(MintPress) – When Colorodans passed Amendment 64 in November, the law made it legal for people 21 and older in Colorado to possess one ounce of marijuana, grow up to six marijuana plants and give marijuana to another adult. But as Mark Couch, spokesman for the state Task Force on the Implementation of Amendment 64, said, “Nothing in the amendment language permits consuming (marijuana) openly and publicly.”
Hoping to skirt around the portion of the law banning the consumption of marijuana in public, two private marijuana-friendly social clubs opened just in time for the New Year: Club 64, a chartered members-only club devoted to the use of cannabis, and a private marijuana den attached to the White Horse Inn coffee and head shop in the small town of Del Norte.
But unfortunately for cannabis consumers, the private pot den in Del Norte has already closed its doors after a dispute with the landlord.
Owner Paul Lovato’s rush to become the first business in the state to offer patrons a joint with their coffee, by a few hours, led to his business’ demise. Though Lovato had the keys to the building, he opened up shop the day before his lease began. And without a plethora of media attention covering the historic opening, Lovato’s landlord may not have never known about the early open. But when Lovato’s landlord saw all the publicity, he cancelled Lovato’s lease before it took effect.
“By opening early I kind of screwed myself out of my building,” Lovato said. “I got caught up in the whole, ‘I want to be the first to open’ thing. And I did that. I was the first … I’m pretty proud of that.”
Until Lovato is allowed to open a recreational marijuana shop, he said he plans to keep his vision for the White Horse Inn alive by running it out of his home.
The legality of these private lounges is still being sorted out, as Couch told the Denver Post, rules on any clubs or lounges allowing consumption “will be sorted out in the months ahead by legislators, law enforcement and the task force.”
Chloe Villano, a Club 64 principal whose Cloverleaf Business Solutions consults with medical marijuana businesses, told the Denver Post social lounges were created for people to consume marijuana because “people are social by nature.”
Other reasons cannabis consumers smoke in clubs instead of at their home include keeping it away from a disapproving spouse or their children, or they may live in a rental home where use is prohibited, Villano added that it’s important to provide a safe place for cannabis users to associate and celebrate this new freedom.