It’s a historic day in the U.S. of A. An establishment in Denver, Colorado has been bestowed the nation’s first business license which permits patrons to imbibe cannabis. In the great tradition of the legal public cannabis areas of Amsterdam, the historic lounge will be in a coffee shop. In the great tradition of America, it will be in a strip mall off the interstate by a fitness center.
There’s actually some dispute over whether The Coffee Joint is really the country’s first establishment licensed for such use. The Cannabist points out that “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 licenses apparently differ in that they allow the use of cannabis in establishments that are not dispensaries, and that patrons taking advantage of the permit don’t have to be patients.
One other footnote to add to this occasion in the history books: you can’t actually smoke any weed in it. That is, you can’t smoke cannabis flowers in it. You can, however, vape hash oil or eat edibles. You can’t buy any cannabis products at the Coffee Joint, but you can, presumably, buy coffee and muffins, and there’s a dispensary right next door for your convenience.
According to the cafe’s website, “Our goal is to provide the community with a high class establishment that offers them a safe & social environment to consume cannabis products & learn about cannabis education. Our main goal is offer Cannabis Entertainment & Education to all who enter.”
Denver’s voters approved social cannabis use back in 2016, but it’s taken until now for someone to actually get a license. The city didn’t start accepting applications until last summer. The Coffee Joint filed for one in December and then made a two hour presentation to local officials earlier in February. Other businesses, including a proposed cannabis spa, have filed for their license and are still in the application process.
Photo via Flickr user Adam D