The city council in Aurora, Colorado’s third-largest city, has an important upcoming final vote on cannabis hospitality regulations. Aurora is poised to join Denver as the first two cities to allow on-site and mobile cannabis consumption.
Approval of the measure could usher in a whole new world of legal cannabis tasting rooms, smoking lounges, and tour buses in Colorado.
“Aurora embraced delivery and is now embracing hospitality,” said Truman Bradley, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group. “I see this as another example of the end of reefer madness.”
Victoria Osler, an Aurora entrepreneur, already has plans to launch Dreamy Illusions, a “party bus” that would feature thumping music, strobe lights, a stripper pole, and mobile consumption.
“I see this as a game-changer for the industry,” said Osler. “You will be able to consume cannabis on the party bus.”
If adopted, the new rules would allow customers to bring their own marijuana or purchase it at cannabis lounges — either brick and mortar or mobile. The new ordinance would allow both smoking and vaping, and businesses could remain open until 10 p.m. But businesses would also have to put in place odor mitigation measures and keep consumption from being visible from the street.
“You can be in a public place as long as you can’t smell it or see it,” said Robin Peterson, manager of Aurora’s Marijuana Enforcement Division. Mobile venues would be required to have a partition separating passengers (and their smoke) from the driver and separate filter systems for the front and back of the bus. Additionally, cannabis buses prohibited from stopping outside hospitals, schools, or in-patient substance abuse facilities.
Mark Prescott owns Bud Fox Supply Co., an Aurora grow operation, and plans to open a cannabis tasting room attached to his dispensary and nursery where he envisions dispensary owners from around the area coming to try strains of weed that they purchase for resale.
Bradley anticipates that the new regulations will lead to more than just pot lounges, tour buses, and weed sports bars.
“We’re going to see business models that don’t exist right now in this country,” Bradley said. “It’s incumbent on us to do a good job with these new business models. Other cities are watching, other states are watching.”