One of Denver's first legal cannabis consumption lounges is finally reopening for business after being forced to shut down on two separate occasions.
When it originally opened in 2018, the Tetra Lounge was one of the only places where Denver residents and tourists could legally smoke weed in public. Cannabis consumption lounges were actually illegal at the time, thanks to a Colorado law that bans people from smoking tobacco or cannabis in public indoor spaces. Tetra's owner, Dewayne Benjamin, came up with a unique way to circumvent this law, though, by operating the lounge as a private club.
The members-only club model was an immediate hit, but the pandemic forced the business to close for a little over a year. The Tetra was then forced to close again in January 2022 in order to comply with the state’s new cannabis hospitality regulations. Colorado officially legalized cannabis consumption lounges in 2019, but the new regulations forced Benjamin to shut his business down again and apply for a new license.
Now, after being closed for more than a year, Tetra will open its doors again this July. Benjamin has reinvented the lounge as a “cannabis garden,” a booze-free alternative to the traditional beer garden. Adults will be legally allowed to light up in the lounge's new outdoor garden, which has been updated with comfortable seats, fire pits, and a stage for live music.
The lounge's original indoor smoking space has been converted into a store that sells drinks and snacks, but Benjamin told The Denver Post that he is working to renovate it into “a more luxurious inside smoking space.” In order to do so, he must install a powerful ventilation system that complies with the state's strict cannabis lounge regulations. Benjamin is hoping to have the new indoor space online before the end of this year.
The Tetra Lounge is sticking to its original private club model, so guests still have to pay to puff. A day pass costs $20 and a monthly pass will set you back $50, but the best deal is the annual membership, which costs $420 (of course). Bongs, rolling papers, and electric dab rigs are available to rent, but guests need to bring their own bud because the lounge is not licensed to sell weed. Fortunately, the lounge is located in Denver's popular RiNo Arts District, and there are plenty of dispensaries within walking distance.
Tetra's reopening is great news, because it's actually still pretty hard to find a public place to get high in the Mile High City. Right now, Denver's only legal pot consumption lounge is The Coffee Joint, and this spot only allows vaping and edibles consumption. JAD's Mile High Smoke, located in a nearby suburb, does sell infused non-alcoholic beers, though, and The Cannabis Experience rents out weed-friendly tour buses. The competition will also heat up later this year, when two new consumption lounges are expected to open for business.