Looking for cannabis friendly ways to get into the holiday spirit?

Check out these Colorado cannabis events that will ensure your Christmas is merry and lit.

High for the Holidays at The Oriental Theater
Dec. 20, 8-11 pm
The Oriental Theater
4335 W. 44th Ave., Denver

Still need a last-minute gift for your favorite toker (or yourself)? Check out this cannabis-themed holiday market with local vendors, smoking accessories and stoner apparel.  Unwind with performances by pot comedians Rick Bryan and Derrik Rush, music, and burlesque shows. You can even take a photo with CannaClaus (only if you’ve been nice).

The event is 21+ and tickets are $14.20 each, or $4.20 with a valid marijuana industry badge.
While there’s no consumption allowed in the venue, a smoke bus will be outside from 7-9:30 pm.

Creatively Cannabis: Tokes and Brush Strokes
Dec. 22, 3-5:30 pm
The Coffee Joint
1130 Yuma Ct., Denver

Get in touch with your creative side at this cannabis consumption and painting event. The BYOB cannabis event will be held at The Coffee Joint, Denver’s only public cannabis consumption venue. Past painting experience isn’t required, so grab some flower and get your Picasso on.

Tickets are $45 in advance and $55 the day of the event. Painting supplies and a 16″x20″ canvas are included.

Christmas at the Coffee Joint
Dec. 24-25
The Coffee Joint
1130 Yuma Ct., Denver

Really get into the high holiday spirit with classic Christmas movies at The Coffee Joint on Christmas Eve, and a daylong Doctor Who marathon on Christmas Day.

Entry into the 21+ venue is $5 or free if you make a purchase at the dispensary next door.

Roaring ’20s New Year’s Celebration
Dec. 31, 8 pm-1 am
Speakeasy Vape and Cannabis Club
2508 E. Bijou St., Colorado Springs

Say goodbye to one decade ring in the new one with a Roaring ’20s themed New Year’s Eve party at Speakeasy Vape Lounge and Cannabis Club. Come dressed in your best flapper gear, enjoy some medicated chocolate fondue, and get down to music by DJ K-Mac.

Admission is $20, or two tickets for $30.

2020 4/20 Party
Jan. 4, 4 pm
Studio 420
808 E. 78th Ave., Denver

Who says the party has to stop after New Year’s Day? Celebrate 2020 with Studio 420, an indoor smoking lounge in north Denver. The event is 21+ and members-only (you can become a member by calling 303-781-4642). Entry is $4.20.

Cannabis use among teens has declined in states with legal recreational marijuana, according to a new paper published in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics. Researchers found that in states with legal adult-use cannabis, there was an 8% drop in the number of youths who said they used marijuana within the last 30 days and a 9% drop in the number of high-schoolers who said that they had used at least 10 times in the past 30 days.

The research was led by D. Mark Anderson, an economist at Montana State University, along with colleagues from the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, and San Diego University. Researchers analyzed data that spanned 25 years, from 1993 to 2017, that included data from about 1.4 million high school students. The data was collected by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual Youth Risk Behavior Surveys, which are administered to students every two years.

Researchers did not find a significant decrease in teen marijuana use in states with legal medical cannabis.

“Consistent with the results of previous researchers, there was no evidence that the legalization of medical marijuana encourages marijuana use among youth. Moreover, the estimates reported [by the Youth Risk Behavior Surveys] showed that marijuana use among youth may actually decline after legalization for recreational purposes.”

The researchers acknowledged that while there’s an association between legal adult-use marijuana, there isn’t a causal connection.

“Because many recreational marijuana laws have been passed so recently, we do observe limited post-treatment data for some of these states,” Anderson said. “In a few years, it would make sense to update our estimates as more data become available.”

One possible reason for the decline in teen pot use is that a regulation cannabis market reduces the availability of black market marijuana. In states where recreational marijuana is legal, “it is more difficult for teenagers to obtain marijuana as drug dealers are replaced by licensed dispensaries that require proof of age.”

