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Is Sacramento Missing Out on a Billion-Dollar Opportunity with Cannabis Lounges?

Sacramento is widely known for its vibrant food industry, dynamic concert scene, and passionate sports community, but Sac-Town should also be recognized as the premier cannabis capital of California.

In April, Sacramento was rated as the best weed town in California in a joint study by Real Estate Witch, an online platform for real estate transactions, and Leafly, a leading cannabis education website. This ranking was based on factors like the availability of legal cannabis, doctor prescriptions, dispensary density, and quality.

Sebastian Maldonado, owner of the Isleton dispensary Delta Boyz, asserts, “The best growers for indoor cannabis in the world are in Sacramento.” Despite being a hub for cultivation, distribution, and sale, Sacramento still lacks a crucial element: cannabis consumption lounges.

Cannabis lounges represent the final frontier for marijuana consumption in Sacramento. The city is currently considering a pilot program for these lounges in existing dispensaries, but progress is slow. Questions about ventilation and other logistics remain unresolved. However, Sacramento could take a cue from Isleton, where Delta Boyz has successfully operated the county's only cannabis lounge since 2022.

Delta Boyz offers a relaxed, welcoming space for cannabis enthusiasts, with walls adorned in psychedelic colors and murals, including one of Noriyuki "Pat" Morita, the famous Isleton native. Ninety percent of the cannabis sold at Delta Boyz is sourced from Sacramento growers, making it a local economic engine.

The lounge at Delta Boyz is more than just a place to consume cannabis; it’s a community hub. Events like the 4:20 Senior Social Hour educate older adults about modern cannabis use and cultivation. This model demonstrates the potential economic and social benefits of cannabis lounges in Sacramento.

If Sacramento embraces cannabis lounges, the economic benefits could be substantial. In 2021, Sacramento's cannabis industry generated over $800 million in gross receipts. The city collected 2% of each cannabis-related transaction, including cultivation, distribution, and delivery, amounting to $23.3 million in the fiscal year 2023-24. With lounges, these numbers could skyrocket.

Cannabis lounges can attract tourists, create jobs, and boost local businesses. They offer a new avenue for revenue, not just from cannabis sales but also from associated sectors like food, entertainment, and transportation. Lounges could encourage the use of public transit and ride-sharing, further stimulating the local economy.

Cannabis lounges also have the potential to shift cultural perceptions. By providing clean, safe, and legal spaces for consumption, lounges can dispel negative stereotypes associated with cannabis use. This cultural shift can lead to broader acceptance and integration of cannabis into mainstream society.

Sacramento has the growers, the dispensaries, and the consumers. All that’s missing is city approval for cannabis consumption lounges. By following the successful model of Delta Boyz, Sacramento can transform its cannabis industry into an even greater economic powerhouse. Embracing lounges is not just about providing a space for cannabis consumption; it’s about unlocking a new wave of economic growth and cultural change.

Could Cannabis Lounges Make Sacramento the Next Major Tourist Destination?

  • Absolutely, they would attract tourists and boost the econom

  • Maybe, but only if they're well-regulated and safe.

  • No, I don't think it would have a significant impact.


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