DENVER — This week, the City of Denver will begin accepting applications for marijuana hospitality business licenses.
For the first six years, only social equity applicants can apply, which means applicants must live in disadvantaged areas, have prior marijuana convictions, or meet low-income requirements.
Business owners can apply for three different types of licenses: hospitality (customers can consume cannabis inside of the establishment), hospitality and sales (owners can offer on-site consumption and sell a small amount of cannabis), and mobile hospitality (owners can operate marijuana tour buses).
“Cannabis hospitality is not just about cannabis lounges and stuff like that. It’s an ever-growing market and it’s the newest market within cannabis. I’m expecting to see coffee shops and spas soon,” said DeWayne Benjamin, owner of Tetra Lounge.
Tetra Lounge opened in 2018 under a private members-only hospitality model.
“We offer daily, monthly, and yearly memberships where we cater to cannabis private events. We’ve done over 1,000 events over the last four years,” Benjamin said.
Benjamin said members can consume cannabis at his business, but they must purchase a membership and he cannot sell cannabis on-site.
Members-only lounges have been operating in a legal gray space for the past few years.
Benjamin said he plans to apply because he sees this as an opportunity to legitimize his business.
“I’ve been in the industry for a long time, so I’m definitely planning on expanding my business hospitality-wise, but also moving forward with the other licenses.”
Benjamin said he’s excited to be at the forefront of the latest marijuana business opportunity in Denver.