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As reported in the Ojai Valley News in October, Gov. Newsom has vetoed the bill that would have allowed cannabis lounges to also serve regular food and beverages. This veto was unexpected and has definitely forced us to pause our plans to move forward with opening a full consumption space. We had eyes on the old Casa de Lago spot with its lovely patios and ample parking, but without the ability to create a full lounge experience, we simply cannot move forward with our plans at this time. We’re optimistic this bill will be approved in 2024 but that would mean we couldn’t open a kitchen space in the lounge until Jan 2025 at the earliest.
In addition, the ongoing turmoil at city hall has introduced additional delays in the process. We don’t have final operating guidelines or an application process to move forward from the city manager, because he just quit, citing “too much discord.”
We are as disappointed as you are but will certainly be keeping an eye on the city’s administration and state’s pending legislation. We thank you for all of your support in our efforts to normalize cannabis use in Ojai!
In a move that signifies the progressive approach of the city’s leadership, the Ojai City Council has given the green light to the establishment of cannabis lounges and dispensaries within new city zones. Here’s a closer look at what this means for both locals and visitors who are eager to enjoy a unique weed cafe experience in the heart of Ojai.
In a unanimous decision that took place on August 22, 2023, the Ojai City Council showcased their forward-thinking approach towards the cannabis plant and towards local businesses. By voting 5-0 in favor of the new ordinance, the council has opted to grant up to three cannabis lounge licenses which must be tied to a licensed dispensary, of which there are three. The dispensaries may operate their lounge in an adjacent space or in another space subject to zoning requirements. Most importantly, outdoor consumption will be permitted! Of course, all the odor control measures the city will ask for will be in place before anyone starts smoking up a doobie anywhere. This new ordinance is not just a victory for cannabis consumers, but also a significant step forward for the broader Ojai community.
These consumptions cafes will be the first to enjoy the new regulations passed in 2023 that allow cannabis retailers to serve non-infused food and beverages. We can have a full dining experience at our cannabis lounge, not just pre-packaged chips. Our lounge will serve as a haven where residents can enjoy cannabis consumption with delicious food in a safe, regulated, and friendly environment. The establishment of these cafes is anticipated to infuse new energy into the city, fostering a culture of responsible and enjoyable cannabis consumption.
When it comes to setting up these lounges and dispensaries, strategic zoning has been a priority. Dispensaries will find their home in the C1 General Commercial Zone, as well as the M1 and MPD zones. Meanwhile, the weed bars and lounges have been allocated specific spots within the city that are expected to become buzzing hubs of activity. These include areas in the C1 Zone East of Park Road and South Fulton Street, on either side of Ojai Avenue, in addition to the M1 and MPD zones.
The operational intricacies of these establishments will be under the close watch of the city manager, who will be responsible for developing rules and regulations that govern outdoor cannabis consumption and business hours, which can extend to at least 10 pm. This thoughtful and balanced approach ensures access while also maintaining community values and safety.
We at Sespe Creek are beyond excited about this groundbreaking development. We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to the council members for their tireless efforts and to all our loyal followers who have stood by us over the years. Together, let’s usher in a new era where the community can come together to enjoy and celebrate personal freedom and experience a new cannabis lounge culture in Ojai.
Be sure to tune into the recent Ojai City Council meeting to catch all the details of this historic decision.
As we eagerly anticipate the grand openings of these cannabis lounges and weed cafes, we are thrilled to remind you that the celebration doesn’t have to wait! In the meantime, you can continue to shop your favorite cannabis products either from the comfort of your home through our seamless online platform or by visiting our welcoming in-store location. Whether you prefer the tactile joy of in-store shopping or the convenience of online browsing, we are here to cater to all your cannabis needs, setting the stage for the exciting developments that are soon to unfold in Ojai.
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