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Colorado to Vote on Opening Marijuana Clubs

Colorado Marijuana Club Coffeeshop

In November, voters in Denver will have two marijuana measures to vote for to allow marijuana use within designated locations. One group wishes to open private marijuana consumption clubs, similar to “coffee shops” in Amsterdam. The second initiative would allow certain businesses to create a consumption area for marijuana use.

If the second initiative passes, approval from neighborhood groups and other businesses must sign off on the outdoor spaces used for marijuana consumption, according to The Denver Post, and only those 21 and older would be permitted to use marijuana in those areas.

NORML has a bit of a head start on its initiative to open private marijuana clubs. The initiative gaining the most attention is The Neighborhood Approved Cannabis Consumption Pilot Program, which is backed by Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). The pilot project would be in-effect for 4 years for evaluation purposes.

NORML does not intend to withdraw its initiative, despite the opposition saying that private clubs would segregate marijuana users from society rather than integrating the industry into society.

NORML executive director Jordan Person said, “We have no reason to withdraw when we’ve made it so far. That would be ridiculous.”

Person’s initiative requires 4,800 validated signatures to gain approval for the November ballot.

Advocating with MPP, Kayvan Khalatbari said, in regards to isolated clubs versus smaller designated consumption areas that, “I just think it’s more considerate of all the things we’ve learned in the cannabis industry here in the last six months or a year, with all the stakeholders and their input.”

Neighborhood groups and business improvement district entities would set specific conditions for outdoor consumption. Annual permits would be required. Businesses with designated consumption areas would not provide marijuana to their patrons; it would be a BYOM situation.

Businesses already in the marijuana industry would be excluded from having outdoor consumption areas as it violates state law.

It is not clear as to which initiative has the advantage as both seem rather equal out of the starting gate.