Denver Gets a BYOC Pot Lounge

A new cannabis-oriented business is coming to Denver, Colorado this fall, local news outlets report. Taylor Rosean and Megan Lumpkins recently announced their business, Vape and Play, was approved for a social consumption license. The vape lounge anticipates opening in November, having rented and renovated an old auto parts store in an industrial district.

What Does A Vape Lounge Offer?

Social consumption licenses allow patrons to bring their own cannabis for recreational use. This designation differs significantly from dispensaries and other cannabis bars in states like California, where medical ID is required and the businesses sell customers their cannabis products.

Vape and Play is only the second approved cannabis social club in Denver. Businesses applying for social consumption licenses must adhere to a strict set of state laws and local statutes. The Coffee Joint is the only other approved recreational cannabis license-holder in the city.

Rosean’s vape bar will provide devices for customers, who will use “disposable sterile mouth piece[s],” according to their website. Patrons will be accommodated by “highly trained vapetenders,” Rosean told CBS Denver. They opted for a vape bar to comply with Colorado’s Clean Indoor Air Act, as well as to be considerate of their customers and staff.

Not a Bar, An Event Space – with Weed

The ‘and Play’ aspect of Rosean’s business model includes “everything from classic board games, coloring books and cards, to trivia night and yoga class, educational seminars and tasting events, even a comedian or musical group…” their website notes. After vaping, customers can grab a board game, card game, or get involved in the community engagement events Vape and Play anticipates hosting on a rotating schedule. The lounge relies on activity and scheduled events, since it will not serve food or drink.

Businesses licensed for social consumption cannot also hold a food and alcohol license, so Vape and Play will not be allowed to sell meals or drinks. They assure customers that they will have a broad assortment of vending machines with snacks, which makes sense, given stoner stereotypes.

Defined by Law, Backed by Locals

Designated Consumption Areas (DCAs) were introduced on a 2016 Denver ballot measure for a cannabis consumption pilot program: Initiative 300. The program allows businesses to apply for licensure like the one Vape and Play acquired. Businesses are required to pay a $1,000 application fee, as well as a $1,000 license fee. They cannot be located within 1,000 feet of “any child care establishment.”

There are a number of legal municipal requirements for DCAs in Denver, but the ordinance outlines community guidelines, as well. Businesses like Vape and Play have to perform community outreach and garner support from official community organization. Cannabis bars and lounges must also sign a “good neighbor agreement” with the organization, dictating their level of responsibility to their patrons and the larger community of the area. Patrons must provide government ID, and are required to be 21 or older.

More cannabis-related businesses are beginning to appear in states with legalized recreational use. As in states like Colorado, since legalizing cannabis use for medical and/or recreational use, revenue – importantly, taxable revenue – steadily climbs towards $150 million. With no sign of slowing down, we can certainly expect more cannabiz as states recognize the need to create sound business legislation for the rapidly growing industry. Smoking weed is no longer a dank, musty basement activity, it is public and it is being sanctioned across the US.

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