8 Tips for Going to the Only Open Weed Bar in Los Angeles

    When the Artist Tree Studio Dispensary Lounge opened its doors on April 20, on the two floors above her dispensary in West Hollywood, it became — for the next few months at least — the only legal cannabis consumption lounge in the Los Angeles area. And jogging. (The Original Cannabis Cafe, which was open before the pandemic at the opposite end of WeHo, is currently closed, and the City of Los Angeles has not issued any consumption lounge licenses yet.)

    Finding out what it’s like to appear in public and surrounded by strangers these days, I booked a table, took my burning best friend, Chip, and drove down Santa Monica Boulevard. It turns out to be a buzzwords moisturizer for the soul, and the kind of place where both the seasoned social smoker and the novice enthusiast would feel good.

    In no time at all, we’ve been babbling like schoolchildren in mind playground, back and forever lines from those progressive insurance commercials about turning into your parents.

    Facade of a cannabis dispensary at night with a sign that reads

    At the Artist Tree in West Hollywood, the infirmary occupies the ground floor, and an on-site cannabis lounge recently opened on the second and third floors.

    (Ginaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

    Even better, although we didn’t interact with the patrons of the tables around us, we didn’t not Interact with them as well. And somewhere around the third smoking stick of orange apricot cannabis flower, public pot smoking went from feeling weird and new to feeling like the most natural thing in the world.

    Then arrived the chicken wings we’d all forgotten about (more on that below), fluttering to their demise by a clamshell enclosure, gnawing at them between grunts, giggling, and laughter of ecstasy.

    With magic carpet rides full of smoke and laughter in the rearview mirror, here are some takeaways and things to consider if you’re thinking of doing the same.

    high decor

    The four Artist Tree stores (three in the Los Angeles area and a fourth in Riverside) are not just dispensaries, but also art galleries selling works that adorn the walls.

    A man standing behind a clinic talking to a customer

    Agent Roane Stubblefield, left, enjoys a meal under the supervision of Kenny Perez, Vice President of Operations in the Artist Tree’s cannabis consumption lounge.

    (Ginaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

    This aesthetic carries over to the consumption lounge as well, where art is displayed amidst SoHo House’s clubhouse library/decor that includes bookcases and entry doors with stained-glass windows, a patio with boldly planned upholstered cushions, and a well-stocked bar, in place of alcohol (which isn’t on the menu), It is a display of a collection of cannabis blossoms, pre-assembled joints, concentrates and foods in glass jars placed at the top of the bar.

    Instead of bottles of spirits, the shelves behind the bar are filled with an assortment of glass bongs, futuristic vaporizers, and other pieces of decanter.

    Planning (and booking) for the future

    Getting the most out of any outdoor space requires a little advance planning, and it’s no different here. Although additional requests are accepted based on available space, it’s a smart idea to book (via OpenTable) in advance.

    The plus side is that you’ll get inside information on all the necessary and super-important details, including proof of vaccination requirements, the fact that your reservation is for 75 minutes, and admission fees ($15 per person or $30 for a table of up to five people).

    Although the lounge has a heavy-duty air filtration system to help keep billowing clouds away, smoke-averse folks may prefer taking a table on the third floor, which is for non-combustible consumables such as food, drinks, and dyes. This third floor space will also be where stone yoga and painting classes (artists whose work for sale fills the walls of the infirmary and lounge) will also be held. More on who they are below.

    Also, plan to bring cash — or a debit card. Both are acceptable methods of payment (the latter for a $3 fee), but credit cards, due to federal bank restrictions, are not.

    Pro tip: Two ATMs in the infirmary downstairs Act Accept credit cards that allow cash advances. Also order an outside table that puts you on a patio balcony overlooking Santa Monica Boulevard.

    take a trip

    This should go without saying, but I will say it anyway: The only smartest and most responsible thing you can do is arrange for someone else to be behind the wheel to and from your visit. This has nothing to do with a lack of parking, it has more to do with the fact that driving while it’s high is just as stupid, dangerous, and irresponsible as driving while drunk.

    The infirmary and lounge share a few places, and West Hollywood’s parking restrictions make the surrounding streets a meaningless exercise in the best of conditions.

    Bring a friend (or five)

    Saving a few bucks on cover fees isn’t the only reason to bring your baking friends along for an adventure.

    Five people sitting at a table in the lounge eating cannabis.

    Tasha Smith, left, her boyfriend Leo Arias and their friends at the Cannabis Consumption Lounge at the Artist Tree in West Hollywood.

    (Ginaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

    Smoking, especially in the wild, has always been a social thing in nature, and having a few of your best friends who smoke weed while on an adventure will keep you from being the tough bearded guy who smokes a chain in a weed bar all through. Himself and scanned the room like guardians of the sky. Unless that’s your jam, of course.

    order food (first)

    If you’re a cannabis consumer prone to snacking, seriously consider ordering your food soon after you’ve been seated. That’s because the meals, which are ordered online via a QR code on each table, come from Kitchen24, an apartment block on Santa Monica Boulevard, and will take about 20 minutes to get to your table. (Food and drinks from outside are not permitted.)

