involved. There’s trivia night going on in one corner, in the same area of the lounge where comedy night was happening last week. You can ask a cannabis aficionado (or “budtender”) about a new type of flower at the counter, or even order table service (complete with rolling papers) from your pre-reserved booth. And no, you aren’t in Amsterdam.

Marijuana prohibition’s slow but promising lift in the United States is making room for a wave of “public cannabis consumption spaces,” also known as “social consumption lounges” (SCLs) or cannabis cafés, more casually. Currently only 12 states allow for on-site cannabis lounges: Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, and New York.

But it’s predicted that the legalization and marijuana café trend will explode in the coming years as state laws continue to change. Ahead of the curve, the San Francisco Bay Area currently has the largest number of SCLs in the country, but more are cropping up in other areas of the United States as well.

Ahead are eight stylish, comfortable, welcoming spaces for a new kind of recreational marijuana happy hour, with some pointers and suggestions from Erik Knutson, CEO of Keef Brands. Not only is Knutson the force behind Keef (known as a “pioneering developer, producer, and distributor of award-winning cannabis-infused beverages, edibles, oils, and more”) but he’s also a founding board member of the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH) and the Cannabis Trade Federation (CTF).

1. Rise Mundelein Lounge

Rise Mundelein Lounge opened in 2022, an hour’s drive north of Chicago, and was the first cannabis consumption lounge to open east of the Mississippi. The chic, jungle green lounge was dreamed up by famed Chicago interior designer Sasha Adler. Here, guests can choose from a wide variety of flowers, vapes, pre-rolls, edibles, extracts, and tinctures, as well as any gear they might need. Online shopping and curbside pickup are also available. In September, Green Thumb Industries (the parent company that owns Rise) hosts one of the original legal cannabis consumption music festivals in town, “The Miracle in Mundelein.”

2. Stoned Pizza

NYC is full of slice shops, but this one is a bit different: All the pizza is infused with marijuana. As is most of the food. The five-course menu—which requires a reservation and is a $120 prix fixe—includes salad, garlic knots, pizza, crispy chicken lollipops, and gelato. And if the robust menu isn’t enough, guests are welcome to bring their own edibles and flowers to enjoy. The dinners are meant to be a communal experience where guests can enjoy a “sensory symphony.”

3. Wake-N-Bakery

Self-described as Chicago’s original cannabis-infused bakery and coffee shop, Wake-N-Bakery has an extensive menu of THC-infused goodies. From the more expected (Americanos and iced teas) to the downright fun (like Snoop’s Dream, a caramel Italian espresso drink that pairs well with the weed-infused muffins), this is a spot where you’ll want to linger. There are four locations peppered around the city; the one in the city’s Lakeview neighborhood is within walking distance of Lake Michigan. You can also pick up pre-rolls, edibles, and other cannabis products from Wake-N-Bakery.

Interior of Moe Green's lounge, empty of people

The tables in Moe Greens’s bright and comfortable lounge are stocked with numerous accessories and instructions that facilitate a positive experience for both newbies and longtime tokers.

Courtesy of Moe Greens

4. Moe Greens

About a block away from X HQ in San Francisco’s tech-centric mid-Market Street neighborhood sits a whimsical yet sophisticated midcentury-modern space, with rich olive hues and gold Sputnik chandeliers: Moe Greens. “This is an upscale cannabis lounge that brings together all kinds of people and consumers to relax in their booths and experience a wide variety of products, including infused beverages,” says Knutson.

Words of advice from Knutson: “The lounge gets really busy, so be sure to make a reservation!” Like a club, VIP booths require advanced reservations, though there are also two large “get together” lounges that are first-come, first-served. To enter, you just need to buy something from the dispensary.

5. The Studio Cannabis Smoking Lounge & Weed Dispensary

  • Location: 8625 Santa Monica Blvd., 2nd Floor, West Hollywood, California | Find on Google Maps

Up a flight of stairs above the Artist Tree Cannabis Dispensary, you’ll find a beautifully designed (and calming) lounge serving up snacks and canna-cocktails. As one of the area’s first cannabis shops, the focus here is on using marijuana as a way to boost creativity, and you’ll certainly leave the space feeling inspired. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available, and you can reserve a table ahead of time. There are also plenty of events, like a “Puff Puff Paint” night and a coworking session/writer’s café in the afternoon.

Two hands holding a grinder full of marijuana

You don’t have to go all the way to Amsterdam to enjoy a cannabis café anymore.

Photo by Dmytro Tyshchenko/Shutterstock

6. Root’d in the 510

Located in the heart of Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood, Root’d in the 510 cannabis lounge has it all: board games, big-screen TVs, and even video games and pinball across 7,000 square feet. There’s also a Root’d Combustion Lounge, adjacent to the main lounge area, where guests can smoke. Root’d hosts plenty of events, including art shows featuring locals’ work and DJ sets.

7. The Summit Private Lounge

Drive an hour west of Boston to find the Summit Private Lounge in Worcester. This upscale bar and lounge offers an elevated yet rustic aesthetic to enjoy cannabis tastings while taking in live music or playing video games.

Rent or buy a smoking device (like a piece or a bong), and take advantage of the cold drinks, snacks, and coffee on offer. There are bimonthly events, paint nights—and yes, video games—all available to anyone with a membership or guest pass. The idea of a “members-only” club might sound pricey and exclusive, but the Summit makes its social cannabis experience accessible with a modest $30 per month or $10 per visit fee.

8. The Coffee Joint

Located next door to a dispensary, Denver’s the Coffee Joint may look like a run-of-the-mill beatnik coffeehouse, but in 2018 it became the first place you could publicly (and legally) consume cannabis in Colorado . . . but you still can’t smoke. (Smoking marijuana in public is illegal in Colorado.) In addition to offering a relaxed environment for vaping, enjoying cannabis-infused food and drink, and sampling THC concentrates, the Coffee Joint offers lots of regular events, including movie screenings and meditation practices.

This article originally appeared online in 2019; it was updated on August 23, 2023, by Erika Owens, and most recently updated on May 22, 2024, to include current information.

Dominique Michelle Astorino is a fitness, health, and wellness writer based in San Diego.
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