Denver Issues License to City's First Pot Lounge

The Coffee Joint Facebook page
After years of gaining little ground in Colorado, social cannabis consumption is finally making progress. On the same day a bill was introduced in the Colorado Legislature that would allow dispensary tasting rooms, and less than a week after a members-only pot lounge successfully opened in RiNo, the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses approved the Coffee Joint's Cannabis Consumption Establishment license — making it the first establishment to ever hold a pot consumption license in Denver.

Just like your grandma and 50 Cent used to say: When it rains, it pours.

After getting a city hearing officer's recommendation to move forward, The Coffee Joint received official approval from Denver Department of Excise and Licenses Executive Director Ashley Kilroy on Monday, February 26. A new coffee shop with private areas for cannabis consumption, the Coffee Joint is located at 1130 Yuma Court.

The Coffee Joint's owners, Rita Tsalyuk and Kirill Merkulov, were familiar with the extensive location requirements they needed to meet before they could receive a license: Merkulov and Tsalyuk's husband are co-owners of 1136 Yuma, the dispensary next door, which faced similar restrictions.

Tsalyuk plans on charging a $5 entrance fee to the cafe, which will include a free cup of coffee or tea; guests can purchase drinks made to order and pre-packaged food. There won't be any smoking allowed because of the Colorado Clean Indoor Act, but vaporizing, dabbing and edibles are all welcome.

The Coffee Joint has been open since January, selling refreshments and providing tours — but no pot consumption — while it waited to become licensed. According to Excise and Licenses spokeswoman Bia Campbell, the Coffee Joint will now undergo inspections by various city departments for building codes, fire safety and other regulations, and "once they pass those, their license will be issued."