Photo Credit: @alexanderprejeanphotography
Rogue Paq Canna Conversations with Centeria Hall on LA's Lowell Cannabis Cafe
This month we sat down with Centeria Hall once more. Since our last edition of Canna Conversations she's taken on a new role as Flower Host (read: cannabis sommelier) at OG Cannabis Cafe AKA Lowell Farms Cafe, the nation's first cannabis cafe in Hollywood, CA.
Rogue Paq (RP): When did you begin your job as Flower Host at the new Lowell Cannabis Cafe and how does it differ from being a budtender at a dispensary?
Centeria Hall (CH): September 29th 2019 was the opening for Friends and Family but the official open to the public date was October 1.
The roles of budtender and Flower Host are completely different. As flower hosts we are an integral part of the experience. When you are a budtender, you spend so much time with the person ensuring they get the right product but then they leave and often you never know how things went with what they purchased. As flower host, we act as a guide for all things beyond just selecting product, we give council on everything from how to use the devices to ensuring no one over-indulges.
RP: What is the craziest thing that has happened on the job so far?
CH: In my mind, it’s the amount of celebrities, no LEGENDS, that come in to the Cafe. I won’t name names but seeing them and getting to serve them is incredible. No one has been obnoxious - they are so chill and laid back because of the atmosphere and they are very easy to interface with. Since we’re discussing celebrities, I’d like to take a moment and serve an open invitation to Snoop Dogg. He’s not yet been in and we are all dying to meet him. When you arrive, Snoop, ask to sit with Centeria.
Back to crazy things happening. The craziest occurrences actually don’t have to do with cannabis at all. We’ve had several patrons get so excited at the prospect of being at the Cafe that they they forget to take their prescription medications. For instance, we’ve had people pass out from blood pressure issues.
RP: Are the customers mainly tourists or folks native to Los Angeles?
CH: It’s a mixture - especially because we are located in Hollywood. Hollywood inherently has a lot of tourists but also natives. I really appreciate that we already have regulars who come in daily. That speaks to the culture and the experience of the Cafe. We are already creating community even in a transient neighborhood.
Centeria's stash, which includes her monogrammed Rogue Paq, as photographed for High Times Magazine
"The roles of budtender and Flower Host are completely different. As flower hosts we are an integral part of the experience. When you are a budtender, you spend so much time with the person ensuring they get the right product but then they leave and often you never know how things went with what they purchased. As flower host, we act as a guide for all things beyond just selecting product, we give council on everything from how to use the devices to ensuring no one over-indulges."
RP: What questions should potential customers be prepared to answer when they come into Lowell?
- Is this your first time here? (We want to understand familiarity with the culture.)
- Did you bring your own cannabis? (We allow outside cannabis but there is a tokeage fee $30/pp.)
- How often do you smoke? (We ask this so we can assess tolerance level.)
- Where are you from (This helps us to gauge what type of THC levels the customer is used to; CA has higher THC levels between 18-20% in CA vs the national average at 13%.)
- Also, customers can expect to spend an average of $30-$60 on cannabis per person
RP: Is the food also good? What is your favorite dish on the menu and why?
CH: The food is amazing. I love the grilled cheese to which I always add bacon. Another favorite is the pulled pork sandwich. Most surprising to me is how good the vegan options are. I was blown away by the vegan nachos which would not normally be my thing. There’s so much great stoner food like baked alaska and burgers and fries. We are now serving breakfast and I can’t wait to try the new Smash Breakfast Burger which is a sunny side up egg, angus burger, bacon and avocado.
"The craziest occurrences actually don’t have to do with cannabis at all. We’ve had several patrons get so excited at the prospect of being at the Cafe that they forget to take their prescription medications. For instance, we’ve had people pass out from blood pressure issues."
RP: Is alcohol served?
CH: No, we have a liquor license but haven’t introduced alcohol yet. We do have two bars, one outside and one inside, though where you can sit without a reservation or a time limit (there’s a 90 minute time limit on the tables.) Beverage options include coffee, lattes, water, soda, lemonade, etc.
RP: If you could change one thing about the cafe or the experience, what would it be?
CH: I honestly love it and feel it’s a great experience as is. I wouldn’t change anything except to already be over the learning curve. In a few months it will be perfect. We are working so hard to make it that way for everyone who enters. One upcoming change that will make things run more smoothly is that flower servers will be food servers too so that each table only interfaces with one staff member.
RP: What is the top strain sold and in what format?
CH: That’s incredibly difficult to say because the menu is six pages long and changes every other day. I can say that the Lowell brand products continue to be the most popular and overall, people most like pre-rolls.
Photo Credit: @fauxtograpiv
Centeria at Lowell Cafe
RP: Does management encourage you to try the products?
CH: Absolutely. They give us sample boxes as well as a generous discount. Also, before every shift we meet and are given specifications on new product. Everyone is extremely well informed.
RP: Will you roll joints for customers or teach them if they ask?
CH: No one has asked yet but we do provide that service, though it comes at a cost. Most folks opt for pre-rolls due to the 90 minute table limit. They basically want a format where they can begin enjoying immediately.
RP: What devices do you have and how do you clean them?
CH: We have several bongs like terracotta bongs and My Bud Vase, Puffco Peaks, PAX, and rigs. We clean everything with hot water, alcohol, and a steamer.
RP: Are people still vaping given the current epidemic?
CH: Yes, but vaping has declined. Flower has always been a big thing and continues to reign supreme.
RP: Are there any strict rules that folks must abide?
- No tobacco
- No personal bongs or devices for liability purposes
- We only have a consumption license not a retail license so technically patrons aren’t supposed to leave with unconsumed product
Photo Credit: @fauxtograpiv
RP: What do you love most about the job?
CH: I’ve met some of the sweetest people I’ve ever encountered. All of my colleagues are nice and talented and have something to bring to the table. They have quickly become my tribe.
RP: What’s the one thing you’d like to say to folks visiting the Cafe?
CH: It’ll be an excellent experience but be a little bit understanding if we need a moment to figure something out. This Cafe is the first of its kind and we don’t know everything yet. We are giving our best service and our best effort. We love your feedback and will use it to improve but definitely be understanding with us. We continue to strive for perfection.