On Friday, the first United States marijuana café opened in Portland, Ore. to allow certified medical marijuana users a place to legally obtain and smoke the drug, as well as dine in comfort.Picture 21

The Cannabis Café is the first of its kind in the US, according to Reuters. Madeline Martinez, Oregon’s executive director of NORML, a group that advocates the legalization of pot, said “This club represents personal freedom, finally, for our members.”

Martinez continued, “Our plans go beyond serving food and marijuana… We hope to have classes, seminars, even Cannabis Community College, based her to help people learn about growing and other uses for cannabis.”

The building that houses the new café was a former speak-easy and adult erotic club. Only those who are NORML members and hold an official medical marijuana card can enter the location that is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Each member pays $25 per month to use the café and does not have to pay for the pot they smoke. Instead, they get it free over the counter from “budtenders,” according to Reuters. The café will also serve food, but has no liquor license.

Reuters reports that in the state of Oregon, about 21,000 individuals are registered to use cannabis for medical purposes.

The owner of the establishment, Eric Solomon, said “I still run a coffee shop and events venue, just like I did before we converted it to the Cannabis Café, but now it will be cannabis-themed.”

Such locations, known as coffee shops, are popular in Amsterdam where possession of a small amount of pot is legal.

According to Reuters, the creation of the Cannabis Café occurred shortly after the Obama administration advised federal authorities not to prosecute dispensaries in states where such locations are legal or patients who use cannabis for medical reasons.

On opening day, reporters were invited to take in the smells of those smoking the drug in the cafe; however, they were not allowed to see individuals actually partaking in the smoking of marijuana.

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