Denver may Allow Marijuana Use in Cafes, Concerts, Yoga Studios

marijuana sign

You can’t smoke cigarettes in a bar, but if some marijuana advocates in Colorado get their way, you’ll soon be able to vape cannabis in one. [1]

In November, Denver, Colorado residents will vote on an initiative that would allow businesses to obtain city permits to create designated areas for using marijuana.

Kayvan S.T. Khalatbari, the lead proponent of the initiative, said in a statement:

“Adults who can legally purchase and possess cannabis need places where they can consume it safely while socializing with other adults.

This is a thoughtfully drafted measure that will reduce the likelihood of adults consuming in public and gives communities the power to decide where consumption should be allowed.”

Before applying for a permit, businesses would have to have “at least 1 additional approval from a registered neighborhood organization,” and patrons would have to bring their own marijuana.

Some Restrictions are Included

Several restrictions are included in the bill:

  • Patrons will not be permitted to use cannabis in public places, such as sidewalks, alleys, or parks, or within 1,000 feet of anywhere children congregate.
  • Marijuana use will only be allowed in establishments or areas within establishments that are restricted to adults age 21 and over, and not visible to people outside of the restricted areas where cannabis consumption is allowed.
  • Only non-smokable forms of cannabis, such as vaporizers, may be used indoors. Smoking pot will only be allowed in areas where smoking is currently allowed and that are not visible to the public.

Read: 5 FAQ’s About Recreational Marijuana in Colorado

Khalatbari said:

“We already have about 50 businesses in support of this. Many of them are noncannabis businesses so coffee shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, massage parlors, yoga studios.”

If approved, the initiative would create a 4-year pilot program.

So far, supporters of the “social marijuana use” initiative have gathered 4,726 signatures required to make the November ballot. [2]

One of the perks of the initiative is that it would give neighborhoods input into where and when these “designated consumption areas” would operate.

Kayvan Khalatbari, one of the minds behind the initiative and a co-owner of the pro-marijuana advocacy group Denver Relief Consulting, said:

“We wanted to make sure that we’re considerate of these neighborhoods and these organizations in this process of social consumption. What they can choose to do is create stricter guidelines that really fit into the needs or the concerns of that community.”

One of the major hurdles facing the proposal is the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, which prohibits patrons from smoking anything in most indoor areas.

State Rep. Dan Pabon (D-Denver) said:

“I believe it conflicts with state law. The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act specifically outlaws smoking indoors. This Act would need to be amended.”

Read: Colorado’s Marijuana Legalization Creates 10,000 New Jobs

Pabon said he would back the proposal if it kept marijuana users out of public parks and off sidewalks.

State Rep. Jonathan Singer (D-Longmont) said he supports the proposal, too, but pointed out that under Colorado law, patrons are prohibited from consuming other intoxicating substances in a business that has a liquor license, which could complicate things for bars. Still, Singer said it’s not a hopeless cause.

“Lawmakers like myself should have pushed harder the last few years on responsible social use and we wouldn’t be in this quandary. We’ve had since 2013 to figure this out.”


[1] WQAD

[2] The Huffington Post