Denver's Initiative 300 Allows Social Use, But Implementation Still Months Away

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

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

How soon can we expect to see Initiative 300 implement in Denver? Not soon, as revealed during a briefing for Denver City Council members on December 5. By the end of December, the city will have finalized the makeup of the Social Consumption Advisory Committee and crafted an initial draft of the Social Consumption Rules and Regulations that will guide the implementation of 300.

The committee will be comprised of representatives from city government and Registered Neighborhood Organizations (RNOs), as well as industry leaders and members on each side of the 300 issue, according to Ashley Kilroy, director of the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses and former director of the city's Marijuana Policy Division.

On January 21, the city will release its application that businesses will use to apply for social use licenses. But while the application will be available, businesses won't be able to actually send them to the city until sometime this summer. A draft timeline indicates that Excise and Licenses hopes to start accepting applications between June and August.

Between January and March, the Social Consumption Advisory Committee will hold four to six meetings to develop the final draft of rules and regulations governing social use licenses, and then between April and May the city will review the draft. There will also be a public hearing to discuss the proposed rules.

By this summer, the plan is to have the rules and regulations finalized and the city will start accepting applications and permit fees.

This timeline was discussed when city council members met with officials from Excise and Licenses and the Office of Marijuana Policy.

Those officials stressed that the primary objective moving forward is to honor the will of the voters, while abiding by state and city law. “Our plan is to implement the will of the voters within the confines of the law,” Kilroy told councilmembers.

Amendment 64 only specified that consumption could not be "open and public or in a manner that endangers others," but did not define "open" or "public." Under Initiative 300, as long as marijuana is consumed in a "designated consumption area," it is allowed. The language is vague enough that it can be open to interpretation, so the Denver City Attorney's Office is working to make sure that when I-300 is implemented, it does not break any other laws.

"In looking at the implementation of Initiative 300, we are going to have to be very aware that we could run into serious conflict with state law unless the cannabis consumption permits are limited only to those locations that are not considered to be a public place," said City Attorney Kristen Bronson. "In other words, it cannot be in places where a substantial number of the public can have access."

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.