Denver residents and tourists will soon be able to enjoy cannabis in select bars or cafes thanks to the passing of Initiated Ordinance 300 (I-300), also known as the Neighborhood-Supported Cannabis Consumption Pilot Program (NSCCPP.)
It took almost a full week for the results to be tallied, but the race was called after Denver election officials released a near-final tally on the evening of November 14 that showed I-300 passing 53-47.
What this means going forward is that regular businesses like bars and cafes can be licensed to offer indoor or outdoor cannabis consumption under certain conditions; one being that they must receive approval from a neighborhood group, like a city-registered neighborhood organization or business improvement district, who would then be able to offer input on operations.
Kayvan S.T. Khalatbari, a Denver business owner and the initiative’s lead proponent, said in a press release to Civilized that the I-300 team is “truly grateful to the people of Denver for approving this sensible measure to allow social cannabis use in the city.”
“This is a victory for cannabis consumers who, like alcohol consumers, simply want the option to enjoy cannabis in social settings,” said Khalatbari.
“It is also a victory for the city of Denver, its diverse neighborhoods and those who don't consume cannabis, as it will reduce the likelihood that adults will resort to consuming in public.”
Khalatbari said community support is an important part of this measure.
“We are proud that we included provisions in the measure that give communities the opportunity to provide input into the process and requires their support when applying for a permit," he said.
"This is a thoughtfully drafted law that will be good for consumers and good for our city. We're excited to work with our city departments, neighborhood organizations, business owners and residents to ensure this implementation occurs swiftly and in a manner that is considerate of all stakeholders.”
Prior to this measure, the only legally recognized place for cannabis consumption in Denver was within private residences with owner approval, which may have driven tourists and tenants in apartment to consume in public.