Colorado’s First Marijuana Tasting Room to Open on 4/20

The Joint, in Glendale, Co., will offer "flights" of marijuana flower to customers of its parent dispensary.

a rendering of The Joint at Smokin Gun Apothecary in Glendale, CO A rendering of The Joint, provided by The Gun Family

Colorado will soon welcome its first marijuana tasting room, where patrons can partake in cannabis “flights” and sample other flower products.

The Gun Family, which owns and operates several businesses in Glendale, Co. is set to open what they’ll call “The Joint” in April, finally giving cannabis connoisseurs a legal venue for consuming THC products outside the home.

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According to a press release sent to Wikileaf, The Joint, which opens its doors on April 20, 2020, “will be available at no cost for patrons at Shotgun Willie’s, T-Bar and Smokin Gun Apothecary. ” However, the general public will have to pay an entry fee.

“Our goal with this tasting room is to help customers see that high-quality cannabis is very similar to fine wine — every strain has a different smell, taste and effect,” co-owner Lindsey Mintz told the ​Denver Post​ earlier this month.

The tasting room is affiliated with The Smokin’ Gun Apothecary, an existing retail dispensary in Glendale, and will share the dispensary’s prohibition theme by resembling a jail cell, as its double-entendre name suggests.

Owner Debbie Dunafon told Wikileaf they chose the year 1875 to base the theme around because it was the last year in America “when there were no prohibitions.”

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In a statement, Glendale mayor, Mike Dunafon expressed his excitement for the tasting room’s opening.

“We’ve come a long way from the prohibition era and offering a private, controlled space to try different strains of cannabis is another step in the right direction towards ending the war on drugs,” said Dunafon.

The Joint is the first in what will soon be a number of tasting rooms and indoor weed lounges in Colorado following the passage of the state’s Marijuana Hospitality Bill ​last May.

The bill, which took effect at the beginning of 2020, authorizes both “hospitality spaces” for marijuana and “retail marijuana hospitality and sales establishments.”

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The former is something of a bring-your-own-supply smoking lounge or restaurant, while the latter allows retail pot shops to add a tasting room.

Another version of the bring-your-own cannabis establishment already exists in Denver, where the city has its own social consumption ​licensing program ​that allows approved businesses to designate a cannabis consumption area.

Notably, tasting rooms are an exception to the ​Colorado Indoor Clean Air Act​, which prohibits indoor smoking, a distinction currently enjoyed by cigar and tobacco bars.

Glendale’s new social consumption ordinance requires tasting venues to have isolated ventilation and smoke removal systems, so the joint will have a ​separate HVAC system​ from the dispensary housing it.

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However, unlike cigar bars, the hospitality bill prohibits marijuana tasting establishments from holding a liquor license — which means no ​crossfading ​for enthusiasts of both substances.

Marijuana hospitality establishments, like dispensaries themselves, are subject to local approval in Colorado, meaning that towns may opt to ban them. The Joint’s jump-start towards becoming the first tasting room in the state can be partly attributed to its location in Glendale, one of the friendliest cities in Colorado towards the cannabis industry.

With just over 4,000 residents and six dispensaries, Glendale has one of ​the largest​ per-capita marijuana trades in the Denver metro area. The city’s enthusiasm for cannabis industry tax revenue, and city regulations allowing dispensaries to remain open until midnight, well after Denver stores close, has kept business thriving.

Although private, bring-your-own cannabis clubs exist in other states like ​Massachusetts​ and Oregon​, the only places where customers can currently experience legal and public “cannabis cafes” are in California and at a ​single tasting room ​on the sovereign land of the Las Vegas Paiute Tribe in Nevada. The most established cannabis cafes are in San Francisco and Los Angeles, where some even offer ​chef-prepared, cannabis-infused meals​.

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