The Neighborhood-Supported Cannabis Consumption Pilot Program Initiative (I-300)

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is it legal to use cannabis on the streets and sidewalks?

  • No. Currently it is illegal to use cannabis (marijuana) in public. This includes streets, sidewalks, bars, concerts venues, etc. Those who are using cannabis in these places are doing so illegally. State law has to be changed in order for cannabis use to be permitted on the sidewalks and parks. This initiative seeks to lift these prohibitions to the extent a locality has authority to make these kinds of changes, while respecting the rights of people who do not consume cannabis and do not want to be exposed to it!

Why do people need places to consume?

  • As stated above, it is illegal to use cannabis almost anywhere in Denver. Most landlords prohibit cannabis use at home, all federally subsidized housing prohibits smoking, and the overwhelming majority of hotels prohibit cannabis use in hotel rooms.  In addition, many users who live with children and grandparents would prefer to have separate space to consume outside of the home. Unless you are a homeowner, there are very few legal places for patients and adult users to consume cannabis in Denver.

Who will be issuing these permits?

  • The Director of Excise and Licensing in Denver will be issuing these permits, and City Council will be required to create additional rules governing the pilot program. Registered neighborhood organizations encompassing the proposed location of the designated consumption areas also have the authority to impose additional restrictions and safety requirements.

Smoke really bothers me. Would users be able to smoke cannabis indoors?

  • No. This initiative is compliant with the Clean Indoor Air Act, which means that users will not be able to smoke cannabis indoors. Users will be permitted to vape within indoor designated consumption areas.

I do not like the smell of cannabis. Will odor be prevented from affecting neighbors?

  • Yes. An odor control plan is required for all permitted establishments. In addition, this initiative permits registered neighborhood organizations to impose additional requirements on the permit holder, which may include the requirement that odor filtration technology be used within a designated consumption area. Distance buffers, hours of operation, and building modifications may also be imposed.

Could these businesses permit cannabis consumption anywhere in Denver?

  • No. Similar to licensed marijuana production facilities and stores, designated consumption areas may not be located within 1,000 feet of a school or place where children congregate. Neighborhood organizations can say no to allowing consumption areas in their neighborhood, or impose additional limitations as they see fit.