Last November, voters approved Initiative 300, which legalized cannabis consumption lounges in Denver, and at looks like these lounges will at last soon be open. So pretty soon you will be able to get a Denver weed deal and head to a cannabis lounge with your friends. These cannabis lounges will allow patrons to consume marijuana on site, meaning Colorado tourists as well as locals will have a much easier time finding a place to legally blaze up all this fine weed we have around here. Currently, public consumption is off limits, so if you have some concentrates or bud you wish to enjoy, you have to either hide out and watch your back, be in your own private residence, or find a friend who will let you come over--all pretty difficult tasks for a traveler who doesn’t have friends here and who doesn’t know a whole about the city. Being able to shop at a Denver dispensary then immediately be able to find a place where you can actually smoke it without fear will be a huge improvement, especially for tourists.
City officials have met numerous times this year to try to work out the rules and regulations for cannabis consumption lounges, and as of June 30th, they have finally succeeded in finalizing the details. Some of those details are rather restrictive, intended to limit the number of cannabis consumption lounges operating in the city. Potential cannabis lounges will have to seek approval from the city as well as from the neighborhood in which they wish to locate, and businesses that hold a liquor license will not be eligible to apply. These rules will remain in effect for the course of Denver’s three-year pilot program. In 2020, the City Council will meet again to reexamine the measure and see if any adjustments need to be made.
With marijuana a booming business, entrepreneurs have been impatiently waiting to be the first to open a public cannabis consumption lounge. They’ll have to wait a little longer though, unfortunately, as the city has still yet to open up the application process. Once new licensing procedures are set into place and city inspectors have done their part, say officials, the applications will be open. Those interested in opening a cannabis consumption lounge should start saving up now and gaining neighborhood support, as the licensing procedure will be tedious, and the fees decidedly hefty.
Despite the delays, the city is anticipating that Denver’s first public cannabis consumption lounges could open in just a few months time, as early as Fall 2017. So what will these new lounges look like? We know they won’t be able to serve alcohol, so perhaps some of the lounges will consider serving coffee, tea, or other treats. Perhaps there will be cannabis cafes that serve gourmet marijuana edibles. Or, we might see art studios doubling as cannabis lounges. Live music seems like a great fit for weed-smoking, so I expect many of the cannabis lounges will feature live bands and other performances. Ultimately, we’ll all just have to wait and see, and at least we won’t have to wait too much longer (hopefully!) to find out.
With so many tourists flocking to Denver to enjoy the beautiful flowers, super-potent concentrates, and out-of-this-world edibles, one thing is certain: Denver’s cannabis lounges are bound to be a huge success.