    Pro tip: While we can’t go wrong with Buffalo-style Red Hot Wings, next time we’re determined to be wary in the wind and order a messy plate of Disco Fries—garlic fries dipped in chicken broth and topped with melted provolone cheese.

    Engaging “little kid”

    Cannabis products consumed in the on-site lounge must be purchased from the basement dispensary on the same day of your visit or ordered via a digital tablet from your companion/valet/servant. I would suggest the latter option, especially if you are in the mood to try something different.

    That’s because, in addition to helping you request a share by questioning you about desired effects or flavors, your table-side server (also known as a “budler” as Allyn Moriyon, who waited on us, referred to himself) will be able to point out two important parts of Information that accompanies each menu item: the start time (how long you expect to start feeling the effects) in the lower left corner and the duration (how long you expect the effects to last) in the lower right hand corner.

    For example, a jar of Tree Orange Apricot Flowers ($45 for 3.5 grams from one of the dispensary indoor brands) we ordered listed a start time of “0-10 minutes” and a duration of “2-4 hours.” ”

    Efforts have been made to stock fast-acting foods for on-site consumption, Lauren Fontaine, co-owner of Artist Tree, explaining that the longer start-up time associated with most foods means customers may not feel the effects until afterward. the left.

    Pro tip: Yes, you should tip your friend as you would any other server in a restaurant.

    Try something different

    The Consumption Hall layout provides the perfect opportunity to switch things up in terms of cannabis and the method of consumption. If you usually veer towards vaporizer pens, hop on some preliminaries while you’re here, and if you’re a pipe person at home, here’s a chance to try a bong (also known as a hookah).

    Bar cart full of gravity equipment and smoking paraphernalia

    “Peddler” Allen Morrion rolls a piece of display equipment — a gravity Stündenglass pong — to a table on a bar cart along with a jar of Tree Orange Apricot, a windmill, rolling papers, and liquor napkins.

    (Ginaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

    Your cooler will bring a plastic grinder, a pack of rolling papers and a lighter to the table (all with you to take home) for free, but bungee rentals range from $7 to $40 (cleaned and sanitized between uses, Fontaine says).

    In addition to bubbles and glass cups, the stylish hardware available to try includes the sleek, futuristic Puffco Peak (used to consume cannabis concentrates) and the new Nespresso-like Beed Machine, which will be rolled to your table on a bar cart complete with a portable battery.

    Unlike other rentals, Beed is free to use with the purchase of the full-bore pods ($7 per 0.5g, eight-sleeved for $49). But the showcase tool to finish off all the pretenders – and the game to try – is the Stündenglass gravity bong.

    Renting this gadget ($40) is the parlor equivalent of ordering a Foster flambé banana in a crowded restaurant, thanks to its double water-filled balls that flip over each other and fill with smoke that is then forced out of a hose in a thinner to be inhaled by the user.

    It’s a high-tech caterpillar that smokes an “Alice in Wonderland” hookah all at once and an experience you’d otherwise have to pay the nearly $600 purchase price for. (The plastic hoses and wand-like tips on the table come wrapped in shrink plastic and are recycled – not reused – after each use.)

    Shep and I decided to start off on a game of gravity, and definitely set the tone for an evening of fun. Allyn brought the exotic tool to our table in great boom and gave us a brief tutorial, and we were at the races.

    Using the hose wand like wannabe witches, we took turns pushing jets of smoke across inches of open space from the pointed end into our mouths like fun-inducing tendrils of electricity.

    Add activity

    If you’re not used to hiking in a public place, simply booking a table and pre-arranged launch joint can be entertaining enough. But for those more skilled in the arts of smoking, I highly recommend scheduling a visit while carrying out one of the countless recreational activities or performances.

    The schedule currently includes Wake & Bake Drag brunch on Sunday afternoons, cannabis-infused yoga classes on Monday evenings, acoustic bath sessions on Wednesday evenings and live comedy shows on Thursday nights. Information about all events and their reservations can be found on the event page of the event hall and website.

    Shep and I planned our visit to coincide with the space’s first comedy show, and being in a room full of high-ranking people laughing (and sometimes groaning) together was a special kind of surreal entertainment.

    Most of the comedians who stepped onto a postage stamp-sized stage while we were there were really funny, and even those who didn’t exactly kill were still a lot of fun thanks to Stündenglass hanging over our table.

    Artist tree studio clinic lounge

    Open daily 11am-10pm at 8625 Santa Monica Street, 2nd and 3rd Floors, West Hollywood.

    The Artist Tree’s Consumption Lounge won’t be a unique experience for very long. In July, Woods-backed Woody Harrelson – and Bill Maher (not to be confused with the Hollywood bar of the same name) will open their consumption lounge concept in West Hollywood. The infirmary side of this business opened its doors last Friday at 8271 Santa Monica Blvd. , less than a mile from the Artist Tree.

    Until then, though, this art-filled space is the only place you can relax in style surrounded by strangers and, after two long years of slacking off and freshening up at home, will serve as a refreshment for the social smoker’s soul. I would say I can’t recommend trying it highly enough, but I’m sure I just did.