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Thursday July 19, 2018

Updated on 8/2/2021

By Erin Hiatt

420 Culture

Since January 1, 2014, Colorado residents and visitors have had access to legal, adult-use marijuana. What they haven’t had is a public place to consume it. That’s no longer the case, thanks to Denver Initiative 300, passed by voters in November, 2016. The new legislation allows businesses to apply for cannabis consumption licenses.

While public consumption lounges have yet to prove their effectiveness or popularity in Colorado, many tourists and locals alike could benefit from a public place to legally consume their cannabis. While only time will tell the true results, we’re expecting to see much less illegal public consumption as more social consumption lounges pop up. On that note, let’s take a closer look at where Colorado social consumption lounges are headed in the future.

Initiative 300: Overview and Progress

Blazing yet another cannabis trail, Initiative 300 is the first legislation in Colorado that allows for businesses like coffee shops, art galleries, entertainment venues and yoga studios to have designated indoor areas for adult-use marijuana consumption. Because of Colorado’s Clean Indoor Air Act, I-300 allows for vaping and edibles indoors, and smoking outdoors.

Initiative 300
Initiative 300 passed in Colorado in November of 2016.

On February 26, 2018, The Coffee Joint, in the Lincoln Park area of Denver, received the first cannabis consumption establishment license, allowing customers to consume cannabis products on-site.

Benefits of Initiative 300

Other than providing a safe space for cannabis lovers to consume, the passage of I-300 is believed to have other, tangible benefits. It is anticipated that consumption space will reduce odor and public nuisance complaints, take a bite out of the black market by providing attractive social spaces to consumers, reduce intoxicated driving rates and potentially increase tax revenues for jurisdictions allowing lounges.

As it stands now, I-300 will sunset in 2020 unless local government extends it or another voter initiative comes around. So, here’s to the great success of social consumption lounges in Denver! May it open doors for other businesses to follow.

What are your thoughts on social consumption clubs in Denver? Let us know in the comments!


Erin Hiatt Erin Hiatt

Erin Hiatt is a New York City-based writer who has been covering the cannabis industry for more than six years. Her work - which has appeared in Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, PotGuide, Civilized, Vice, Freedom Leaf, MERRY JANE, Alternet, and CannaInvestor - covers a broad range of topics, including cannabis policy and law, CBD, hemp law and applications, science and technology, beauty, and psychedelics.

Erin's work and industry insights have been featured on the podcasts The Let's Go Eat Show, In the Know 420, and she has appeared as a featured panelist on the topic of hemp media. Erin has interviewed top industry experts such as Dr. Carl Hart, Ethan Nadelmann, Amanda Feilding, Mark A.R. Kleiman, Dr. James Fadiman, and culture icons Governor Jesse Ventura, and author Tom Robbins. You can follow her work on LinkedInWordpress, @erinhiatt on Twitter, and @erinisred on Instagram.

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