Power Plant: California Gym to Allow Pot While Members Get Pumped

For the first time in global history, gym members can get lit while lifting. workout

It’s happening at a new gym in San Francisco, founded by a former professional football star who has been a staunch advocate for marijuana use. Ricky Williams, a former running back who scored the Heisman Trophy in college and played in the National Football League for the Saints, Ravens and Dolphins, teamed up with snowboard company executive Jim McAlpine. The company, Power Plant Fitness, allows members to smoke marijuana before or after working out, and also has edibles and topical gels for those who want to avoid actual smoke. It will officially open in May.

Many users say marijuana helps them to focus during or relax after workout sessions. The goal, according to the company’s website, is to promote “optimal states of wellness and peak performance.” As Alpine told Outside magazine last year, cannabis brings you in the “eye of the tiger mode.” 

Although founders said last year members would need a medical marijuana prescription to join, that’s no longer likely to be the case given that California became the fifth state to legalize recreational marijuana in November with Proposition 64.

Other states that now allow recreational marijuana include:

  • Colorado
  • Washington state
  • Oregon
  • Alaska
  • Nevada
  • Massachusetts
  • Maine
  • Washington, D.C.

Still, as our cannabis business lawyers know, it’s not as simple as opening up a company and welcoming users to imbibe on site. One must consider not only the legalities of state law, but also local permitting, particularly when allowing users to smoke or consume cannabis on site.

Plans are underway for this company to expand. Once the San Francisco site is up-and-running, there are plans in the works for locations in Los Angeles, San Jose, Seattle, Denver and Portland.

McAlpine noted this was not an opportunity for people to simply “get high and just screw around.” He said the focus of the gym is on the athleticism. He was a founder of the series 420 Games, which hosts a series of sporting and athletic events for those who use marijuana. Those events are not for the faint of heart – or lungs or legs. They include triathlons, obstacle courses, mountain bike races, golf courses and a 4.20-mile run. That event has been held annually in San Francisco since 2014.

Part of the gym’s purpose is to reverse the stereotypes about “lazy stoners” or those who are only gravely ill. In fact, people who are physically fit and prioritize optimal health routinely use the drug as part of their fitness routine. When cannabis is used as a tool for focus and recovery, it can help to bolster workout performance.

New members will begin with a cannabis performance assessment by staffers, who will help determine and supervise the best way for a person to consume marijuana while training.

This level of supervision may also lend itself to a degree of liability, and marijuana businesses like this need to take these factors seriously. Consider that marijuana use can be dehydrating and may also lead novices to symptoms ranging from mild dizziness to panic. Physical exercise could exacerbate these symptoms, so careful structuring of the monitoring process will be important.

The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.

Additional Resources:

A “cannabis gym” is opening in San Francisco, March 2, 2017, By William Hughes, A.V. Club

More Blog Entries:

Marijuana Legalization Should Be Accompanied by Justice System Reforms, March 23, 2017, L.A. Marijuana Lawyer Blog