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Businesses begin applying for hospitality licenses to allow smoking marijuana indoors

Posted at 6:36 PM, Dec 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-23 20:36:30-05

DENVER — Sitting right next to I-25, The Coffee Joint was the first licensed social consumption lounge in Denver.

Owner Rita Tsalyuk says they have been licensed with the City and County of Denver since February 2018.

"We sell CBD, we show local artists, we have bunch of events, but most importantly, you can consume cannabis products. You can vape, you can dab, you can have edibles, you just can't cannot smoke because we are still under the Colorado Indoor Clean Air Act."

But that could soon change. Tsalyuk, applied for her state marijuana hospitality license a few days ago, meaning people would be able to smoke indoors.

"It's actually a big step for the whole industry," she said.

Eric Escudero, a spokesperson with the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses, said he is aware of the interest in Denver for this type of business, but the state's decision is only one step.

"Denver has not decided whether we will opt in or opt out officially of the hospitality bill passed by the state legislature."

Escudero said the city is studying the potential impact of a similar bill.

"Our focus in Denver is on social equity and looking at what we can do to make sure people who were disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs are positively impacted by legalization, so before any new licenses are potentially issued in Denver, we want to make sure it addresses social equity issues that are very important."

As of now, Tsalyuk will wait until her state license is approved, but until Denver makes a decision, she is on hold.

Denver has not said when they plan to make a decision.