Cannabis policy has come along way in recent years, four states and Washington DC have legalized for recreational use if you’re over 21 and 23 states have legalized medical marijuana. While the medical marijuana laws in each state look different, some states have a policy of reciprocity. That means that card-carrying patients from other states are, at least in part, protected under the medical marijuana law of the state offering reciprocity. In Rhode Island, out of state patients cannot utilize cannabis dispensaries, but they are recognized as patients and their right to have medicine is upheld. This reciprocity also means that cannabis lounges and clubs in RI are open to all patients, visiting or local, happily providing a comfortable and safe place to medicate if you BYOB (bring your own buds/BHO).
I drove down to check out the TetraHydro Club, which has been open for about a year, in South Kingstown, RI on a weekday night. There is often entertainment in the evenings on days when the club is open to members, and I caught the monthly standup comedy show “See You Last Tuesday.” The room was a combination of a stage, screen and skate park and I took a seat at one of the tables set up for the evening’s activity. It was an intimate environment — the comedian hosting the show occasionally interacted from the stage with some regulars in a conversational way and there were lots of cheers for a shout-out to the locals in of Rhode Island. While the crowd was more sedate then if everyone was swilling booze, the weed-themed jokes were an especially big hit (pun intended) and no one held back on the applause when asked if they had had a good night.
The club is open to members three days a week, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. On other days it can be rented out by folks that want to have a venue for 420-friendly events with medical patients, or just events in general (especially if you are in need of a screen and skate ramps at the same time). The lobby features a selection of available glass, curated by Pass the Glass. When I spoke with founder and owner Jordan he said he created the club to “fill the gap for socializing” by creating a space that didn’t involve alcohol.
It’s a gap people want filled — I wasn’t the only patient that had driven more than an hour to get there on a Tuesday night. The very first time I visited the club was actually for a separate private event, a summertime barbecue attended by patients from all over New England. There is a small area outdoors in the back where they had set up a grill for the occasion. Sometimes the TetraHydro Club hosts larger events like the Cannabis All-Stars competition and musical performances, most recently Redman.
I also had the opportunity to check out Elevated, a cannabis lounge for patients in Providence, RI. Also open for about a year, Elevated offers a membership that can be used on three days of a specific month they are open, with an optional day-to-day extension after the initial join. Owner Kevin Cintorino emphasized that keeping costs low was a priority as Elevated was created to “bring the community together and provide a service that was not affecting patients financially.”
When I arrived on a Saturday night there were a few folks at the bar, set up with water pipes and an electric nail to use. A group of friends in their 40s and 50s gathered on the couches on the other side of the room, chilling and chatting. They were clearly regulars, but Kevin told me that patients have come from as far as California and Arizona to toke up at the lounge. There were some chips and drinks available if the munchies hit, and I was immediately given a loaner dab tool when I couldn’t find my own.
Elevated is re-launching at the end of this month with a redesigned layout that will include a dab/vape bar, more food and drink options, a VIP area, and lounge “servers” who will be able to assist with both snacks and cannabis knowledge. Apparently there are also some new secret changes happening and I can’t wait to go back and visit next time I’m on the East Coast to see what those are.
Have you smoked in a cannabis social club? Tell us about your experiences below.