Denver International Airport is suffering through one of its busiest weeks of the year as Thanksgiving travelers jam the ticket and security lines, baggage claims and cab stands, and the restaurants and souvenir shops. And while their suitcases may be full of warm sweaters, early holiday presents and leftover pie, travelers won't be able to find many last-minute marijuana-themed souvenirs while they're waiting for a delayed flight.
And soon, DIA may not allow the sale of any pot-themed merchandise at all.
That's because the airport wants to adopt a new rule that would make it "unlawful to sell, display, or advertise any product bearing the image, likeness, description, or name of Marijuana or Marijuana-themed paraphernalia; and advertise a Marijuana-related business or establishment."
DIA began the process of implementing the rule in October, six weeks after entrepreneur Ann Jordan complained that the airport was preventing her from selling pot-leaf-imprinted flip-flops and boxer shorts to one of the souvenir stores there. Jordan, a retired teacher who earlier this year started High-ly Legal Colorado, thought it was ironic that the airport allowed Colorado flag shot glasses but not her products.
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After Jordan complained, the airport acknowledged that it didn't have a formal policy on pot-related merchandise but said it would look into creating one.
And it has. On November 21, DIA held a public hearing on the subject to solicit feedback from the public. Jordan, who attended the meeting, says three people spoke. She was one of them. "My three main points were about discrimination relating to beer but not marijuana, DIA's lack of education of tourists regarding marijuana legalization, and that pictures of marijuana on print media or on clothing or on souvenirs should be allowed," she explains..
At the meeting, Jordan held up the current issue of 5280 magazine, which has a marijuana plant on the cover. "It was available on the newsstands in the airport but according to the narrow proposal of airport policy it could not technically be sold," Jordan says.
Airport spokesman Heath Montgomery says It could be a couple weeks before airport chief executive Kim Day makes a final decision. Have a tip? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org