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Bent Paddle to Open Cannabis-Culture Lounge

As Minnesota laws on THC, CBD, and marijuana evolve, the Duluth brewery pivots quickly to open a unique pop-up lounge.

By Todd R. Berger

Bent Paddle Brewing Co. Cannabis-Culture Lounge in Duluth
Bent Paddle Brewing Co.’s Cann-A-Lounge + Market to open

Bent Paddle Brewing Co.

Bent Paddle Brewing Co. of Duluth will open Cann-A-Lounge + Market on Feb. 16 in the brewery’s original taproom in the Lincoln Park Craft District. The 21+ nonsmoking cannabis-culture lounge will serve Bent Paddle tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) sparkling waters, as well as THC and CBD beverages and edibles from other producers. The market will sell additional THC and CBD products, including candles and body products.

“We have had this pretty great space sitting there with nothing going on [since the taproom moved to a new location in 2018],” says Laura Mullen, cofounder of the brewery. “So, we are going to reopen that, and the decor is very eclectic, Bohemian. It is embracing the cannabis culture in terms of there are some unique and funny things—lots of greens and pinks and oranges, and a little bit of a vintage-but-modern vibe at the same time. So just a really unique space. And we are the first of our kind to be opening in Duluth, to be opening a cannabis lounge and market.”

Mullen describes the new space as a “pop-up shop” that, “If it goes well, it stays open, and the law doesn’t change. So, right now, the law is being thoroughly worked out, so it’s a pop-up in case [recreational marijuana] becomes legal, I guess. We’re just keeping it flexible, and we didn’t spend a ton on it, but we made it very fun. … The concept is very cute and cool.” At the time of this writing, the Minnesota legislature is considering a bill to legalize marijuana, a bill that may affect venues that serve hemp-derived THC products. Minnesota legalized possession and sale of such hemp-derived products last summer.

The Cann-A-Lounge + Market has a capacity of 50 and will be available for full buyouts. Bent Paddle also has event space at the brewery’s present taproom on West Michigan St., a block away from the lounge. As for the lounge and the expansion of cannabis culture in Minnesota, things are changing quickly.

“We made this up a month and a half ago,” says Mullen. “We’re just cruising fast.”