Ten Businesses That Should Allow Social Pot Use Now That They Can

Pot and painting could be easier to enjoy together soon.
Pot and painting could be easier to enjoy together soon. Jake Cox
Colorado made history last week when Governor Jared Polis signed a bill that will legalize (and regulate) businesses that want to allow social marijuana use. The new law, set to take effect at the start of 2020, enables certain places to set up areas for pot consumption; it allows special events and tourism companies to do the same, if they receive a permit from the state Marijuana Enforcement Division.

Although these businesses still face roadblocks — local governments can ban social use areas in their municipalities, and no business in the state with an active liquor license can allow marijuana use — consumers are finally getting closer to having legitimate social settings where they can consume cannabis. In anticipation of that great day, here are ten businesses that could (or should) allow social pot use:

Under the new law, dispensaries can apply for tasting rooms under a format similar to that used by breweries or wineries. Customers could buy limited amounts of cannabis and cannabis concentrate to consume on site, with those limits to be set by the MED before the end of the year. This is likely to be the most common social consumption scenario.

Although a few hotels allow currently allow vaping indoors, virtually none of them allow smoking. Under the new law, hotels could technically provide 21-and-up lodging for marijuana users, or create social consumption lounges for their guests. At least one boutique hotel in Denver, the Patterson Inn, is interested, but don't expect the Holiday Inn or Four Seasons to jump on board just yet.

Good luck finding a restaurant willing to part with its liquor license in favor of marijuana (even if it might help with food sales), but eateries without them could see an opportunity. And restaurants with an active liquor license could conceivably pause their liquor licenses for a night or two if they ever wanted to try out a pot-friendly atmosphere. There's also the option of getting a social pot use license for a neighboring property.

Cafes/coffee shops
If you've been to Amsterdam, then you know what the deal is.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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
Contact: Thomas Mitchell