Vape and Play becomes only the third Denver business to apply for a social marijuana consumption license

Allan Tellis. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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1753 South Broadway in Denver's Overland neighborhood, June 12, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

1753 South Broadway in Denver's Overland neighborhood, June 12, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Out of 9,000 eligible businesses, a third business, Vape and Play, has applied for the Designated Consumption Area (DCA) license. Although the business is still going through the application process, the Department of Excise and Licenses does not see any obvious issues standing in their path like the proximity issues that have kept the second applicant, Utopia, from opening. The DCA license allows businesses to have controlled consumption of marijuana on site, with certain stipulations like cannabis must be vaporized, not burned  in joints, and establishments must be a certain distance away from places like child care and rehab facilities.

Unlike The Coffee Joint, the only establishment currently holding a license, Vape and Play will be focused on having smoker friendly entertainment like board games, concerts and comedy shows in their venue, according to co-founder, Taylor Rosean.

He says their business will be set up with special events in mind as well as open space for things like parties or a yoga class. The shop will be located at 1753 South Broadway, in a former car shop on a strip that has come to be known as the green mile due to the concentration of dispensaries in the area. Rosean, says they’ve received a letter of support from their local RNO, The Overland Park Neighborhood Association.

Denver City Council has put together a special committee to figure out why so few businesses have applied for the license with so many being eligible. The city started accepting applications in August 2017.

“Approximately 9,000 businesses in Denver are eligible to apply for a DCA license. If those businesses can identify a profit opportunity, we anticipate that we may see more applying for a DCA license, allowing for social consumption of marijuana in a regulated and safe environment,” Ashley Kilroy, executive director of Excise and Licenses, said in a statement released to media.

Rosean anticipates that their venture will showcase profitable possibilities in this emerging industry and be an example for potential businesses of how the DCA license can be successfully used. “I really think what will make our business profitable is our one of kind vape bar,” said Rosean. He said the vape bar will use state-of-the-art vape pens and machines for patrons to consume flower or concentrate products safely, comfortably and in compliance with the license’s requirements. Rosean believes that there are tons of people looking for this type of facility and says they are happy to finally be close to opening it after a tough start finding financing. 

While many have critiqued the process and requirements needed to obtain the DCA license for Rosean, it has been a positive experience. “Personally, Vape and Play has found little to no issue with zoning requirements and proximity parameters” said Rosean. 

He is also hopeful that the council taking a critical look at the process will open up even more opportunities in the DCA field and although he is quite a ways away from opening Vape and Play he is optimistic that this business venture has the possibility for growth.

“As much as we’re focused on the opening of our current location we’re definitely looking at the horizon,” he said. He added that his company is anticipating possibly opening a second location in the next couple of years.