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Can I throw a 420-friendly event in Denver?

Updated: May 16, 2022

Recreational use of cannabis has been legal in Colorado for some time. Yet its use at private events in Denver seems to be much less prevalent than in other cities. Despite the growing trend, there is no ‘go-to’ rule the cannabis industry can turn to about consumption at events. Avant-Garde Events and Productions has always sought to be a resource for our community, so we did some digging and asking around.

Slow and steady wins the race

Colorado was one of the first to open the doors to cannabis, but it has been slower to relax regulations around where and how we consume. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We all want to be first to the finish, but often early adopters run the risk of making the first mistakes. And these mistakes can set progress back. Denver residents are keeping their eyes open, asking questions, and pushing for laws that fit their needs.

Where do we start?

You’ve heard the phrase “location is everything?” Well, this is the best way to describe the current cannabis regulations. Existing laws prohibit public consumption, just like alcohol. You can’t stand on the street corner and drink or consume. According to where Amendment 64 is concerned, “discretion is appreciated and usually required.” While a bar serving beer, wine, and spirits is commonplace at all types of events, you’ll rarely see “bud bars” equipped with “bud-tenders.” Only recently were a handful of establishments granted a consumption license. These licenses have been notoriously hard to get. The spirit of the consumption laws seems to be “out of sight, out of mind.” Before you can even consider having cannabis at your event, you’ll need to check in with your venue and city and county regulations.

Let’s talk about your event

It’s unlikely you’d be able to secure cannabis for an event with little or no planning. For starters, laws prohibit purchasing and transporting in large quantities. That will be the first hurdle. It’s not impossible to do, but you will need to think ahead. As the law, requirements, and regulations change, we are hopeful that planning cannabis events will become easier.

Bottom line: if you think you’d want cannabis at your event, you’ll need to find out; What does the law say? What does the venue say? What permits will you need? Ask questions and get help.

OK, I have cannabis at my event. Now what?

The role cannabis will play in your event is key. Will it replace the bar service? Current regulations don’t allow alcoholic beverages and cannabis to be served at the same venue, so you’ll have to decide. While it’s exciting to offer something new at your event, think about what your guests prefer.

As the industry changes, laws will evolve too. For now, all we can do is vocalize the needs of our community and keep pushing for change. If you’re an industry professional, please share your experience and insight on this topic. If you are planning an event, keep asking questions; the needs of consumers often drive legislation forward.

The fine print: This article is not presented as a comprehensive guide to cannabis at any event. Please consult an industry professional regarding the specific regulations concerning consumption at your event. At Avant-Garde Events and Productions, we have done our homework and would love to put our expertise to work on your next event in Denver.