Denver voters have approved Proposition 300, a law that allows people to use marijuana at bars, restaurants, and other businesses. This is the first law in the country that allows public consumption inside businesses. Any businesses wishing to allow on-site consumption of marijuana must get approval from neighboring businesses first.
Emmet Reistroffer, Denver-based marijuana industry consultant, said, “It’s the sensible thing to do. This is about personal responsibility and respecting adults who want to have a place to enjoy cannabis,” according to The Washington Post.
In order to obtain proper licensing to allow on-site consumption of marijuana, business owners must provide evidence that their neighborhood supports the licensing. Establishments participating in Proposition 300 cannot provide marijuana for patrons, it is a bring-your-own-marijuana law. Use of marijuana inside participating establishments is permitted as long as it isn’t smoked; meaning that items like edibles and vape pens would be okay for indoor use.
Yoga studios and art galleries are also permitted to participate. Proposition 300 allows businesses with proper licensing to create an outdoor consumption area. Businesses would also be permitted to have special events that serve marijuana, food and drinks, as long as the proper licenses are in place.
Mason Tvert of Marijuana Policy Project commented that this law will aid in reducing situations where tourists use marijuana on public sidewalks and in parks since there are no private areas for them to use marijuana. Tvert said, “We are setting up a system that is still more restrictive than what we see with alcohol consumption.”
It may take several months before licenses are issued. Proposition 300 will be revisited in 2020 when city officials will review the program and choose whether to renew licensing to continue on-site marijuana use. Colorado jurisdictions have the option to say if businesses within their city limits can participate in Proposition 300.
Tvert also said, “The entire goal of this initiative is to provide adults with private places where they can consume cannabis so they’re not consuming in public.”