‘Museum of Weed’ pop-up to open in Hollywood

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LOS ANGELES — A 30,000-square-foot cannabis museum is coming soon to Hollywood.

Weedmaps, a Los Angeles-based cannabis technology and media company, is behind the new museum aimed at destigmatizing cannabis. The museum is scheduled to open later this summer.

“We’re at this point now where there is some cannabis normalization,” Weedmaps CEO Chris Beals told CNN Business. “They’re already starting to forget that there have been people who have been in jail (because of prohibition).”

The Weedmaps Museum of Weed, slated to be open from August 3 through September 29 at 720 North Cahuenga Boulevard, will take visitors on a chronological walk through history from early uses and the “Reefer Madness” and “War on Drugs” eras through present-day legalization efforts.

“Frankly, it feels like we’re at an inflection point … where the outcome isn’t fully decided,” Beals said.

The exhibits will also delve into the minutiae of the cannabis plant via an “interactive Plant Lab.”

It won’t be fully interactive, though. No consumption of cannabis nor its various components — including the super-trendy cannabis compound CBD — are allowed.

To strike a balance between the Snapchattable and the somber, the company drew from an eclectic mix of existing repositories, such as the Museum of Ice Cream in San Francisco and more culturally specific museums such as those dedicated to civil rights movements.

Weedmaps’ multimillion-dollar venture has been more than a year in the making, Beals said, adding that nearly half of that time was spent securing copyrights to art, photos and videos, such as Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign from the 1980s and anti-weed film clips from the ’40s and ’50s.

Social justice and advocacy are themes woven throughout the space, Beals said. “[Legalization is] most definitely not a panacea for all of the social issues that have been associated with prohibition,” he said, noting stop-and-frisk policies and lifelong sentences for drug convictions. “I think there’s a bit of a myth that once you legalize cannabis that the disparate enforcement of cannabis laws disappears.”

Admission will be $35 and limited to people 18 years of age and older — a restriction to meet permitting and insurance requirements, Beals said. “That was a good indicator that the stigma around cannabis continues,” he said.

Weedmaps’ pop-up will join a slew of existing for-profit and nonprofit cannabis museums that operate across the United States. According to Beals, if all goes well, Weedmaps may extend this museum, or take it to other cities.

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