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What Cannabis Retail Owners Should Know About Social Clubs

What-Cannabis-Retail-Owners-Should-Know-About-Social-Clubs.jpgThe only thing better than the privilege to purchase legal marijuana is the ability to enjoy it socially with other cannabis enthusiasts. However, it is illegal to publicly consume in most places in the world unless the owner of a premise has authorized cannabis use on the property.

As legalization spreads, some social clubs are getting the green light in some areas while being restricted in others, leading to general confusion when addressing the boundaries of cannabis legalization.

So we decided to dig deeper and uncover the 411 on social clubs in three pioneer cannabis states. Here’s a snapshot of what’s taking place in Washington, Colorado, California and what to expect from a few states on the east coast.


In San Francisco, laws currently allow the operation of social clubs, pop-up dinner services, and café-like settings. But throughout most of California, these types of establishments are illegal.

Until Proposition 64 takes full effect, patrons at social clubs and private events taking place in the Golden State are required to produce medical marijuana recommendation cards. After 2018, local municipalities will decide the if and how public consumption will work. Wherever they land, the state will not allow dual-consumption of alcohol and marijuana and sites are to be out of public view.

In addition to public consumption, under MAUCRSA, an integration of California’s two existing marijuana bills, it will be legal for dispensaries to gain exposure and develop their customer base at consumer-focused events. Ensure you have the ability to sell product on-the-go with a cannabis POS system that has mobile capabilities. 


Throughout Colorado, there are a variety of options for cannabis social experiences, ranging from cannabis-infused art classes to cannabis yoga. These social clubs operate under Amendment 64 that allows adults to purchase and consume cannabis legally but forbids it to be sold and consumed on the same premises.

Denver is currently working on changing regulations to include a first-in-the-nation “social use” program that will allow marijuana use at some businesses.


In Washington state, operations like The CannaBus (also found in Colorado) provide a social club on wheels. However, the legal ability to enjoy marijuana in a social setting is extremely limited in the Evergreen State. Advocates are working on bills that will amend current laws.

State of the East

Despite the hold up in some states, others are pursuing a green light for social clubs with zeal. Maine included social clubs into their legalization, and Massachusetts is leaving the inclusion of social clubs in the hands of its citizens through referenda in 2018. Both states will provide important insights for others to come.

Overall, we found that the legalization of social clubs is highly localized, the clubs who currently operate must do so under stifling restrictions, and the difference in laws are quite vast across the U.S and the rest of the world.

As the legal recreational use of cannabis spreads, we expect the topic of social use to continue to grow and evolve. For more news and insight relevant to cannabis retail owners, subscribe to our blog.

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