America's First Cannabis Cafe - The OG Cannabis Cafe in West Hollywood, CA
Updated: Sep 12
I worked at America’s first Cannabis Café and this is my story.
Two days before the opening of this café, I got a phone call to come in for an interview. I had applied a while back and figured that they were fully staffed at this point. I rushed over to the interview and got the job. Previous to this, I had been unemployed for almost an entire year, so getting back into working and at a place like this, I was very excited about this journey. They asked me to come back on Saturday for a staff training and of course, I said yes.
I returned Saturday where I was finally able to meet some of the other staff. We had a practice dinner with the servers and kitchen, where we were all able to sit around and try the food while getting to know each other. The funniest thing about this was that we were sat randomly at tables and the girl I sat next to lives across the street from me. (Hiii Katie!!) Small world!
The café was not fully done inside, so they set up tables outside in the parking lot, where we all sat under the stars, smoking joints and meeting our fellow staff members. Since I had only been hired a few days before, it wasn’t until this moment, sitting extremely high under the stars, that I realized what I was in for. This would be the first cannabis café in the entire country. We are a part of something so surreal and I couldn’t have been more thrilled.
When we opened, there were lines around the corner to get in. People would wait for hours just to experience our little cannabis café. We had people visiting from all over the world because again, we are the first of our kind. I get a lot of questions about how it works, so here’s the tea on that. It’s like a regular restaurant, in the sense that you make reservations or walk in to be seated. Once you are at your table, a server will come over and take your cannabis order and your food order. When we first opened, we had separate flower hosts and servers but people felt that was confusing so that position was combined.
You can buy pre-rolls, wax, regular flower or edibles, and sit at your table and enjoy your meal while also partaking in smoking. It’s like a café in Amsterdam, but we also serve quality food to go along with it. Being the first of our kind in the US, we had big shoes to fill. Some people didn’t love what we were doing, but for the most part, people raved about us. Every new restaurant has kinks that need to be worked out and we are doing our best to work through them, but every day is an improvement in my eyes.
The staff became a family pretty quickly seeing as we spent all our time together. These people were more than just coworkers I saw sometimes, they were people I trusted and knew would be in my life forever because of this experience we all had together. In times like these, where we are all stuck inside, I truly miss this family and can’t wait to be back with them.
Who knows what the world will be like when we are allowed to go back to work, but what I know for now is that I miss this place. It’s a home away from home for some and that is the experience we want you to have. We want you to feel welcome and excited to be at our establishment. All in all, we’ve had our ups and downs, but this place means so much to many people and I hope, once we are allowed, you’ll come to visit for yourself and see what I’m talking about.