Marijuana

Burn Joints and Email Inboxes at This Weed-Friendly Co-Working Space

Balcony West's outdoor deck overlooks 17th and Stout streets.
Balcony West's outdoor deck overlooks 17th and Stout streets. Courtesy of Balcony West
Ever want to enjoy a little weed during a smoke break? A co-working space in Denver allows tenants to do just that, as long as they keep it outside.

At Balcony West, a ninth-floor co-working suite in the heart of lower downtown, owner Phil Falco now allows tenants to smoke cannabis on the suite's private balcony. Actually, Falco has been letting tenants do it for a while if they asked, but he just decided to let everyone know about it.

"I just came up with the idea," he explains. "I've owned the space for a number of a years, and I've had it as a co-working space. It's ready to go. Now that I've got a new focus, I'm going to get some new furniture for the balcony."

Tenants of his space get the usual co-working amenities: a business address, kitchen, desks and Internet access. Those 21 and up also have access to the private balcony, where Falco permits cannabis and tobacco smoke. If enough people ask, he might even add a vaporizer and some glassware.


Falco's suite and balcony are in the Equitable Building at 730 17th Street, a registered historic landmark that was once the tallest building in Denver. Built in 1892, it was known for hosting parties with lavish top hats and tobacco pipes back in the day. Today it's located less than a block from the 16th Street Mall and three blocks from the Colorado Convention Center, and Falco thinks there are a lot of busy people in the area who'd like to toke up and then get on with their day. His balcony could help them do that in peace, he suggests.

"As long as I can remember, we've been smoking out there, so this is nothing new. It's just more out in the open. But it's totally private — no public access," he says. "There are a lot of people out there, like me, who just want to use cannabis. But the way the laws are written right now, everyone's in the closet if they're working downtown. This space can legitimatize their use. They can go out on the balcony, smoke, and go back to work."

Falco says that because his balcony and co-working space are private, tenants can puff where they please. Once a new state law that allows licensing of social cannabis consumption businesses takes effect in 2020, he might apply to make his co-working space an officially consumption-friendly enterprise, allowing him to throw events. "I'm thinking hard about getting a license under the cannabis hospitality act," he says. "I think it could help Denver, and I think my venue would be a perfect fit for it, so I probably will apply."

Until then, you can get high with colleagues if you join Balcony West, which has membership options ranging from $250 to $500 a month.
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.
Contact: Thomas Mitchell