The battle to open a pot lounge in West Hollywood is over, and the top-scoring applicant is looking to open up shop this summer.
During the application process, Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe went by the name Flore Flora. Despite the name change, zero hype was lost in the process. One can easily see why the WeHo selection committee would have thought highly of the stunning rooftop terrace.
“We were truly impressed by the quality and caliber of the applications that the city received. Many of the proposed businesses were unique, innovative and world-class,” WeHo officials noted when the selections were announced. So it was definitely a feather in the cap 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.”
As soon as West Hollywood announced consumption licenses, Black said, Lowell Farms began working with longtime community activist Renee Nahum on creating a concept that would be a first-class representation of the ethos 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 said.
An early goal for Lowell Farms and any lounge that isn’t going for a Secret Sesh vibe will be to separate the cafe’s vibe from those popular pop-ups. Those events are home to much of the public consumption taking place across Southern California, with varying degrees of legality. But Lowell Farms should have no problem standing apart from the crowd as the initial renderings of the space look like somewhere you’re more likely to see a Michelin star than a dab rig. The tilework is reminiscent of something you’d see on the coast of the Mediterranean, and that’s no mistake, as they were all imported from Spain and Morocco.
According to the folks at Lowell Farms, cannabis in flower and edible form won't be the only options; it will be “woven into every aspect of the dining experience.” That experience will include farm-to-table service for both the food and the flowers.
Executive chef Andrea Drummer has spent the last six years preparing THC-infused foods for her patrons. In the past, she's worked under Michelin-starred chefs including Thomas Keller of French Laundry. Drummer also has spent years as a community advocate so she will be serving as the face of the restaurant.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
“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. “If you are a longtime cannabis enthusiast who is visiting Los Angeles or who lives here and loves 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.”
When it comes to the flowers, Lowell Farms definitely is on plenty of California dispensary shelves with its preroll line-up. Like many, it claims to be the fastest-growing cannabis company in California, but that’s tough to quantify until the track-and-trace system goes into effect. A couple of months after that happens, the fog over who is actually the biggest brand in California should lift.
Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe won't offer to-go orders; everything purchased at the cafe must be consumed before you leave because it’s a lounge permit and not a retail one.