Denver Issues License to City's First Pot Lounge

Denver Issues License to City's First Pot Lounge
The Coffee Joint Facebook page
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

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."

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.