With cannabis legalization spreading like wildfire across the U.S., there’s one burning question for cannatourists who might be hitting a legal city like Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, or Las Vegas: Where can I consume the marijuana I just purchased?

Weed is easy enough to find in cannabis-legal states. The hard part: consuming legally and ethically.

Most legal states have rules saying cannabis consumption must take place in a private residence. And while there are “420-friendly” AirBnbs in many cannabis-legal cities, most hotels won’t allow you to smoke on premises. There also are strict rules in all legal states against consuming openly in public spaces—primarily due to federal prohibition.

Yet, progress is being made. Here are five lounges where you can legally smoke weed in the U.S.

Denver: Tetra Lounge

Making a place where people can freely and openly smoke cannabis has been a challenge in Denver since the city became the first in the world to fully legalize, regulate, and sell the plant. 

New social equity licenses have changed that. Tetra Lounge, which dubs itself “Denver’s Premier Cannabis Social Club,” has been using a workaround method since 2018. That’s when it opened as a members-only cannabis consumption club. In March 2022, Tetra Lounge received the first social equity “hospitality license” in the state. And it’s taking full advantage of it with daily, monthly, and yearly membership options, plus board game nights and DJ’d parties.

The downside? You must bring your own stuff because Tetra’s license doesn’t allow for product sales. A 420-friendly hotel plans to open soon, too. But it has some hoops to jump through.

You can find Tetra Lounge in the Five Points neighborhood near the trendy River North Art District at 3039 Walnut St.

Chicago area: RISE by Green Thumb

Chicago and its home, Illinois, have a similar problem to that in Colorado. It’s straight-up illegal to consume cannabis anywhere but a private residence—with some difficult-to-navigate exceptions. But just in time for the 2022 420 holiday, a consumption lounge opened in the northern suburb of Mundelein inside a dispensary run by Chicago-based giant Green Thumb Industries

The RISE retail outlet not only provides a safe place to buy cannabis but also one in which to smoke it. The lounge includes Mario Kart stations, board games, big-screen televisions, and plenty of water.

The catch? You must make a reservation through the RISE website.

RISE is at 1325 Armour Blvd. in Mundelein.

Cannabis Cafe
Photo: Joshua Resnick via 123RF

Los Angeles: The Original Cannabis Cafe

You may not realize it while taking in the smells on the Los Angeles and San Francisco streets, but public consumption of cannabis is still banned in California. The state’s rules are more liberal than most. Still, you should plan on smoking in designated locations—like The Original Cannabis Cafe in Los Angeles.

Described by some as “Instagram-chic,” The Original Cannabis Cafe in West Hollywood is truly an original in the state that made medical marijuana a movement.

A “flower host” will walk you through your entire experience, including the option of ordering cannabis-infused meals in addition to the normal edibles you have in your pocket or the cannabis you’re smoking.

The Original Cannabis Cafe is closed due to COVID-19 but plans to open again soon, according to the company’s website.

Las Vegas: NuWu Cannabis

Cannabis consumption lounges and Sin City may seem to go hand in hand. But newly legal Las Vegas is facing similar obstacles as other states when providing safe, legal places for visitors to consume cannabis.

NuWu Cannabis, sitting on the Native Las Vegas Paiute Tribe’s land, has the city’s only consumption facility, which it calls a “tasting room.”

The venue has “an array of sanitized equipment to utilize for your smoke session, including futuristic devices like the Stündenglass Gravity Bong and the Puffco Peak,” according to its website. It promises to “elevate your Sin City experience with an extremely unique, stoney session in Vegas’ first cannabis lounge!”

You can find the 16,000-square-foot “superstore” and tasting lounge at 1235 Paiute Circle in Las Vegas.

San Francisco: SPARC

Chill out and consume cannabis in a friendly environment at San Francisco’s SPARC—a dispensary chain with five retail locations and a consumption lounge in a more accessible area of the notoriously expensive city. The 1735 Polk St. facility allows vaping but not cannabis combusting.

Leafly calls its consumption lounge “welcoming and relaxing.”

Long story short: It’s not easy to legally consume cannabis in the U.S. Many apartment lease agreements in legal cities like Denver even forbid its use due to federal law. However, if you know where to look, there’s usually a spot.