Marijuana is legal in Colorado but there’s a catch: you can’t smoke it in public.
That’s led to businesses trying all kinds of creative solutions to capitalize on pot dollars without breaking the law.
First of all, there are the edibles. These aren’t the weird pot brownies you made for the Phish concert in the mid-’90s. Chocolate truffles, sparkling mandarin juice and ginger mango “dew drops” (packaged medicine bottles with droppers) are just a few of the options at one of the leading pot food producers.
That gets around the whole problem with smoking in public, since you’re eating it instead.
Marijuana edibles have actually become so popular that Colorado legislators are worried that the industry might need more regulation. The concern: consumers might eat too much pot or that the THC-infused treats could end up in the hands of children.
The public smoking ban is also driving some interesting trends in the state’s hotel industry.
A new website, “AirTHC,” will officially launch in May. Like the popular apartment-sharing website Airbnb, the goal is to connect visitors with hosts. But, in this case, the hosts will be marijuana-friendly.
For tourists who prefer a more traditional hotel experience, there’s the “Bud and Breakfast” package at the Adagio, a Victorian mansion located in downtown Denver. For as low as $99 per night, you get an all-inclusive package that provides a “wake-and-bake cannabis sampler” and an open-bar happy hour (alcohol and marijuana) that starts at 4:20 each afternoon.
Of course, there are still people who favor the traditional method of consumption: smoking. There are some indications that it’s even harder to do that in public than in the pre-legalization past, however. During an April 20 marijuana rally in Denver, police issued 92 citations for public consumption. Last year, they issued five.
The takeaway: The ban on public consumption may curtail public pot smoking but businesses will find a way to satisfy their customers.
Ted Hesson was formerly the immigration editor at Fusion, covering the issue from Washington, D.C. He also writes about drug laws and (occasionally) baseball. On the side: guitars, urban biking, and fiction.