With ballot measures to legalize recreational marijuana in the touristy destinations of California and Nevada, Denver’s marijuana industry supporters hope to limit a potential loss of marijuana tourists visiting their city by passing initiative 300, which would let certain business, such as bars and restaurants, allow on-site marijuana use.
Initiative 300’s pilot program would allow businesses to apply for permits allowing marijuana use in designated areas, such as bars and laundry mats, according to MJ Biz Daily. The local governing agencies in these neighborhoods would have the right to allow or deny permits to the businesses.
Supporters of the initiative see this as an option to help the Denver marijuana industry and safer consumption environments for those wishing to partake.
Kayvan Khalatbari, co-founder of Denver Relief Consulting said, “We have 70 million tourists coming to Colorado with no place to consume. If we have these two very large tourist destinations (Nevada and California) legalize social consumption, you’re going to see a dent put in Colorado.”
Tourists visiting Colorado spent an estimated $98 million on recreational marijuana in 2015. This accounts for almost 17 percent of the state’s total recreational marijuana sales.
Regarding lack of participation in supporting Initiative 300, Khalatbari said, “A lot of big players here aren’t getting involved in this conversation. They believe if they come out in favor of supporting us, there’s going to be some kind of hammer brought down on them by the city through licensing or zoning or something.”
Basics of Initiative 300:
- Consumption areas inside and outside of approved businesses would be permitted
- Adults ages 21 and older could bring their own marijuana to these businesses for use
- Smoking marijuana would only be permitted in outdoor areas
- An odor-control plan would have to be in place for participating businesses
- In 4 years, Denver City Council would review the program and chose to repeal, maintain as-is or alter the program