During Denver Arts Week, which begins on November 1, more than 300 events will highlight the Mile High City's art, performance and culture scene over the span of nine days. To start off the citywide celebration, several RiNo businesses plan to host a block party complete with a brewery, live music and a licensed cannabis consumption area (which is definitely not an official part of Denver Arts Week festivities).
The HTBX (it's pronounced "hot box") pot consumption space will return to 31st and Blake streets this weekend, giving cannabis users 21 and up a free place to legally toke up during a three-day bash that includes neighboring 14er Brewing Company, art exhibitions and vendors, live music and cannabis conversations.
This will be the second time that Denver has issued a license for cannabis use at a special event; HTBX also played host to the first during Crush Walls 2019. (The annual 4/20 celebration at Civic Center Park has never been licensed for pot use.)
HTBX Founder John McCaskill says that the recent snowfall shouldn't pose any problems for the party's first night on Friday, November 1, nor is it likely to prevent people from celebrating Halloween a night late. "It's not going to stop us. Friday is going to be sunny and 45 degrees," he says. "We know people are going to be out this weekend and consuming, so why not do it in a legal way that supports local businesses?"
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McCaskill's consumption lounge is essentially a shipping container that has been converted into a small hangout for smoking and vaping cannabis. He created it as a mobile unit that can be used at block parties and other special events as a space that allows quick, legal, social pot use, and has plans to showcase the HTBX more next year during 4/20 in Denver and as a CBD consumption spot during South by Southwest in Austin, Texas.
"We've made some artistic changes to the space since last time and added more comfort elements to help people hang out a little bit more," he adds. "It'll allow people to interact with the space, pop in and consume."
Entry is free (as is admission to the the block party), and McCaskill will be hosting conversations about the local cannabis community at his nearby art gallery, MegaFauna. Topics will include community engagement and upcoming laws that allow dispensary delivery and state-licensed pot consumption establishments.
The consumption space will be open to the public from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, November 1, and then all day Saturday and Sunday. Learn more about the block party here.