Ceylon House, Maryland’s first cannabis lounge, sits in a non-descript office building that also has a dentist’s office and a hair-braiding studio. But once you open the door, patrons step into a unique environment, with reggae music playing and a display of multicolor glass bongs just inside the entrance.
The lounge represents the latest in a growing trend of cannabis lounges opening in different locations across the country. Still in its early stages, the cannabis lounge trend continues to grow. As anyone who has tried cannabis can tell you, people who use cannabis like to socialize.
A cannabis lounge provides a venue to do just that – if, that is, you have Maryland medical marijuana card. Unlike cannabis lounges in Los Angeles and Illinois – or the cannabis hotel planned for Las Vegas that will feature a cannabis lounge – Ceylon House is open in a state where only medical marijuana is currently legal to buy. Maryland will start offering recreational marijuana sales on July 1, 2023.
A Venue for Medical Marijuana Users
As Maryland’s first cannabis lounge, Ceylon House is providing people what they don’t have in most parts of the country: a place to socialize. Sherry White, a medical marijuana patient, told National Public Radio that Ceylon House gives her the rare chance to get together with people.
“I’m constantly in pain, and so I don’t really go out at all,” said White. “I really like this. It’s a place to socialize and relax and take your medicine as well.”
So far, only six states have made designated cannabis use areas as legal in the U.S., according to NPR. Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), told NPR that cannabis lounges help both residents and tourists.
He noted that tourists in places such as Colorado cannot use cannabis in their hotel. A cannabis lounge provides “a privately-owned, state-licensed facility where these individuals who may simply be traveling through the state have the opportunity to use the cannabis that they’ve legally purchased while staying there.”
Other Benefits of Cannabis Lounges
Cannabis lounges typically allow people to use cannabis by smoking, vaping or consuming edibles. While the idea has been controversial in some areas, cannabis lounges have the potential to provide many benefits.
- Provides a safe space. By offering a safe and legal space for cannabis consumption, cannabis lounges may help reduce instances of people illegally using cannabis in public places. Lounges allow them to do so without the risk of arrest or fines.
- Building a community. Cannabis lounges promote socialization and community-building, giving people a place to connect with others who share a similar interest in cannabis. This can help reduce the stigma surrounding cannabis use and promote a sense of community.
- Supporting local businesses. The cannabis industry allows for creation of many types of related businesses. A cannabis lounge is a way for local business people to tap into the large and growing cannabis market.
Gloria Jones, 80, certainly supports the idea of cannabis lounges. She talked with NPR as she sat in a wheelchair and smoked a joint. “I’m very surprised at how it is, but it’s great,” Jones said the cannabis lounge. “Just to be able to come out and socialize with, you know, other people who are doing the same thing that you like to do.”