Hearing to be held on allowing marijuana smoking in public

DENVER -- Smoking marijuana in local businesses such as coffee shops or bookstores could be the new norm in Denver very soon.

Residents can weigh in on the idea on Tuesday night during a public hearing downtown.

The four-year pilot program would allow businesses to create a 21-and-over area where customers can consume their own marijuana.

Initiative 300 was passed by Denver voters in November, but there will be many stipulations.

The business must get the backing from local neighborhood or business associations and accepted signed waivers by customers.

There location restrictions as well. Areas can't be visible to the public, or near a school, child care areas, homes or alcohol and drug treatment facilities.

Shops interested could obtain permits that show ventilation and disposal plans. Users would have to abide by the state's indoor smoking ban.

"We are right around the corner from being the first city in the world really to regulate adult consumption to cannabis to some public places," Mutiny Cafe owner Emmet Reistroffer said.

Dispensaries and bars can't seek a permit for in-house use, but there is a possibility a store could suspend their license temporarily to allow on-site consumption if there is an event is taking place.

 

The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Wellington Webb Municipal Building.