A Strip Club Owner Plans to Open Colorado's First Weed Tasting Room
The social consumption “tasting room” will feature a Wild West jail theme while sharing space in the same complex as Shotgun Willie’s, one of the Denver area’s most well-known strip clubs.
Published on February 6, 2020

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How about this for an adults’ night out: A weed tasting room right next door to a champagne room.

The owner of Shotgun Willie’s — a strip club located in the Denver-area suburb of Glendale — is staking her claim to Colorado’s first licensed marijuana “tasting room.” Deborah Dunafon, the wife of Glendale’s Mayor Mike Dunafon, co-owns Shotgun Willie’s, T-Bar, and Smokin Gun Apothecary, which are all located within a short jaunt of one another. And if all goes according to plan, Smokin Gun will open its tasting room, aptly named The Joint, by April 20, the international stoner’s holiday. 

Best of all, Smokin Gun is one of the nation’s only pot shops that’s open until midnight, so no need to catch the action next door during the day shift.

According to images published by Westword and The Denver Post, The Joint’s design will draw from a Wild West jail cell. Which is fitting, since The Joint will include an anti-pot-prohibition museum, as well.

“We’ve come a long way from the Prohibition era, and offering a private, controlled space to try different strains of cannabis is another step in the right direction toward ending the War on Drugs,” Mayor Dunafon said in a press release.

Tasting rooms are, technically, social consumption spaces for cannabis. But unlike a consumption lounge or bar, where adults can freely mingle while imbibing, tasting rooms must be attached to a licensed dispensary. Additionally, patrons may only sample the store’s offerings; no one is allowed to bring their own weed into a tasting room. 

“Our goal with this tasting room is to help customers see that high-quality cannabis is very similar to fine wine — every strain has a different smell, taste, and effect,” Lindsey Mintz, co-owner of Smokin Gun Apothecary and a Glendale city councilmember, told The Denver Post. “We are excited to be able to offer our neighbors at Shotguns and T-Bar a place to consume cannabis safely and legally.”

Last year, Colorado’s legislature passed the Marijuana Hospitality Bill, which established licenses for social consumption spaces such as pot lounges, cannabis cafes, and tasting rooms like The Joint. However, individual cities and towns can opt-out of social consumption licensing or draft their own local regulations on top of the state’s. 

Currently, Smokin Gun does not have its tasting room license. Glendale’s city council will hold a public hearing for social consumption spaces on March 3rd, where council members will vote on whether to license The Joint. Both Mintz and Mike Dunafon will recuse themselves from the vote. 

While Colorado may become the first state where an adult can get lit on booze, buds, and boobs practically in the same spot, it won’t be the first state with a legally licensed tasting room. Alaska won that title last month.

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Randy Robinson
Based in Denver, Randy studied cannabinoid science while getting a degree in molecular biology at the University of Colorado. When not writing about cannabis, science, politics, or LGBT issues, they can be found exploring nature somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Catch Randy on Twitter and Instagram @randieseljay
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