First US Cannabis Cafe Opens in Portland, Oregon

November 14, 2009

(ChattahBox)—In the wake of the Obama administration’s halting of federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries, as long as they are in compliance with state law, an entrepreneur in Portland, Oregon is testing the limits of the easing of medical marijuana policies, by opening a first of its kind marijuana cafe. The Cannabis Cafe is the first establishment in the U.S. to offer a place for users to obtain medical pot and smoke it on the premises.

The Cannabis Cafe is located in a two-story building which once housed a speak-easy and the adult erotic club Rumpspankers. The cafe is open to Oregon residents who hold a membership with NORML and have an official medical marijuana card. Members pay $25 per month to use the facilities at the cafe, which includes a counter to obtain medical marijuana, named “budtenders.” The cafe serves food and coffee, but no alcoholic beverages.

Eric Solomon, the owner of the cafe still operates a standard coffee shop, but now it’s more in line with the popular “coffee shops” found in Amsterdam, which offer customers a full menu of marijuana offerings. “I still run a coffee shop and events venue, just like I did before we converted it to the Cannabis Cafe, but now it will be cannabis-themed,” said Solomon.

The Cannabis Cafe owner envisions marijuana-themed weddings, dances and other events celebrating marijuana.

Marijuana remains illegal under U.S. federal law, but as more states decriminalize pot for medical use, federal law enforcement officials are focusing its efforts on large-scale distribution.

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