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Vaping marijuana club opens in Tacoma

Visit Stone(d)gate on South Tacoma Way

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As I walked into South Tacoma Way's Stonegate Pizza, I appreciated the cathedral like art of Karen Hallis' interior themes, and gave thumbs up to Leanne Trevalyn of Junkyard Jane fame as she prepared for her Tuesday acoustic open mic night. I made my way upstairs to Stonegate's new Vape Club - a members-only venue for vaping marijuana. Walking through the crème colored oversized leather couches and armchairs, situated on the rich wooden floor that Hallis has painted with quotes, I found virtuoso guitarist Rafael Tranquilino playing a soothing melodic jazz sound with hints of psychedelic.

I met Sharon Letts, a Southern California freelance writer for High Times, Toke of the Town and author of Humboldt Stories. She was covering the grand opening of Stonegate's Vape Club for Skunk Magazine. We began talking about coincidence. Turns out she had been visiting a friend off Nicholas Canyon Road in Los Angeles a few days earlier, which happens to be my old neighborhood.

Across from the alcohol bar, with its depiction of rock stars, was the Vapor Bar. Three "Green Light Ladies" gave the room a burlesque feel as they administered dabs of vapor to members. Dabs is the process of turning cannabis into a colorless, odorless vapor. The atmosphere was upbeat, joyful and mellow - all at once.

A documentary crew was filming the opening. The crew stated it was recording a movement to clarify and provide a template for other states and the world. They've been interviewing medical cannabis patients, clinics, grow room procedures and politicians, and hope to wrap it up for presentation after filming Colorado and Los Angeles' Cannabis Club for High Times.

"It's a better alternative to alcohol, more peaceful, mellower people," says Stonegate regular Veblin JanJowskie.

I agree.

Admiring the portrait in the center of the bar of Kent Morrell of The Wailers, the inspiration for the Ventures, the band that launched 1,000 bands, I overheard someone say, "This is a start, this is a start of a really big thing."

I agree, again.

For more information on the new Vape Club, call 253.473.2255.


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