The state of Illinois’ marijuana market is booming with data showing that last year the state sold more than $1 billion worth of legal marijuana both from recreational and medical marijuana purchases. Projections indicate that those sales figures will only keep growing as the market grows and consumption of marijuana products increases.
Currently, officials in the state are rolling back on the rules and restrictions that were imposed at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to help control the virus spread. With vaccines being rolled out, more and more bar and restaurant operators are launching new projects.
One of these projects is the launch of the first on-site consumption bar of cannabis in the state. Located in Sesser, which is nearly 300 miles south of Chicago, owners are making their final preparations to open the Luna Lounge either late next month or in early May.
The venue is a bring-your-own-style bar where consumers are encouraged to buy marijuana from off-site dispensaries. The venue is billed as a safe space where consumers will not have to worry about being thrown out of a bar for rolling up a joint. The venue will also have smoking paraphernalia that can be rented.
Luna Lounge owners reveal that the bar will pave the way for Sesser to become more of a tourist destination, in addition to being the first bar of its kind in the state of Illinois. However, because of the indoor restrictions imposed on smoking in the state, the bar will not be serving alcohol. Customers who wish to buy food can purchase it from food trucks that will be parked outside the venue.
In 2020, the state of Alaska became the first state in the United States to permit on-site cannabis consumption while a site in Springfield became the pioneer to receive an onsite-license in the state of Illinois. Local law enforcement in Sesser then followed suit by approving the plan to launch Luna Lounge in March of the same year.
The first cannabis dispensary in downtown Chicago also began its operations last year. However, there doesn’t seem to be a push demanding for on-site consumption to be allowed in the city. This is despite the fact that on-site consumption of cannabis has the potential to unbridle creative possibilities in the city’s restaurant industry. For instance, underground marijuana dinners have a better chance of becoming popular if regulations were loosened.
While it is important for onsite marijuana consumption lounges to open, not all products made from cannabis are subject to restrictions regarding where they can be consumed. For instance, the CBD-infused powder packs, drinks and gummies made by The Alkaline Water Company Inc. (NASDAQ: WTER) (CSE: WTER) are nonintoxicating and can be legally consumed anywhere.
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