In a small northern Michigan town, a historic opera house has been transformed into a lounge with plump leather chairs where people can sit and smoke weed together.
Kalkushka, based in downtown Kalkaska, is one of two licensed cannabis consumption lounges in Michigan. The other, Hot Box Social in Hazel Park, is open for private events like birthday parties or industry meetings.
“In a lot of ways, we’re creating something that no one’s ever really seen or heard of before,” said Kalkushka general manager Chris Atteberry.
Only 10 states, including Michigan, have greenlit marijuana lounges and cafes in recent years. It seems like a promising concept – a place for people to use cannabis legally in public – but strict Michigan laws have made it tricky for lounges to gain traction.
The biggest restriction: consumption lounges can’t sell marijuana on site.
“I think that’s the most important one because imagine you’re a bar, but you can’t sell alcohol,” said Scott Roberts, managing partner of Detroit cannabis law firm Scott Roberts Law.
Related: Black market battles, plummeting prices: a look at Michigan marijuana in 2022
Hot Box Social, the first licensed social cannabis consumption business in Michigan, opened as a private venue in…
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