Don’t Get Too Excited About America’s First-Ever Marijuana Cafés

“What we’re approving today is far from what the voters approved six months ago,” Reistroffer said. “I would say 99% of the businesses that expressed interest in these permits are no longer eligible or interested because of the burdens.”

How, he asked, could investors be expected to pay for the fancy ventilation systems and full-time security mandated for cannabis cafés? Why should the rules require these things if they just want to sell coffee to customers bringing in their own marijuana? The audience erupted into loud applause.

“It is far too restrictive, and I am eager to see who is going to be able to pull off a permit,” Reistroffer said.

Michael Heyward, a law clerk at Vicente Sederberg, a firm that represents cannabis business owners, agreed. One goal of the pilot program is to collect data, he said. “If our regulations are too tight,” he said, “then we’re not going to have

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