Denver: First U.S. City to Allow Public Cannabis Use

Denver is one step closer to setting guidelines for public marijuana use in clubs and businesses located in Denver. The initiative, passed by voters in November, allows adults 21 and older to consume cannabis at marijuana clubs and places like yoga studios, art galleries, and coffee shops.

Regulators met with business owners, cannabis activists and detractors, and law enforcement authorities on Wednesday to hammer out details about what’s ahead for social cannabis use. Aside from the 21-and-up age restriction and a ban on smoking indoors, the initiative didn’t set rules for how these businesses operate.

So, what can you expect social cannabis use in Denver to look like? Here’s what we know so far:

  • Licenses for social cannabis use will cost $2,000 per year. Applications are available on January 20, but it’s worth noting that the city has no deadline for issuing the licenses. Supporters hope to see the first application approvals by this summer.
     
  • Forget about bringing your marijuana to restaurants or any business that serves booze–the state Liquor Control Board has already decided that businesses with a liquor license will not be allowed to apply for a social cannabis use license.
     
  • Social use clubs or venues will be strictly bring-your-own weed. Marijuana businesses, including dispensaries, will not be allowed to apply to the program.
     
  • Denver hasn’t set any zoning rules yet, but businesses interested in applying for a permit from the City of Denver must also have approval from their local neighborhood association or business group.
     
  • Tourists may have to depend on locals to direct them to pot bars, as advertising will likely be limited.
     
  • The initiative is a pilot program meant to last four years, until the end of 2020. At that point, City Council has the option of making changes, making it permanent, or allowing it to expire.

 

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