Colorado sees first private marijuana clubs

Colorado sees first private marijuana clubs

Club 64 a huge success

The new year is bringing innovation everywhere, even to Colorado's pot scene. In the wake of Amendment 64 in Colorado, an enterprising businessman has started a roving monthly club for smoking pot. Colorado's rules say that you cannot sell pot, nor can you smoke it in public. And Colorado's anti-smoking laws may prevent you from smoking indoors in a public establishment.

One way to work around those rules is to charge admission for a night of entertainment at a private club. For $29.95 you can get entry at Club 64 (named after the ballot amendment that legalized marijuana in Colorado). They provide free soda and snacks, and entertainment as the venue permits. It's BYOP (Bring Your Own Pot), but many people are finding it an excellent way to smoke without angering their landlords. 
 
The club's first meeting was a rousing success. The organizers limited entry to 200 people, and maxed out the venue. (At $30 a head, that's a pretty good take!) The first meeting began at 4:20 p.m. in an industrial space north of Denver, and featured disco lights and reggae music. 
 
Each meeting will take place at a different location. (The second meeting happened at a hemp clothing store in downtown Denver.) Called "private pot dens," this is one of the earliest successful methods for accommodating the ballot initiatives, as this small sports bar in Olympia, Washington has also found. Like a wacky new egalitarian take on the classic "gentlemen's clubs" of upper class England, these marijuana clubs have found an excellent way to earn a living while obeying the law.
 
One problem these clubs face is that many commercial property landlords are skittish about the prospect. One club has already been shut down in Del Norte, Colorado because the landlord objected. Aside from the reputation and the smell, landlords may be worrying about other associated illegal activities. Too many people still believe in the "Reefer Madness" old wive's tales. 
 
Luckily it looks like the truth will out. These marijuana smoking clubs have been a joyful occasion all around, with lots of happy people toking up and eating snacks. Pretty great! And in this difficult real estate climate, I expect a lot of commercial property owners will realize that it's better to lease property to pot smokers than to let it continue to sit empty and idle on a market already glutted with empty storefronts.