Maryland has officially joined a small but growing group of U.S. states with operational marijuana consumption lounges. Launched in Burtonsville, Ceylon House is the first marijuana consumption lounge in Maryland that allows adults to gather and smoke cannabis outside of their homes.
The facility will only serve medical marijuana patients for the moment, and staff will check customer licenses at the door before letting them in. At the moment, Ceylon House currently operates in a sort of grey area because Maryland law hasn’t legalized consumption lounges, but it hasn’t outlawed them either.
One of the most contentious issues in the nascent marijuana cannabis has been the issue of public consumption. While dozens of states now have recreational and medical cannabis programs, consuming the drug in public is strictly forbidden in all states, and people are required to consume cannabis in private residences. However, this locks out a large portion of customers known as “cannabis tourists” who travel from states that may not have legal cannabis markets to states that allow recreational cannabis use.
Public consumption lounges were presented as a solution to this issue because they would provide customers with a semipublic place to consume cannabis without exposing passers-by to secondhand smoke.
Customers pay $25 to get into Ceylon House and smoke medical marijuana. Owner Venushki “Venus” Hemachandra notes that the county has put plenty of restrictions on the consumption lounge, such as requirements for air quality. The establishment also isn’t allowed to sell drinks, food or cannabis, but it can rent and sell bongs and other cannabis-related paraphernalia to customers.
Adults in Maryland recently voted in favor of a measure to legalize recreational cannabis, and the state has had a medical marijuana market for close to a decade now. The state is also currently working on policies and rules for a new recreational marijuana program, and we can expect the restrictions on who can use marijuana consumption lounges to loosen over time.
The cannabis measure circulating in the state legislature would allow for the establishment of 15 cannabis-consumption cafes in Maryland. Maryland joins a group of six states that have legalized marijuana consumption lounges for either medical or recreational cannabis users.
Colorado, which is home to one of the largest cannabis markets in the country and attracts plenty of cannabis tourists per year, was among the first states to allow consumption cafes to give cannabis tourists a place to consume cannabis products.
The growing trend of consumption lounges could boost cannabis sales, and that in turn may increase the demand for various products and cultivation equipment such as those made by Advanced Container Technologies Inc. (OTC: ACTX) in a bid to meet the thriving customer base.
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