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Aspen City Council Tables Discussion On Marijuana Lounges

Jul 22, 2020

"Marijuana hospitality licenses" would allow restaurants and dispensaries to create isolated sections for cannabis consumption.
Credit martinalonso4895 / Creative Commons

Aspen City Council considered allowing “marijuana lounges” at a work session last night, but councilmembers largely agreed that now is not the time to consider such a measure. 

 State lawmakers passed a 2019 bill allowing businesses to apply for licenses that would allow on-premises cannabis consumption in isolated sections of restaurants or dispensaries. Local governments can choose to opt-in to the allowance. Parachute did so earlier this year and a handful of Summit County towns are considering doing the same. 

Mayor Torre said working on setting up indoor smoking areas would be at odds with current public health priorities. The discussion was tabled for future review, but other councilmembers expressed concerns that even outside of a pandemic, such businesses could drive up rent in Aspen’s downtown or damage its brand reputation.

Aspen currently has eight licensed dispensaries. A ninth, set to open soon, is a company called "Buffalo Biotech," licensed to operate on South Mill Street.