These days, it’s not difficult to find curated weed parties, exclusive cannabis dinners, pot-infused yoga classes, and all sorts of secret seshes in the Los Angeles area. But this summer, a permanent consumption space will open in nearby West Hollywood called Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Café that promises to be unlike any other.

The new cannabis restaurant from Lowell Herb Co., a California organic cannabis farm that caters to upscale beginning and experienced pot smokers, aims to feature a full menu of fresh, cannabis-infused seasonal dishes including sandwiches, salads, comfort foods, and infused beverage options.

“We were truly impressed by the quality and caliber of the applications that the city received,” WeHo officials noted when the final applicants were announced. “Many of the proposed businesses were unique, innovative, and world-class, so it was definitely a testament to the quality of the Lowell Farms concept that it stood above the pack.”

Lowell Farms co-founder Sean Black explained to L.A. Weekly how the winning concept came together. “The spark of the project was the idea that visitors who come to West Hollywood have nowhere legitimate to smoke cannabis,” Black said. “Hotels don’t allow it, it’s illegal to do in public, and that felt unfair. We wanted to create a warm, comfortable place for people to safely try cannabis with experienced staff, a relaxed environment, and good food and non-alcoholic drinks.”

Pictures of the restaurant’s layout show an expansive design that incorporates plants and natural materials, with plenty of room for natural light to liven up the space. Kitchen and dining operations will be managed by Richard Brenner, chief operating officer of Hugo’s Restaurant in West Hollywood. Adding to the large outdoor patio section, the restaurant will also feature considerable bar space and a selection of non-alcoholic cannabis-infused beverages.

All items on the café’s menu will be available sans cannabis or infused with one to 10 milligrams of THC or cannabidiol (CBD). Lowell Farms’ Executive Chef Andrea Drummer brings her vast experience creating VIP cannabis-infused meals and working with chefs who have received multiple Michelin stars. In a press release, Lowell Herb Co. claimed the restaurant will be a “safe, welcoming environment for all to enjoy and learn about the newly legalized world of cannabis.”

As soon as West Hollywood announced consumption licenses, Lowell Farms began working with community activist Renee Nahum on creating a concept that would be a first-class representation of the spirit and social consciousness in the community of West Hollywood. “We worked tirelessly until the final application deadline to refine our concept and add partners who could bring expertise to our project,” Black told L.A. Weekly.

A big part of that concept was to create an upscale café-style vibe that separated itself from the “Secret Sesh” spots popping up all around L.A. While those events are home to a considerable amount of the public consumption taking place across the city (with varying degrees of legality), Lowell Farms wanted to stand apart by constructing a space that catered more to foodies and restauranteurs than dab-heads and hippies. To that end, the café’s design is similar to something you’d see in Spain or Italy, rather than the haphazard meeting places that are typical of the Secret Sesh scene.

According to Lowell Farms, cannabis in flower and edible form won’t be the only options on offer; instead, “it will be woven into every aspect of the dining experience,” including farm-to-table service and a list of delicious infused beverages.

Executive chef Andrea Drummer has spent the past six years preparing cannabis-infused foods throughout the U.S., and in the past, she’s worked under Michelin-starred chefs including Thomas Keller of French Laundry. Drummer has also spent her career working as a community advocate and will be serving as the face of the restaurant.

“If you’re new to cannabis, we want to be the safest, most comfortable place for you to try it and have a great first experience,” Black said, adding, “[But] if you are a longtime cannabis enthusiast who is visiting Los Angeles or who lives here and love our new freedom, we want to be a place you can socialize and eat and enjoy your favorite plant with friends in public and without shame.”

While Lowell farms is all over California dispensary shelves with its extensive preroll line-up, don’t expect to be able to get to-go orders from the café. Everything purchased at Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Café must be consumed before you leave because the establishment only has a lounge permit and not a retail one.

Lowell Herbo Co. was one of 16 companies in West Hollywood to be awarded a business license for a cannabis consumption lounge on Dec. 18, 2018. The ordinance put West Hollywood as one of only a handful of cities that offer public consumption venues, joining Denver, Portland, San Francisco, and Oakland.

Expect to see Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe open its doors to consumption (and dining) by summer 2019.

By: Nico Picciuto