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Denver Awards Social Consumption License to Second Business

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A second business has been given the green light to allow patrons to consume marijuana. Denver Excise and Licenses has awarded a social consumption license to Vape and Play, which will now begin construction and will open pending inspections in November, says owner Taylor Rosean.

Vape and Play will operate a bar that will give consumers all the tools they need to get high — save for the pot itself, which isn't allowed under city rules — and offer games, TVs and vending machines, as well as live entertainment from comedians and musicians. Rosean says the decision caps three years of work trying to get his business off the ground.

"The process has been a slog, to say the least," says Rosean, who partnered with his mother to open the shop. "From getting insurance for our cannabis liability to setting up all of our group sales accounts, it's been two to three years of applying to any sort of services that would help our business and getting rejected and rejected —  not to mention we've been working with local registered neighborhood groups, governments, [Denver's] Excise and Licenses to create the perfect business model that will solve all the problems in this kind of business."

In November 2016, Denver voters approved Initiative 300, which lets businesses allow consumption if they follow certain guidelines. The only other business that has a social consumption license, the Coffee Joint, opened in March.

The Coffee Joint opened for cannabis consumption in mid-March.
The Coffee Joint opened for cannabis consumption in mid-March.
Jacqueline Collins

Rosean says that he and his mother, Meagan Lumpkin, spent a year and a half developing their business model, six to nine months looking at about fifty properties in Denver before finding a lot at 1753 South Broadway, another six months to create a building plan that would pass the city's muster, and another six months to complete the application to get a social consumption permit.

Patrons will be allowed to BYOC (bring your own cannabis), but may only vape inside the building, per the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act.

Rosean started in the industry as a packager, working in productions facilities, then as a storefront budtender before eventually becoming a dispensary manager and general manager. He says his new business venture is the first of its kind in the world.

"We feel confident we're going to set a new industry standard for public cannabis consumption," he says. "As someone who's been in this business for the last five years, I feel like a kid in a candy store. This was a pipe dream even a year and a half ago, and here we are about to open one of the first legal pot clubs in the city."

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