Ask a Stoner: How Do I Open a Private Pot Club?


Dear Stoner: Is it worth starting my own club for marijuana consumption? What would be needed from an owner of one of those places?

Dear Kar: Public or social consumption is a murky area of the law. Just about every social cannabis club in the metro area and Colorado Springs has either been shut down or infiltrated by law enforcement at some point, and there’s no sign of that slowing down.

Private club Tetra 9 holds pot-infused events throughout the week, but isn't licensed by the City of Denver.

The loophole these unlicensed businesses use is operating as a private, members-only club. They typically don’t sell anything other than a membership or admission, and cannot sell cannabis or food or provide alcohol (some events include food and drink with entry fees). No one under 21 is allowed in, and anyone who is admitted must be a member of said club or have an invitation addressed specifically to them; otherwise, the club is no longer private. Advertising pot-friendly events can also be tricky, as law enforcement officials have used ads in arguments as to why these events are public instead of private.

While pot clubs can technically operate under the law if they follow all the rules, the owners still face struggles with restricted revenue streams and harassment by the police and local government. If you start one, make sure it’s for your soul and not your wallet.