Foodservice Equipment Reports

Denver Restaurants Add Pot To Menu

Pot—not the stainless steel kind you cook in—has a new place in the Mile High City.

While as of November 9, the use of both recreational and medicinal marijuana has been entirely legalized in eight states, Denver voters have approved a first-in-the-nation law allowing bars and restaurants to give patrons the option to use marijuana alongside a cocktail or meal. Proposition 300 takes effect immediately in Denver, but it has a lot of caveats and requires operators to apply for “social marijuana permits.”

First, interested bars and restaurants would have to show they have neighborhood support before getting a license to allow marijuana use. In addition, patrons would have to bring their own weed to comply with state law banning the sale of both pot and food or drink at a single location.

Proposition 300 would require operators to specially train staff in marijuana use and submit an operations plan to show how it would prevent marijuana use by underage patrons. Applicants must also specify strategies and procedures for identifying and responding to the potential over-intoxication of consumers.

Colorado lawmakers are expected to consider a bill next year to give all jurisdictions a green light for allowing pot clubs or cafés.

Note: A few days after the voter-passed initiative, state licensing officials announced a new rule that liquor licensees cannot allow the consumption of marijuana on their premises. That regulation will disqualify bars and many restaurants from applying for the new permits for on-site marijuana consumption areas.

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