Denver, Colorado’s largest city approved the first ever legal marijuana club. The first city in America to legalize adult use cannabis sales is now joining other legal cannabis cities across the country from other states where cannabis clubs are already operational.
In 2016, voters in Denver approved a ballot measure that allowed “social consumption” locations. However, the application process to approve the first cannabis club took a while because the state policies prevented marijuana use on any business premises with a liquor license. This made it hard for businesses to find a location for a club that meets the state’s strict requirements.
In December, the owners of Coffee Joint were the first ones to process the accreditation of their business under the legal social consumption location initiative to become the first Denver marijuana club.
Owners plan on charging an entry fee for spaces where people can bring their own vape to consume cannabis. Coffee Joint will also provide an area where edible cannabis products can be consumed by their customers.
However, the ballot measure of social consumption places prohibits establishments to allow smoking and selling of cannabis products.
The date of operations for these establishments are not yet clear because they still have to undergo a series of inspections before they are formally given their license.
Co-owner, Rita Tsalyuk hopes that they could operate as soon as possible. While waiting for their license, Ms Tsalyuk spends her time hiring and training more employees in preparation for their new upcoming business.
While their business, Coffee Joint has been open since January, they have not yet opened for cannabis consumption, only focusing on selling prepackaged coffee, tea, candies, and snacks.
The Coffee Joint is located southwest of downtown Denver next to a marijuana store owned by Ms Tsalyuk’s husband and the co-owner of the shop, Kirill Merkulov.
Because most hotels and rental properties don’t allow marijuana use in their vicinity, more often than not, customers at dispensaries have been asking budtenders as to where they can legally use the products.
Legislators in Denver created an environment where tourist and visitors above the age of 21 could purchase cannabis in licensed dispensaries, however, they could not consume it in their hotel. Public consumption of cannabis products are also against the law, so visitors have been left wondering how to consume their legal cannabis.
Tsalyuk took this opportunity by applying for the Coffee Joint to be part of the social consumption locations approved by the state.
The state of Colorado does not restrict cannabis clubs, according to their law. Some clubs scattered in different cities operate openly and some choose to operate secretly.
Other states with legalized marijuana consumption have already agreed upon themselves certain locations where cannabis products can be consumed. As compared to others, California appears to have a lot of places that have been approved by the government. Meanwhile, in Alaska, regulators delay discussion of use in retail shops until spring and in Massachusetts, there has been a discussion of statewide regulations for “cannabis cafes.”
Cannabis clubs have been operating very successfully in other parts of the world. Spain has been setting a good example with hundreds of cannabis clubs operating in and around Barcelona and many more across the country.
Uruguay is also home to many successful cannabis clubs. We have interviewed Juan Vaz, a local cannabis club manager in Uruguay in our Greendorphin World News video series.