Nationally, teen cannabis use has increased from 0.6% in 1991 to 6.3% in 2017, according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Cannabis, not Opioids

A bill that would allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana in place of opioids is one step closer to becoming law in Colorado. In its third hearing, Senate Bill 13 passed the House on Tuesday. The Senate passed the bill in February.

Many of the conditions covered by Colorado’s medical marijuana program are chronic, meaning that they can last months or years, but for acute conditions, physicians often prescribe opioids. SB 13 would give physicians an alternative to highly addictive opioids, allowing them to prescribe medical marijuana for acute pain and other temporary medical conditions.

Rep. Kim Ransom (R), one of the bill’s sponsors, said, “[The opioid epidemic] affects all ages, all income levels, all areas of the state. We were trying to give doctors an additional option.”

The bill is heading back to the Senate for approval of changes made by the House. After that, the bill heads to Governor Jared Polis to be signed into law.

Cannabis consumption in “hospitality” establishments

While a social-use bill failed to get enough votes in Denver City Council, there’s still hope that Colorado will soon have more places to toke. House Bill 1230 would allow legal cannabis hospitality spaces in which marijuana could be sold and consumed. This would allow the creation of a new kind of space – likely next to or within a dispensary (or legal licensed cannabis business) to have a specific space dedicated to public consumption. The bill would make an exception to the Colorado Clean Air Act, which prohibits indoor smoking.

“The intent, really, is to solve a problem that we’ve had since Amendment 64 passed,” Rep. Jonathan Singer (D) said during a hearing for the bill. “Don’t consume it in the dispensary, don’t consume it in a street or in a park, don’t consume it in a hotel or a restaurant — and, by the way, if you’re a tourist, make sure you dispose of it before you leave the state.

The state licensing authority would be responsible for hammering out the final rules for cannabis “hospitality” establishments.

The bill passed the House on April 18 and is now headed to the Senate.

Cannabis Delivery

Finally, another new bill is ready for Colorado Governor Jared Polis, who hasn’t 100% committed but likely will sign, that would allow licensed cannabis businesses to deliver to local residents. House Bill 1234 passed the Colorado Senate after being approved by the House on April 18.

The bill creates a new licensed to allow for dispensaries and transporters to make legal drops to residents directly to their homes. If signed legal deliveries would begin as soon as 2020 for medical patients and in 2021 for recreational buyers.

Hope for more social consumption venues in Denver was dealt a blow after an initiative that would have eased location restrictions failed to get enough votes from Denver City Council.

In 2016, Denver voters approved I-300, which allowed businesses to establish indoor cannabis consumption areas. As approved by voters, I-300 required cannabis-consumption venues to be 1,000 feet from schools. However, Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses expanded that list to include daycare facilities, drug-treatment centers, city pools, parks, and recreation centers.

Councilwoman Kendra Black’s proposed initiative would have kept the 1,000-foot restriction for schools but changed the restrictions for the added locations to 500 feet. The rules on where cannabis businesses can set up shop have limited the number of potential properties available, and since licensing began in 2017, only two social consumption establishments have opened their doors.

“We collect a lot of tax revenue, which we all welcome. This council voted unanimously to increase the marijuana sales tax for affordable housing. It seems contradictory that we heavily tax the industry, we welcome the sales to tourists, but don’t give them a place to consume,” Black said before the vote on the proposal.

Mayor Michael Hancock was opposed to the proposal as were organizations like the Children’s Hospital, Denver Public Schools, and the Denver Police Department. Opponents of the proposal cited public safety and protecting children.

“Denver voters have approved multiple marijuana measures, both locally and at a state level. Amendment 64 passed in a landslide, with two-thirds of Denver voters in support,” Black said. “The purpose of this initiative was to protect kids from seeing and smelling consumption in parks, on sidewalks on the 16th Street Mall and along our rivers. I’m really perplexed by people who are opposing this in the name of kids.”

Because the proposal would have changed a voter-approved initiative, Black’s proposal needed the approval of at least nine council members, rather than a simple majority. Seven of 12 council members voted in favor of the proposal, while five voted against it.

