Coffee shop receives nation’s first cannabis social club license


A coffee shop in Denver received city approval Monday for the country’s first business license to allow cannabis use by patrons. The Coffee Joint will allow customers to vape or consume edibles they bring to the store in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Denver. Smoking will not be allowed and the shop cannot sell cannabis products.

The license approval is the first of its kind after voters in 2016 approved a ballot measure to allow social cannabis clubs. Fifty-four percent of Denver voters approved of the ballot measure in November of 2016, but the city did not start accepting applications until nearly one year later.

Another business in Denver, a spa and lounge, also applied for a social club license. The application will go to a public hearing within 60 days and if approved the spa could be operational within 90 days.

Some proponents are saying city officials added too many hassles for potential applications, as location restrictions made many potential license holders in the city ineligible because they are within 1,000 feet of schools, alcohol and drug treatment centers and childcare facilities. There are also state-imposed restrictions on businesses with liquor licenses making it difficult for bars to apply for a social club license.