High Opinion: Mass Still Has Time To Screw Up Social Consumption Like Colorado

“The venue has held occasional private events allowing marijuana use as it works toward city licensing approval, but that violates public consumption laws”

We’ve been writing about social consumption with a lot of jealousy lately. While Massachusetts regulators are finally approaching the issue head-on and working on proposed rules for events, lounges, and whatever else falls into future license categories, nearby states like New York and New Jersey—which got legal weed several years after the commonwealth—seem to be making more progress in this realm, or at least appear to be advancing at a faster pace.

One thing that is often overlooked however is how far behind states that have had legal adult-use cannabis for way longer than Mass are in this area. California and Colorado, we’re especially looking at you. With all due respect for the strains, brands, and cultivators you have dispatched to the East Coast, when it comes to social consumption the West Coast is, generally speaking, a total disappointment.

There are some excellent exceptions in these hostile territories. We’ve been making regular trips to the Barbary Coast in the Bay since before the pandemic, and it never gets any less awesome. That example and the few other successful models like it hasn’t helped propel rational efforts elsewhere though, and thanks to widespread stubbornness and modern prohibitionist insanity most of Cali remains moribund on the social consumption front, only to be outdone by the other state that so many people look to for guidance on cannabis business and culture—Colorado.

As Thomas Mitchell of the legendary alternative paper Westword reported this week, “Denver [is] Cracking Down on Marijuana Events,” with “Nine venues and organizers contacted by city enforcement officials for holding pot-friendly parties.” Here’s some background from the article … 

Tetra Lounge had received tentative approval to operate as an indoor marijuana venue in 2022, but still hasn’t received a permit to open from the city over unmet building and planning requirements. 

The RiNo venue has held occasional private events allowing marijuana use as it works toward city licensing approval, but that violates public consumption laws, according to the Denver Department of Excise & Licenses, which served Tetra and owner Dewayne Benjamin a general violation ticket on Saturday, July 29, for the necessity of a license to operate.

Excise & Licenses officials and the Denver Police Department have issued similar notices regarding the necessity for marijuana hospitality licenses to eight other venues and event holders over the last month, according to Excise & Licenses communications director Eric Escudero.

I guess the grass is always greener … Let’s just hope that someone brings up this kind of stupidity and foot-dragging if lawmakers or regulators start acting like there is anything worth replicating in Cali, Colorado, or anyplace else when they’re drafting guidelines for social consumption in Mass.

Read the whole article from Westword here.