Colorado Symphony Orchestra says bring your own marijuana to shows at Space Gallery

Symphony calls show series 'Classically Cannabis'

DENVER - Saying you can bring your own weed, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra will be playing a series of fundraising concerts sponsored by the state's burgeoning marijuana industry.

"The Colorado Symphony is pleased to announce Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series, benefiting the Colorado Symphony," a news release from the Symphony said. "Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series is a BYOC-friendly experience for music lovers, featuring performances by Colorado Symphony ensembles."

In a statement Tuesday, symphony CEO Jerome Kern said the concerts are part of an effort to reach a broader audience and raise money for the symphony.

"This partnership is part of an overall effort to reach out to every segment of our community," Kern said in the statement sent to 7NEWS. "These businesses have expressed a willingness to support the Colorado Symphony’s mission. Our doors are open to any legal, legitimate business that wants to help."

The state's only full-time professional orchestra, like many across the country, has struggled with dwindling audiences and budget problems.

Three concerts will be held at the Space Gallery, an art gallery on Santa Fe Drive in Denver in May, July and August. A fourth concert will be held at Red Rocks in September.

No cannabis will be sold at these events, listeners are encouraged to bring their own marijuana.

However, there are some questions about the legality of inviting concertgoers to bring their own marijuana.

Officials with the city of Denver's Arts and Venues Office said it's illegal to smoke at Red Rocks.

"Nothing has changed," spokesman Dan Rowland told 7NEWS.

"They will have their show, they are allowed to have sponsors associated with the show, but they have made a mistake saying its BYO-cannibis [at Red Rocks]," said the Denver Arts and Venues marketing director Brian Kitts. "That’s inappropriate and not something they should be promoting."

After 7NEWS contacted the Denver Arts and Venue, the symphony reissued a release saying in bold font, "Please note that the consumption of cannabis at Red Rocks is prohibited by law."

In response, symphony spokeswoman Laura Bond said they will "comply with all the laws" and that only the Space Gallery events would allow marijuana smoking.

"It's a private event, on private property," Bond told 7NEWS.

The owner of the Space Gallery told 7NEWS they plan to sell tickets for 250 to 300 people.

"This is a logical next step since the voters of Colorado have chosen to regulate marijuana like alcohol," said event planner Jane West.

West said the marijuana will be smoked on an outside patio with an 8-foot privacy fence.

Kern said the events at the Space Gallery will feature a small symphony ensemble, because the gallery does not have room for the entire symphony.

"The full symphony will be on stage at Red Rocks on the [September] 13th, sponsored by members of cannabis industry." Kern said.

Kern said the orchestra will be playing classical music at all of these events, no pops.

Kern said the Space Gallery concerts will only be open to people 21 and older and they will follow state law.

"The regulations that relate to the industry are being adhered to," said Kern.

Colorado became the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana for recreational use after state voters passed a ballot measure, Amendment 64, in 2012. Under the law, people 21 and older can use the drug in private, possess up to 1 ounce of pot and grow up to six marijuana plants.

However, under the state constitutional amendment, it is still illegal to consume marijuana in public.

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