DENVER -- State licensing officials have announced a rule that will keep bars and many restaurants from applying for new social marijuana use permits, striking a blow to Denver's voter-passed initiative to allow patrons to use the drug in such establishments.
The new regulation prohibits liquor licensees from allowing the consumption of marijuana on their premises.
"I think it’s safe to say that most Denver voters are going to be appalled that their state government is trying to push alcohol and prevent adults from using marijuana instead," said Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project.
The Liquor Enforcement Division of the Colorado Department of Revenue approved the rule, which means any business with a liquor license will be disqualified from seeking a city permit to create a marijuana consumption area when applications become available in late January.
Denver7 talked with several business owners who are considering to put an application for a permit. Dan Landes, owner of City O' City and other popular hangouts, says he would be interested in social marijuana use during special events.
"As a one off thing, not as like a standing business but do one night where it's like comedy and music, cannabis and we'd have comfortable chairs and places to chill out," said Landes.
Denver voters approved Initiative 300 in the Nov. 8 election. Proponents of the initiative say social pot is still a possibility for coffee shops, art galleries and yoga studios.
City officials are trying to figure out how to implement the measure, which will allow most businesses to seek permits for separate cannabis consumption areas.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.