Adult-use marijuana has been legal in Colorado for nearly five years, and the annual high holiday is bigger than ever. Celebrate cannabis culture at some of our favorite events in the Mile High City:

Mile High Chess (Not Checkers) Championship – April 11

Show off your chess skills at the first Mile High Chess (Not Checkers) Championship at Dean Ween’s Honey Pot Lounge. Presented by 0420Inc, this cannabis consumption event will have a DJ bumpin Wu-Tang, kung fu flicks, and dabs rolling while our community dukes it out for top chess champ. 6 pm -10 pm. RSVP early for 1/2 off the door cover. 0420 Inc. will also host a comedy night @ Dean Ween’s on April 22nd!

Sensi Night Denver – April 17

Celebrate Sensi Magazine’s 3rd anniversary at the EXDO Event Center in Denver’s RiNo Art District from 7 pm – 11 pm. Sensi’s free event will feature live artists and performers, massage and acupuncture stations, giveaways, brand exhibitors, and swag.

2019 Cannabis and Psychedelic Symposium – April 17

Learn about the latest science and issues surrounding cannabis and psychedelics at CU Boulder’s annual public education forum. The free event runs from 8:30 am – 9:30 pm. See a full schedule of panels and speakers here.

Snoop Dogg & Ice Cube at Red Rocks – April 18

If it’s 420 in the woods and Snoop Dogg isn’t there, is it really 420? This year he’s playing at Red Rocks Amphitheatre with Ice Cube, Warren G and Tha Dogg Pound.

Mile High 420 Festival – April 20

The Mile High 420 Festival in Civic Center Park draws thousands of people every year and is one of the biggest cannabis celebrations in the state. The lineup this year includes T.I., Jermaine Dupri, Eye Am Shane, $Subxrox MetaOx, and Big Legion & Hurox. The festival starts at 10 am and continues until 6 pm. The Mile High 420 Festival is free and will feature local music, comedy, food trucks, cannabis craft vendors, and more than 20 local charities.

Yoga with a View – April 20

If you’re looking for a more relaxing 420 experience, chill out with this 21-and-up, yoga-meets-cannabis brunch event. Hosted at Space Gallery in Denver from 11 am – 3 pm, the event begins with a yoga session followed by brunch prepared by Chef Kevin Grossi.

The Puff Ball with the Dean Ween Group – April 20

The Puff Ball with the Deen Ween is a giant dab party featuring Dean’s band, The Dean Ween Group and The Color Red All-Stars featuring Eddie Roberts (New Mastersounds), Jeremy Salken (Big Gigantic), and Gabe Mervin. This 21+ consumption event will be hosted at Deen Ween’s Honey Pot Lounge from 6 pm- 11:55 pm.

Also Coming in April – Mountain High Suckers in Puerto Rico!

Puerto Rico legalized medical cannabis in July, 2017. For the last year, Mountain High Suckers have been working with partners in Puerto Rico to release our products to medical dispensaries and we’re proud to announce that our first products will begin production shortly and will be ready to go around 4/20 (depending on availability / where you shop). We’re extremely proud to bring our favorite suckers and lozenges products to the Puerto Rico market! We’ll follow up with more details on social media throughout the month.

Smoking medical marijuana is now legal in Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill on Monday lifting a ban enacted in 2017 on smokable cannabis products.

“Over 70% of Florida voters approved medical marijuana in 2016 and today I signed SB182 ‘Medical Use of Marijuana’ into law. I thank my colleagues in the Legislature for working with me to ensure the will of the voters is upheld,” DeSantis tweeted. “Now that we have honored our duty to find a legislative solution, I have honored my commitment and filed a joint motion to dismiss the state’s appeal and to vacate the lower court decision which had held the prior law to be unconstitutional.”

While the new law is effective immediately, cannabis flower and other smokable products most likely won’t be available until this summer. The Florida Department of Health must create guidelines for physicians to prescribe medical marijuana to patients.

Under the new law, medical marijuana patients wishing to smoke cannabis flower must sign an informed consent form acknowledging the health risks associated with smoking. Smoking in public spaces or at private businesses subject to a cigarette smoking ban is prohibited.

