Did anyone think they'd live to see the day when Angelenos could openly smoke a bowl while bowling a strike? But this past Saturday night, for the first time time ever, Hollywood and Highland's landmark bowling alley Lucky Strike decided to allow marijuana use on its premises.
And not just for any regular old potheads, either. In a private room with four lanes and a smoking patio, the disco bowling hot spot hosted the after-party for a conference held earlier that day for movers and shakers in the weed industry, including Justin Hartfield, co-founder of Weedmaps (the Yelp of cannabis); Dale Sky Jones, who runs the Bay Area pot school Oaksterdam University, and Bruce Margolin, Los Angeles director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).
"It was just really dark, and the lights were flashing, and everyone was really, really high," says party organizer Susan Soares, director of nonprofit patient advocacy group C.A.R.E. (Cannabis Awareness Research Economics). "There was a lot of hugging."
Attendees who had been verified as medical marijuana patients — denoted by a green wristband, of course — received a free O.penVAPE vaporizer pen, a medicated Bhang chocolate bar, and individually wrapped red velvet edibles. When Lucky Strike servers passed out the edibles, Soares takes care to mention, they were especially sure to not allow partygoers more than one dose.
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Lucky Strike recently underwent a major renovation, including the construction of a new stage, and began last month co-hosting a Sunday concert series with rock radio station KROQ. Soares says Saturday's party went so well that regularly scheduled cannabis-themed pre-parties for the KROQ concerts may be in the works.
Earlier in the day, at a Hollywood office penthouse, several dozen major stakeholders in California's marijuana industry including lawyers, entrepreneurs, activists, doctors, growers, dispensary owners and branding consultants discussed legalization, medical research, digital media and their predictions for the future at a conference aptly called "The State of Marijuana."
All that stoned bowling didn't come cheap: Entry to the Lucky Strike after-party cost $100. But there was a way out, since it was free with conference attendance. And since the event's organizers, Alan Tse and Anthony Manzo, gave away about half of the conference's $199 tickets to major industry stakeholders, nearly 100 of L.A.'s most politically active and entrepreneurial stoners enjoyed the festivities for free.