A Denver coffee shop has received the first license from the city for its patrons to openly consume marijuana on its premises. Patrons will be charged a $5 fee and only will be allowed to use marijuana in edible or vaporizer form. The Coffee Joint is the first social club to receive permission for open marijuana consumption in the nation.
Back in 2016, Denver voters approved a measure for a social use pilot program. The Coffee Joint was the first business to file an application under the initiative this past December. Though businesses that apply must meet some bureaucratic requirements—the business must have the backing of a neighborhood group and can’t serve alcohol—no one opposed the Coffee Joint’s proposal at a Feb. 9 meeting.
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Northern California cities have allowed smoking lounges inside several medical marijuana dispensaries for years, and that state’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana sales expanded access to some of them. But Denver’s program will be the first nationally to allow marijuana use by patrons of regular businesses of varying types that are open to the public, as long as they get licensed and follow several rules set by the city.
This program could potentially solve a long-standing problem in Denver as well. While cannabis legalization has drawn in many of curious visitors, those tourists don’t have any legal place to consume their purchases whereas residents can consume in the privacy of their homes.
This program will be the first of its kind in the country, though other states like Alaska, Nevada, and Massachusetts have discussed similar initiatives, according to Forbes.