Profile image
By Reason Magazine (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views

Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

Here Come the Cannabis Cafés

Friday, November 11, 2016 8:17
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

As four more states legalized marijuana this week, Denver voters took the considerably less dramatic step of authorizing a pilot program that will allow cannabis consumption in specially licensed businesses. Under Initiative 300, which was favored by 52 percent of voters on Tuesday, a business that wants to let customers bring their own marijuana and enjoy it on the premises can establish a “designated consumption area” with the consent of “an eligible neighborhood organization” and a permit from the city. That may sound boring, but it addresses a problem that has bedeviled Colorado residents and visitors from other states since legal recreational sales began in 2014: Where are they allowed to consume the cannabis they are now allowed to buy?

So far Denver’s answer has been that marijuana use is allowed in private residences but not in private businesses, a policy that pushes cannabis consumers into the streets and parks. But marijuana use is not allowed there either, which helps explain why tickets for public consumption have sextupled in Denver since legalization. That is not a tenable situation for a drug that is supposed to be “regulated in a manner similar to alcohol,” which people are free to consume in a wide variety of settings outside their homes.

The four marijuana legalization initiatives that passed this week address the consumption question in a couple of different ways. Three make provision for more discreet versions of Amsterdam’s famous (but technically illegal) cannabis cafés, while the fourth passes the issue to the state legislature.

The Massachusetts initiative, Measure 4, allows consumption of cannabis products on the premises of businesses that sell them, subject to regulation by the state and approval by local voters. California’s initiative, Proposition 64, likewise says “a local jurisdiction may allow for the smoking, vaporizing, and ingesting of marijuana or marijuana products on the premises of a [cannabis] retailer.” In addition to regular marijuana stores, where consumption will not be allowed, Maine’s Question 1 allows “retail marijuana social clubs” to sell cannabis products specifically for on-site consumption.

Nevada’s Question 2 is more tentative. It makes consuming cannabis in a marijuana store, “a public place,” or a moving vehicle a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $600. The initiative defines “a public place” as “an area to which the public is invited or in which the public is permitted regardless of age,” which leaves the door open to age-restricted establishments (other than marijuana stores) that could allow cannabis consumption on their premises. Question 2 also says “the legislature may amend provisions of this act to provide for the conditions in which a locality may permit consumption of marijuana in a retail marijuana store.”

Reason TV covers Colorado’s cannabis consumption conundrum:


We encourage you to Share our Reports, Analyses, Breaking News and Videos. Simply Click your Favorite Social Media Button and Share.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Top Stories
Recent Stories



Top Global

Top Alternative



Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.