Patients under the age of 18 are prohibited from smoking marijuana unless the patient is diagnosed with a terminal illness and receives a second recommendation from a pediatrician.

Qualified medical marijuana patients can buy up to a 210-day supply at a time, which amounts to 2.5 ounces of cannabis every 35 days.

Florida has nearly 200,000 registered medical marijuana patients, and the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries expect to see an increase in sales in the tens of millions. Marijuana Business Daily estimated that medical marijuana in Florida earned $200 million-$300 million in 2018. Comparably, in 2017, medical marijuana sales were at $20 million-$40 million.

Florida sets a cap on the number of medical marijuana dispensaries allowed to operate, but that rule is likely to be challenged. According to the Florida Department of Health, 85% of the state’s 107 dispensaries are operated by just five businesses.

In 2016, voters in Florida approved Amendment 2, legalizing medical marijuana. Florida’s former governor, Rick Scott, signed a bill in 2017 banning smokable medical marijuana.

Denver’s social cannabis consumption pilot program was set to expire in 2020, but Denver City Council voted 10-1 to remove the sunset date, making the program permanent.

In 2016, Denverites approved Initiative 300, which was designed to allow businesses to establish indoor cannabis consumption areas. Private, invitation-only consumption events were already legal, but I-300 made it possible for businesses like yoga studios, art galleries, hotels, concert venues, and coffee shops to wade into the cannabis industry.

Since I-300 was enacted in 2017, the program has been plagued with problems. The sunset provision made it difficult for cannabis entrepreneurs to secure loans and investors, as well as physical space for their businesses. Leases for commercial buildings are typically three to five years, so before the sunset provision was eliminated, social use businesses would have to commit to a lease that would outlast the regulations.

Additional difficulties include restrictions on where social consumption lounges can set up shop, limiting the number of potential properties available. Marijuana businesses hoping to be licensed for social use must gain approval from nearby neighborhood or business groups, be located 1,000 feet away from schools, daycare facilities, drug treatment centers, city pools, and recreation centers.

Moreover, because of state restrictions, licensed consumption businesses are prohibited from allowing indoor smoking, cannabis sales, or alcohol consumption. Proposed legislation could ease some of these restrictions, making cannabis lounges more viable.

Denver City Council has been looking at ways to improve Denver’s social use program, and removing the sunset provision was the first step.

The only opposition to removing the sunset provision came from Denver City Councilman Kevin Flynn. “I don’t believe that simply repealing the sunset, which voters had approved and authors of the initiative included, is going to make any difference in the context of all the other changes that would have to be looked at before this program would take off,” Flynn said. “I don’t see that removing the sunset would result in any new businesses suddenly coming forward, with all the other restrictions that I believe are truly the reason that more of these licenses have not been sought by other business.”

Since I-300 was enacted in 2017, the city has received just five applications. One of those applications was rejected, one was rescinded, one is still under review, and two were approved. The Coffee Joint in west Denver was the first business granted a social use license and is currently the only social pot business in operation. A second marijuana consumption lounge, Vape and Play, closed just a month after opening.

Millennials are blamed for all sorts of things, from declining beer sales to shuttered chain restaurants to the end of bar soap. But there’s one thing we can definitely thank millennials for: their love of cannabis. And if the much-maligned generation has anything to say about it, the days of marijuana prohibition are numbered.

According to online pollsters The Tylt, the majority of millennials support cannabis legalization. In a poll of over 6,000 millennial-aged respondents, 84% believe that cannabis should be legalized.

On their website, The Tylt describes themselves as “the largest and fastest growing social polling and opinion platform among millennials.”

The Tylt’s polling data is in line with other surveys gauging generational support for legal weed. A 2017 CBS News poll found that 61% of Americans of all ages support marijuana legalization, a five-point increase from 2016. The same poll found that 76% of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 support legal cannabis use.

So how much do millennials love pot? Here’s some more insight from The Tylt’s polling:

Cannabis is about more than getting high, and this growing industry is generating billions of dollars in revenue and creating thousands of jobs. When it comes to cannabis, the millennial generation are enthusiastic supporters, and it’s only a matter of time before this is reflected in our country’s legislation.