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Have you been thinking about starting a cannabis lounge? With the legalization of weed moving from state to state, more startups, restaurateurs, and other entrepreneurs are considering opening cannabis lounges to capitalize on this booming trend.

There’s a lot to consider when opening a cannabis lounge. There are questions about legality, logistics, as well as the uncertainties of a relatively new industry. Let’s take a look at how you can start a cannabis lounge in your state.

The Big Question: Are Cannabis Lounges Legal in Your State?

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There are a lot of big questions about cannabis. We’re hearing everything from the classic side effects of eating weed raw to questions about the letter of new laws. Here’s what each state has to say about setting up a cannabis lounge.

Illinois

The legal groundwork for opening up a cannabis Lounge in Illinois is still a little uncertain. There’s currently only one cannabis lounge in the state and it’s located pretty far away from the urban and industrial center of Chicago.

Illinois is only one of five states that have approved cannabis lounges, but this state has the least in terms of clear guidance on the process. It’s going to take a lot of elbow grease and red tape cutting to get a lounge going here!

Nevada

Nevada is well-known enough for partying hard and thanks to the gambling, glitz, and glamor of Las Vegas. However, the state has been slow to adopt the same policy towards legal cannabis.

One of the biggest changes to happen in the last few years has been a broadening of the laws about who can consume cannabis and where. These laws have created two new legal frameworks for cannabis lounges that either sell their own cannabis or rely on individuals to bring their own.

New Jersey

The Lawn New Jersey specifies two things about opening up a cannabis consumption Lounge. The first is that there’s going to be a cannabis commission that will be coming together to regulate these businesses. The second is that the state has said it won’t be allowing standalone cannabis consumption areas. This means only pre-existing cannabis retailers will be able to open up lounges on their grounds.

New York

New York has just passed regulations that allow individuals to open up private cannabis consumption lounges. These are going to function a lot like clubs and other types of public lounges, but also have to balance the state’s cannabis laws.

Pennsylvania

If you’re asking can i eat weed in a lounge in PA, the answer might surprise you. There’s currently one cannabis lounge in Pennsylvania which sets a precedent for other people to open up their own establishments throughout the state.

A Quick Guide To Starting a Cannabis Consumption Lounge

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No talk about the law, let’s talk about the brass tacks of starting your own cannabis lounge.

1. Start With a Business Plan

You’re going to need a plan well before your customers start asking “can u eat weed?”

Your business plan is going to cover everything from your funding sources, your expected revenue, and how much will be spending on the business. Your spending is going to include everything from paying your staff to buying day-to-day needs like toilet paper and cleaning supplies.

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The more detailed and researched your business plan is, the more likely you are to get investors and government approval.

2. Location, Location, Location

Location is the most important consideration in any business, but this is even more important when we consider cannabis. There are laws in place throughout the country which stop cannabis dispensaries from being opened within 500 feet of sensitive locations such as schools.

You need to put some extra effort into researching to make sure the location you’re considering buying, or renting, meets the letter of your local law.

3. Waste Disposal Plan

Another interesting challenge that comes up when putting together a business plan for a cannabis lounge, or any kind of dispensary, is waste disposal. Most businesses can throw out their trash with the regular weekly collection, but if you’re throwing away cannabis you need a special plan in place for how to handle it.

4. Get Your Licensing In Order

Last but not least we have to talk about licensing and legalization. You’re going to have to jump through some local hoops to get the licensing you need to sell cannabis in your city as well as your state. Bring your own cannabis lounges are going to have less licensing restrictions than lounges that plan on selling their own, but you can still expect a lot of red tape before you open your doors.