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LA Now Has A Drive-Through Cannabis Cafe

DRIVE-THROUGH CANNABIS CAFE
An employee of West Hollywood's Cannabis Cafe, now a drive-through for food and marijuana, helps a customer
(Courtesy of the Cannabis Cafe)
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Like many other businesses, West Hollywood's Original Cannabis Cafe closed on March 16 as stay-at-home orders became the norm throughout Southern California.

DRIVE-THROUGH CANNABIS CAFE
An employee of the Cannabis Cafe helps a customer in their car.
(Courtesy of the Cannabis Cafe)

When it opened five months earlier, in October 2019, it was the first legal weed cafe in the United States.

We tried it — strictly for research purposes, of course. If you managed to score a reservation, you could come to the large, airy, La Brea restaurant and smoke a joint on the leafy patio while munching on a plate of surprisingly tasty vegan nachos. Yes, it was kind of weird paying for your marijuana separately from your food. Other than that, it was an agressively, almost stereotypically normal L.A. scene.

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While other marijuana shops stayed open because they were dispensaries (which are classified as essential businesses), the Cannabis Cafe's license for onsite cannabis consumption did not allow it to do any sort of takeout or delivery. Until today.

"The city gave us temporary permission to operate as a medical and recreational dispensary until the emergency order ends," says the cafe's co-founder and partner, Courtney Zalewski, "This allows us to sell cannabis alongside our full food menu in an In-N-Out, drive-through-like system."

As of April 23, the Original Cannabis Cafe has reopened as "World's First Cannabis & Food Drive-Thru," offering drive-through and delivery service for both marijuana products and food. Sure, it would've been a little more perfect if it had reopened on 4/20 but you can't get everything you want.

The cannabis drive-through will operate seven days a week, from noon to 8 p.m. Here's how it works: You go online and place an order for sriracha buffalo cauliflower wings, hot chicken tenders and maybe an eighth of an ounce of 3c Farms Grape Kush. When your order is ready, you drive into the parking lot, pay, get your goods and drive away.

DRIVE-THROUGH CANNABIS CAFE
The Cannabis Cafe's logo.
(Courtesy of the Cannabis Cafe)
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The cafe's owners apparently worked with the city of WeHo to reopen during the global pandemic.

"We're taking all precautions: employees have their temperature taken before entering cafe premises, gloves and masks are worn at all times, hourly handwashing, social distancing of staff and guest interactions. When paying by credit card, we will give you an alcohol wipe to sanitize after the transaction," states the press release from which we admittedly sourced most of this story. The new logo even features a butler wearing a face mask.

It's going to be a long pandemic if we — and you — can't have a little fun.

What questions do you have about food in LA?
Elina Shatkin connects connect hungry Angelenos — through food — to the culture, history, people and neighborhoods that make up our city.