Think of it like a beer garden, but instead of drinking alcohol, guests smoke weed.
Tetra Lounge, one of Denver’s first cannabis-friendly smoking lounges, is preparing to reopen this summer after closing temporarily more than a year ago.
Owner Dewayne Benjamin retooled the concept slightly, transforming an outdoor patio into the primary marijuana smoking area as he works to upgrade the business’ indoor ventilation system. Think of it like a beer garden, but instead of drinking alcohol, guests smoke weed.
Benjamin expects to begin welcoming tokers back to his spot at 3039 Walnut St. in early July.
When it first opened in 2018, Tetra Lounge allowed patrons to smoke cannabis indoors because it operated as a private club, charging membership fees. That designation enabled it to sidestep the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, which bans smoking in most public, indoor spaces. However, when the city of Denver opted to create and allow for a new category of “marijuana hospitality” establishments, the business was required to apply for a new license — and meet the building codes that go along with it.
“It’s an expensive project,” Benjamin said of the upgrades. “The first step is to be fully operational, and I hope to have the required ventilation system in by the end of the year.”
In anticipation of reopening, Benjamin decorated the outdoor consumption garden with additional seating and fire pits for ambiance. The space, which he previously used to host industry vendors, also features a stage for live music. Benjamin expects to host other events throughout the summer, as well as food trucks to serve munchies to hungry visitors.
For now, the interior of Tetra Lounge will function primarily as a retail shop selling pre-packaged snacks, sodas and merchandise. But when the renovation is complete, Benjamin promises “a more luxurious inside smoking space.”
Other than the designated smoking area, not much will change when Tetra Lounge reopens, Benjamin said. Guests will still pay a flat entry fee – $20 for a day pass, $50 for a monthly pass, or $420 for an annual membership – to gain access to the lounge, where they can borrow or rent smoking devices, such as bongs, rolling papers and Puffco electric dab rigs, for use onsite.
Tetra Lounge does not sell marijuana itself, so consumers need to bring their own flower and concentrates – and there are plenty of dispensaries nearby in the RiNo Arts District for those looking to pick something up on their way.
In 2019, Colorado legalized hospitality establishments, meaning businesses that allow cannabis consumption onsite, recognizing that locals had an abundance of places to purchase marijuana but few places they could legally smoke it.
Still, hospitality businesses have been slow to get off the ground due, in part, to the fact the law requires municipalities to opt-in to allow them and because the first time cities could do so was in 2020.
Despite Tetra Lounge’s head start, its re-debut comes after several tumultuous years. The business closed for more than a year in response to COVID-19 before reopening on April 20, 2021. It closed again in January 2022 due to the licensing changes.
So, it’s no surprise Benjamin is ready to rejoin Denver’s entertainment scene. “Providing the environment we’re known for and bringing that back to the community is very exciting for us,” he said.
<a class="article-title" href="https://www.denverpost.com/2023/06/06/new-nightclub-downtown-denver-villa/" title="A new Denver nightclub wants to change downtown’s nightlife stigma"> <span class="dfm-title premium"> A new Denver nightclub wants to change downtown’s nightlife stigma </span> </a>
<a class="article-title" href="https://www.denverpost.com/2023/06/05/flight-club-darts-bar-downtown-denver-opening/" title="Denver’s newest sports bar will specialize in darts and drinks"> <span class="dfm-title premium"> Denver’s newest sports bar will specialize in darts and drinks </span> </a>
<a class="article-title" href="https://www.denverpost.com/2023/05/30/where-to-eat-and-drink-near-ball-arena-for-a-denver-nuggets-game/" title="Where to eat and drink near Ball Arena for a Denver Nuggets game"> <span class="dfm-title premium"> Where to eat and drink near Ball Arena for a Denver Nuggets game </span> </a>
Cannabis enthusiasts looking for a communal space to indulge now have several places to visit. In addition to Tetra Lounge, JAD’s Mile High Smoke in Adams County sells weed products and hosts regular events; The Coffee Joint in Denver, which is connected to a dispensary, allows vaping and edibles consumption only; and The Cannabis Experience tour bus company offers curated trips around Denver alongside shuttles to and from Denver International Airport.
Additionally, The Patterson Inn, a Capitol Hill bed-and-breakfast, is building a smoking lounge onsite that’s expected to open later this year. Cirrus Social Club, a glamourous weed lounge serving high tea, is also slated to open on East Colfax this fall.
Marijuana news, Colorado laws, and weed, pot analysis | The Denver Post