Four years after voters in Colorado legalized recreational cannabis, Denver voters may be able to fix the problem of where to smoke it.
The “City of Denver Cannabis Consumption Pilot Program” officially heads to the Nov. 8 ballot, and would finally put on the books a permitting process for legitimate cannabis smoking lounges, reports state.
— The Denver Post (@denverpost) September 1, 2016
Recreational legalization has been a bit of a mixed bag in Colorado, the United States’ de-facto cannabis capital.
In an odd twist on the old-school Amsterdam conundrum, in Colorado today it’s legal to buy pot, it’s legal to sell it — but in nearly everywhere you can go, it’s illegal to smoke it. State law in Colorado bars smoking in public. You can smoke it at home, but if that’s off-limits for whatever reason, your only other options are a private event; a private, for-hire limo or bus; and a motley collection of underground “clubs” working in what’s best described as “a legal gray area”.
Some cities have gone ahead and banned lounges, according to the Colorado Springs Independent. It’s a policy pattern also seen in California. Right now, the only legal cannabis smoking lounges in America — that is to say, lounges with business licenses — are in San Francisco, where, as the Guardian reported, they’re becoming classier and classier, turning from underground hippie hangouts into deluxe, members-only “private lounges.”
A bill in the Colorado state legislature to legalize cannabis clubs failed this year. It may be revived, but for now, the ballot is the only hope. In Denver, voters have the chance to approve a special patio smoking license, which would be available to bars, cafes, yoga studios, and a really wide variety of gathering spaces, subject to the “support” from “neighborhood associations.”
“The designated consumption area identified on a cannabis consumption permit may be (i) an area located inside of or adjacent to a licensed premise or other business, (ii) a temporary location inside of or adjacent to a licensed premise or other business, or (iii) a temporary location not located inside of or adjacent to a licensed premise or other business,” the law states.
“An odor control plan will be required and odor complaints may result in loss of permit,” the law’s summary states.
Notable in Denver’s law is the allowance for bars to have legal cannabis smoking. In California, smoking lounges may become legal if Prop. 64 passes, but places with alcoholic beverage licenses are excluded.
Can IPAs and OG Kushes finally live in legal peace? Let us know in the comments.