Denver First To Permit Social Marijuana Use


“Tourists can buy weed everywhere but can smoke it almost nowhere.” —Stoners everywhere but Denver

You would think just by looking from the outside into a recreational marijuana legal state or region that the system was built only for residents. While the goods in stores are there for anyone to buy—anyone yielding proof-of-age ID, that is—there are few safe places for the casual traveler to partake without breaking the law or rule. That’s why Denver is stepping up to implement social marijuana usage with its Proposition 300 bill.

Since Colorado first attempted legalization in 2014, any consumers without private property were left to their own devices with legal places to smoke being far and few. It didn’t stop green tourists from visiting the state, but it did make for some precarious situations and crafty workarounds as tourists sought a haven in which to vape, puff, and munch their cannabinoid-filled goody bags. The most useful of the tactics, we think, is a little Airbnb-style service called Bud & Breakfast.




Denver is the first to start making organized, safe spots for tourists to get high in the “Mile-High” City. Just over a year after Proposition 300 passed with a 53.57 percent “yes” vote, the ordinance is finally in full effect. Effective immediately, Denver officials are approving the implementation of the consumption law which would allow establishments to create dedicated areas where locals and tourists can safely smoke.

This is an experiment, however. The pilot program is a four-year commitment only, allowing adult patrons to BYOM (Bring-your-own-marijuana) to licensed establishments, including bars, cafés, and restaurants. While vaping and edibles will be allowed indoors, lighting up a doob or blunt will only be available in Denver’s licensed businesses with an outdoor area.

The hitch (because there always is one)

Businesses may be all for allowing marijuana consumption on their property but with the power to allow consumption comes the responsibility to keep all citizens safe. In this case, that means a list of rules that prevent most businesses from participating in the measure. To secure a “consumption area” permit, a Denver business must comply with all of the following.

  • Outdoor consumption areas must be hidden from the public.
  • Designated areas will are limited to adults 21 and over.
  • Selling cannabis in consumption areas is prohibited.
  • Designated consumption areas must be over 1,000 feet from any school, child care facility, drug rehab facility, and city-run pools.
  • No more than one ounce of weed per individual will be allowed.
  • The hours for social consumption are between 7 am, and 2 am.

Several groups and individuals are calling out the restrictive rules of the program, including Emmet Reistroffe of Denver Relief Consulting, the firm that led the city ballot initiative campaign. He feels the biggest roadblock is the city’s zoning restrictions around schools, pools, and drug rehabs because it rules out most of the city. He points out that the extensive zoning restrictions won’t allow most businesses to apply for a permit.

November 30, 2017

by Parker Wallace

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Parker is a cannabis enthusiast to the core who shares a keen interest in listening to what others have to say and understanding what’s important to them. Those who know Parker know that his passion for health and wellness runs deep, and his love of Canada even deeper!


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