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Denver’s first-of-its-kind social marijuana use program for businesses is mostly a bust. Can it be fixed?

When it comes to navigating the maze of restrictions that came with Denver’s voter-passed law allowing marijuana use in licensed businesses, The Coffee Joint cracked the code.

The first — and so far only — licensee under the 2016 ordinance is a combination coffee shop and bring-your-own-cannabis vape bar that’s within spitting distance of Interstate 25, south of West 13th Avenue, in a dingy industrial area.

Next door is a dispensary that has shared ownership. A door that was recently added between the businesses underscores the promotional purpose served by The Coffee Joint, which on its own is a money loser.

While the place is rarely packed, co-owner Rita Tsalyuk says the shop has counted a steady stream of more than 3,200 users of the consumption area, including tourists with no place to try out their purchases.

But its launch about five months ago, in an out-of-the-way spot with little foot traffic and even less cachet, also helps illustrate why more businesses haven’t yet followed suit. [Read more at The Denver Post]

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