A Cap Hill mansion-turned-B&B, an existing private club in RiNo, and a new addition to South Broadway’s “Green Mile” are the first three businesses to apply for a marijuana hospitality license from the city of Denver.
Denver has separate licenses allowing businesses to grow, transport, and sell cannabis. But this new license – which was opened for applications in November – would allow companies to let people consume cannabis products on site.
Some establishments, including one of the three seeking a license, previously allowed customers to do so. But Denver revised its cannabis laws last April, prohibiting private clubs from allowing on-site consumption without a license.
Currently, the only business where customers can consume cannabis is The Coffee Joint at 1130 Yuma Court, which is grandfathered as a licensed business under the old consumer scheme cannabis brand launched by voters in 2016.
Here’s what we know about the three new candidates:
Patterson Inn, 420 E. 11th Ave.
This place could give “wake and bake” a whole new meaning.
Chris Chiari, owner of the Patterson Inn at 420 E. 11th Ave. in Cap Hill, said he wanted to renovate the mansion’s coach house into a lounge where visitors can smoke cannabis.
Chiari bought the inn and its real estate for $2.4 million in 2018.
The hotel has nine rooms, though Chiari hopes to increase that number to 11. Nightly rates range from $195 to $325, depending on the time of year.
Chiari said he plans to install new ventilation systems in the shed and block access from the living room to the kitchen on the first floor.
To be admitted to the lounge, hotel guests will need to purchase a day pass, and Chiari said he will offer annual subscriptions. But it won’t be like a cannabis lounge where people can just walk in from the street.
Guests will not be able to smoke in their room and cannabis will not be sold on site.
Chiari said he doesn’t expect the lounge to be a “huge breadwinner”, but rather an addition to the rest of the hostel’s offerings.
Denver through 2027 is only accepting marijuana hospitality license applications from people who have lived in a poor area of the city for 15 years or more, they or their family members have been convicted of a marijuana-related crime before it was legal in Denver, or their income does not exceed 50% of the median income.
“I have a family member who unfortunately had a run-in with the war on drugs,” Chiari said. “I have a very clear personal memory of what that war on drugs was like coming back to a family.”
Although recreational cannabis became legal in Colorado in 2016, Chiari said he thinks the cannabis business market is still “hot”.
“It’s a crowded and competitive space right now; hospitality is a crowded and competitive space,” he said. “How do you create something unique and how do you maintain that? You maintain this by delivering a high-level experience that is satisfying and meets your customers’ expectations, exceeding those expectations.
Chiari said he hopes to open the cannabis fair by the end of the year or early 2023.
Tetra Lounge, 3039 Walnut St.
Tetra has operated as a private club for the past four years in a nearly 100-year-old building in RiNo, but temporarily closed when Denver overhauled its cannabis laws last spring.
Owner Dewayne Benjamin, who applied for the hospitality license, said he’s ready to reopen once he’s approved by the city.
“I’ve been working for years on developing the hotel side of cannabis, and it will legitimize my business and my growth,” he told BusinessDen. “Our economic model will not change much. My goal is to add more aspects and entertainment value and things like that.
Tetra offered live music with DJs on weekends when it was open. The club has three different membership levels: daily for $20, monthly for $50, and yearly for $300.
Plans submitted to the city show that Tetra wants to have half of the smoking area indoors and the other half outdoors.
CLOUD 9: The Denver Weed Lounge, 1800 S. Broadway
Cloud 9 is the third Denver company to apply for a cannabis hospitality license.
It would be located in a 3,200 square foot commercial building along South Broadway’s “green mile”, a stretch with many dispensaries.
According to the application filed with the city, Cloud 9 is seeking approval to be open from noon to midnight Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday through Sunday.
Reached by BusinessDen, owner Josh Horwitz declined to comment further on the company.