The demand for lounges to consume cannabis in legal cannabis markets is on the rise.
Michigan cities, for example, are moving towards the consumption-lounge trend. In Lansing, city officials recently granted conditional approvals for four businesses to open consumption lounges—many of which could come online this year.
It also houses one of the state’s earliest licensed cannabis consumption lounges. Hot Box SocialAbout two weeks ago,, was opened in Hazel Park.
What do these lounges look like? Cannabis Business Times sat down with Nowfal Ashash, chief information officer at Troy’s Troy-based company. TrucentaHot Box Social, a vertically-integrated cannabis business, is the source of all the information.
Hot Box Social is located at 23610 John R. Road, Hazel Park, Mich. (just beyond Detroit), and hosts private events such fundraisers and product launches. Vendors can rent the space and invite people to try their cannabis products, Akash tells Cannabis Business Times.
Akash says that the venue has already hosted two fundraising events for Warren councilwomans and Hazel Park councilmen. Akash adds that one was running as a state representative, while another was running as a Congressman.
© Courtesy of Hot Box Social
Hot Box Social
“We also had about four or five corporate events where they were more brand-related, brand launches, or just product launches of an existing brand,”He says. “Typically, they like to invite the budtenders from the different retailers that they currently sell to so that they can educate them, so in turn [they can] educate the consumers. So, it’s a great way to promote products because the budtenders can actually try them out there and experience them.”
Akash says that one of Hot Box Social’s goals is to host ticketed, collaborative events where other businesses can be found in the area.
“We’re looking at some collaborations with local restaurant tours in the area in Hazel Park to be able to maybe offer a dinner and a movie or a dinner and a comedy show, something [where] we can include rideshare services in the ticket price, to make sure everybody gets home safe,”He says.
Hot Box Social’s indoor facility measures approximately 3,000 square feet and can hold about 200 people. Akash also says that the facility is currently building a 600-square foot kitchen to serve regular or cannabis-infused food to the public, or lounge, depending upon the event caterers.
He also stated that the exterior space, which includes the front and back of premises, will add an additional 5K square feet when it is completed.
“That will include covered areas [and] atriums,”He says. “We’ll have some fire pits depending on what’s going on, [there] could be tents, movie screens, or stages. So, there’s a lot of flexibility there. The whole space is set up to be modular and reconfigurable. We have movable furniture, [and] anything that’s really heavy is on casters. It’s really easy to kind of customize the space to the occasion.”
“In addition to that, we really invested in the technology,”He continues. “Similar to some bars and restaurants where they [have a] video matrix, we can play anything on one or any of the [television’s] along with the sound system too.”
Akash states that Hot Box Social will open to the public mid- to late this summer, except for events.
Akash explains that Hot Box Social is not permitted to sell cannabis products in the establishment.
“Currently, in Michigan, a retailer that is approved for home delivery can deliver to a home or any residential address or designated consumption establishment,”He said,
He says that the goal is to have iPads or kiosks at the lounge so consumers can purchase products from licensed retailers. Or they could use their smartphones to place orders.
Hot Box Social is currently working to integrate with Breeze, Trucenta also owns a cannabis dispensary in Hazel Park.
Akash said that cannabis will not be allowed to be brought in by consumers as they want to ensure that all products purchased on-site come from licensed retailers.
Hot Box Social has also noted that they are working with local glassmakers and artists in order to curate items to be sold at their lounge. He said that it is currently not possible to rent consumption accessories for use due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The goal is to have supervised consumption. So, the people there are going to be educated with all different aspects of cannabis and its uses and its effects,”He says.
Akash predicts that consumption lounges will become more popular in the future. Hot Box Social has already received positive feedback.
“For the fundraisers specifically, we had mayors from other cities, council people, state reps, senators, and they were just like, ‘Wow, … this is just a beautiful space. It’s great that we had the ability to consume cannabis there, but I think just as a venue, it’s a beautiful space,'”He says. “And I think once they start seeing the different measures and steps Trucenta’s taken to make sure that this is a safe environment, they’re a little bit more open to opting in.
“And that’s what I think is the challenge. Because the city has to allow these things to exist. … I believe that a lot of these cities have seen the benefits and are now adapting. [cultivation sites and retail stores]Integrate in the community and reap the benefits. So, I think it’s just going to be a matter of time before this is a little bit more widely accepted.”