A new law has finally authorized cannabis cafes to be legal in the state that first began allowing recreational marijuana sales.
Marijuana merchants, as well as restaurants and mobile premises in Colorado can now allow customers to partake if they get state and local approval.
The law takes effect on New Year’s day and will allow cannabis consumption in specially licensed pot shops, restaurants, and other businesses, including mobile “marijuana hospitality establishments” such as tour buses.
In order for businesses to create cannabis consumption spaces however, they have to obtain both state and local permission. The Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division has posted a license application form, along with the relevant regulations, which take effect on January 1st.
Restaurants that serve alcohol are not eligible for the new licenses, and tobacco use will not be allowed either.
“Denver has not officially determined whether our city will opt in or opt out of the hospitality law,” spokesman Eric Escudero said by e-mail to Reason.com. “Our focus right now is taking steps to address social equity, so more people disproportionally impacted by the war on drugs are positively impacted by cannabis legalization.” He says the city has commissioned a study of that issue, which should be completed in January or February.
“If Denver decides to go forward by creating new licenses for hospitality,” Escudero added, “we believe it is vital to have improvements in our licensing process so equity applicants have an improved opportunity for greater participation in the cannabis industry,” assuming “the study shows there is a lack of participation by people disproportionally impacted by the war on drugs….Our goal is to get it right and not accelerate the process based on when a state law goes into effect.”