May 18, 2022

Cannabis Lounges Could Open Soon in California’s Capital

Anticipation is running high

By Ed Goldman

Meanwhile, back on the left coast, where Governor Goddamn Handsome is running for re-election—but not, as rumored, with the tourist-boosting tagline “California: Your State for Sky-High Gas Prices, Bureaucratic Chaos and Abortions While U Wait”—the Sacramento City Council continues to wrestle with a proposal to allow “cannabis lounges” to be built (and even frequented!).

It’s a dicey issue, especially for people who like to use “dicey” as their go-to adjective whenever they have no idea of their positions on issues like cannabis and the aforementioned abortion. (A standard dodge is to say you favor the establishment of cannabis lounges in cases of incest or rape, and abortion if regulated by county rules and regulations: say this aloud quickly and then leave the PTA meeting before the other attendees reach for torches.) 

Edgy Cartoon

Smoke Screening

To get this out of the way: I have no personal position on abortion because I have no genuine skin in the game, as they say. In short, I feel I have no right to tell women what to do about their own bodies. This would include if I knew I were the father of the fetus. That fetus may be my “issue” but I didn’t act alone and am not in a position to carry it to term. For the record, I do despise abortion as after-thought birth control.

But that’s not why you tuned in today: the topic is cannabis lounges. Here are 10 things you may want to know, especially if you’re sitting around recovering from surgery or being fired from your job as CFO for embezzling funds and juice boxes from your nonprofit employer, which tutors teens in financial and food literacy:

  1. Unlike what you may encounter in an alcohol bar, in a cannabis saloon a “lounge lizard” might be a hallucination, not a real guy wearing 925 silver-plated jewelry chains over a shirt unbuttoned to his navel. If you can’t immediately spot the difference, see a drug counselor. 
  1. Even if you flex your biceps in a cannabis bar, it’s less likely you’ll wind up in a fistfight than you would by doing so in a tavern. In a cannabis bar, no patron uses the slang “guns” for arm muscles nor real guns for dispute resolution.
  2. If a stranger inquires about your astrological sign in a cannabis bar, he or she may really want to know it. So do some research, though this will require you to remember your birthdate, which you may find challenging after a few hits of Godfather OG, said to be the planet’s most potent marijuana, with a THC content of more than 34 percent. (For the uninitiated, THC stands for either tetrahydrocannabinol or Totally High Cheeching, depending on whether you’re a chemistry student or fan of the stoner-comedy duo Cheech and Chong, respectively.) 
  3. Similarly, if a stranger asks for your number, he or she may be less into hooking up than numerology.
  4. In a sports bar, the loudmouth on the corner stool may be a drunken irritant. In a cannabis bar, he may be Bill Maher.
  1. If you breeze in with a group of friends, you should appoint a designated driver for the trip home—as well as the one you’ll likely take in the bar.
  2. The food that’s available may take on the air of “extraordinary.” In a beer bar, this could be an elaborately pickled egg; in a cannabis bar, just a pickle.
  3. Music in both places seems necessary, though country-western tunes may work better in a smoke-filled saloon than in a smoky salon. To clarify: no one requests Enya in a place called The Horny Toad but may in an establishment called The Horn o’ Plenty.
  4. Comedians tend to be much more aggressive in watering holes than in hookah bars. Example: in the former, a joke that begins, “My kids are driving me crazy” will be met with knowing guffaws; in the latter, with sobs and self-recrimination.
  5. Similarly, comedians like to say of a successful bar set, “I killed ’em!” However, in a cannabis bar where they’ve just performed, if they were able to simply put the audience to sleep, they’re sure to be invited back.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).

Yes, Virginia

A Weekly Blog by Virginia Varela

President, Golden Pacific Bank, a Division of SoFi Bank, Inc.

photo by Phoebe Verkouw


Did you know that, in general, banks have the best security systems compared to other industries.

That is because banks are highly regulated and their information technology is subject to frequent outside audits and reviews.  Banking in the US requires a deep understanding of technology issues, risks and regulators requirements. 

Even so, hackers are frequently targeting all financiers, national and community banks and credit unions.  The truth is that cyber bank theft is a daily occurrence, and security breaches at all financial institutions is on the rise. 

The best way to protect yourself and your accounts?  

  1. Use strong passwords and change them often.  
  2. Beware of any emails or suspicious phone calls from those claiming to be from your bank and asking for confidential information.  
  3. Watch out for unfamiliar links in your emails and don’t click on anything you don’t recognize.  
  4. Be careful on public wi-fi.  
  5. Watch for unscrupulous card scanners.

If you do suspect (or confirm) you’re a victim of bank account hacking, consider freezing your account and contact a reliable banking source as soon as you can.

All of us in the industry want you to feel, in every sense of the word, secure!

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