In this Dec. 31, 2012 file photo, Rachel Schaefer, of Denver, smokes marijuana on the official opening night of Club 64, a marijuana-specific social club, where a New Year's Eve party was held in Denver. (Brennan Linsley, Associated Press file)

Aspen may be open to private marijuana clubs after all

Aspen city leaders could give private pot clubs another whiff of consideration, but they first want to see how regulations are addressed by Denver and the state of Colorado.

“I’m open to having the conversation,” Mayor Steve Skadron said Monday, noting he is watching the state capital to see if it creates any regulatory model for private cannabis clubs that Aspen could mimic. “I know Denver is making some progress on bring-your-own pot clubs, and perhaps that could weigh into our conversation.”

According to The Associated Press, Denver officials are working on regulations to open a one-year pilot of bring-your-own marijuana clubs, while state lawmakers are expected to consider measures to allow either marijuana “tasting rooms” run by marijuana dispensaries, or smoke-friendly clubs akin to cigar bars.

The Aspen City Council decided in 2015 not to allow private pot clubs, chiefly because of ambiguity in state law concerning private smoking venues along with worries about how they could negatively affect Aspen’s image.

Freddie Wyatt of Denver-based Munch & Co., which produces marijuana-friendly events, urged City Council members at their Feb. 13 meeting to repeal the law that prohibits pot clubs. The consumption restrictions put cannabis consumers, particularly visitors, in a confusing position if they want to legally get high in a city that boasts eight marijuana dispensaries, he said. Using special permits at private locations, Munch & Co. has held three events in Aspen during the past three Winter X Games in which attendees could openly and legally consume marijuana.

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