Denver businesses losing interest in onsite cannabis consumption

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Nearly all the businesses that had expressed interest in taking advantage of a new voter-approved initiative to allow onsite cannabis consumption say the initial regulations governing the issue are too burdensome.

And that means the city’s social use plan may be for naught.

One of the campaign directors for Denver’s Initiative 300, which city voters approved last year, said during a public hearing this week that “99%” of businesses that considered applying for a social use license are “no longer interested” because the rules would be too difficult to comply with, the Denver Post reported.

Opponents of the strict regulations argue that the compliance costs are too high to make onsite consumption worthwhile for businesses, since many would have to shell out for extra security, walled patios and improved ventilation.

In addition, the proposed regulations include thousand-foot-setbacks from child-care businesses, drug and alcohol facilities, and city-owned recreation areas and pools, the Post reported. That means the only places that could even qualify for social use permits would have to be near the edges of the city or in industrial areas, essentially ruling out most entrepreneurs who’d been hoping to take advantage of the new business model.