High Tide patron Sarah Martis tries out one of the gravity hookahs on 4/20 | Photos: Stephanie McGeary

PREVIOUSLY: BECAUSE WEED? Old Town’s ‘Because Coffee’ Closing This Weekend, Will Likely Be Replaced by Cannabis Smoking Lounge


More than three years after the City of Eureka passed an ordinance allowing cannabis smoking lounges, the city finally has its first indoor space for legally smoking weed, with High Tide Cannabis Lounge now officially open on the corner of Third and F Streets – previously home to Because Coffee – in Old Town.

“It’s a big feeling of a weight being lifted,” Ray Markland, the company manager, told the Outpost inside the freshly opened smoking lounge on Wednesday afternoon. After being granted the permit by the City back in 2019, Markland and his partners were just about ready to open the lounge in 2020. But when COVID hit, for obvious reasons, the project was put on hold.

So Markland is beyond thrilled that he can finally welcome folks into a place to legally and safely smoke cannabis. The lounge had a soft opening last week, with about 60 folks – friends and family of the employees – coming to try out the lounge for the first time. Markland said that so far, things are going great and people really seem to be enjoying the space and the novelty of being able to smoke indoors.

To be clear, High Tide is not the first cannabis consumption lounge to open in Eureka. Papa and Barkley Social claims that title, having opened in April, 2021 in the former Kmart off of south Broadway. However, the Papa and Barkley smoking lounge is outdoors, making Hide Tide the official first completely indoor space to spark up.

And amazingly on the afternoon of 4/20 with multiple people smoking everything from pre-rolls to hookahs, the relatively small space was not overpowered by a hazy smoke cloud. This, Markland said, is thanks to the powerful HVAC filtration system, which filters out the smoke and fills the space with completely fresh air every three minutes. Having a high-standard filtration system in place was one of the requirements from the City for the business to be able to allow indoor smoking – not only because it helps minimize the smoke inside, but also because it keeps the smell from permeating outside. The window is also covered so that the customers have privacy and passerbys cannot see the cannabis consumption going on in the space.

The business is also required to have multiple other measures in place to help ensure customer safety. For health safety, the staff cleans and sanitizes all of the smoking implements after each use. The lounge has recommended THC dosage information posted at all of the tables, and also provides public transportation and cab information, to help prevent folks from driving under the influence. All of the employees are also trained on recommended dosage and are very familiar with the products, Markland said. So before a customer consumes, the employees will ask about their history and level of cannabis use and make recommendations on which products they should use. 

“Our motto is ‘go low, go slow,’” Markland told the Outpost, adding that the employees will always suggest a very small dosage level to start for those with little to no experience using cannabis.

In order to enter the smoking lounge, you must first go to the Ecocann dispensary, where you will be asked to present your ID to the doorperson (you must be 21 or older to enter both the dispensary and the lounge). You then make your purchase, at which point the budtender will ask if you are planning to use the consumption lounge, ask about your usage history and make recommendations. You are then escorted to the lounge, where there are multiple different ways to consume your cannabis products – lighters, ashtrays, papers and gravity hookahs (yeah, that’s apparently a thing) are all provided, along with more experienced budtenders to help take care of you. The lounge also sells non-alcoholic beverages and munchies – including chips, candy and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

The official grand opening for High Tide, with a ribbon cutting ceremony and all that, will be sometime in May, Markland said. But the lounge is already open for business on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.  Moving forward Markland plans to bring in more activities and entertainment for his stoned patrons, including game nights, trivia nights, “stoner movie” nights, live music and even “stoned karaoke.”

“I think there’s a lot of potential for fun things like that,” Markland told the Outpost. “Our whole goal is to present a safe, comfortable space for people to enjoy cannabis and hopefully it will be a really good experience for people coming to Humboldt County to see that they can consume indoors.

One of High Tide’s cute ashtrays