Remember earlier this summer, when your favorite venues for cannabis hospitality and private events like the Tetra Lounge and Ant Life all received warnings or tickets because they allowed consumption of cannabis on their properties?
Originally, we thought the city of Denver was just busting balls. However, it’s recently been brought to light (via leaked screenshots, which we’ve included) that the reason these companies all received these aforementioned ball bustings was because the wife of the owner of the only cannabis consumption bar in Colorado complained to various enforcement agencies.
Indeed, it would appear that Stacey Davis, whose husband Joshua Davis owns JAD’s Mile High Smoke, complained to various members of the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED), Denver Government, and even the mayor’s office and the chief of police in an attempt to extinguish what she refers to as “continued illegal consumption of cannabis in Denver” but what we would refer to as “Thursday night.”
We’ve been saying it for years and we’ll say it again: capitalists are like thieves… there’s no honor among either.
We received screenshots of the emails from Nicholas Barreto (@Cannabis.Connoisseur.007), who explained that the emails were sent to him anonymously. Before we get into the content of the emails though, you’re going to need a little backstory.
Long ago, during a golden, yet forgotten age (circa 2021) the city of Denver allowed the consumption of cannabis in private venues. The idea was that, if the venue was down, you could roll up to a place like Tetra and spark up while you watched whatever shenanigans were scheduled to take place that night.
Then, starting in 2022, the city of Denver said, “Never mind! Get fucked.” and amended their codes and rules to dictate that a business had to get approved for a hospitality license through the MED before submitting an application to the city of Denver.
Back in the first grade, we called a move like this “Takesies Backsies” and even in the ill-remembered days of our youth it was generally considered a dick move.
As the city of Denver amended its rules to create a plethora of loopholes and hurdles for these various establishments, one establishment had the capital to navigate all of this bureaucratic bullshit, and now refers to itself as the first “cannabar” in Denver.
Did you guess that it was JAD’s? Good job!
Multiple venues across the Denver area continued to operate the way they had for the last few years. After all, no harm, no foul. Right?
Well, not if you’re the owner of JAD’s, or as Davis put it in her emails, “The ONLY legal retail hospitality venue in the state.”
We don’t want to reference elementary school two times in one article, but does it also sound like someone is bad at sharing to you?
Davis outlined a plethora of events, alleging them as illegal and urging the city of Denver to shut them down before they happened. Some of these events included Terp Talks, the Pot Girl Summer Tour, various “Sesh” events and even yoga classes.
“Real action will be required,” wrote Davis to more than 20 recipients in her emails. “Actual consequences need to be administered because right now every single licensed brand in the state thinks they have unfettered access to give product away freely at unlicensed and illegal consumption events.”
While we’re pretty positive that a cannabis overdose isn’t even possible, we think we almost died from the over consumption of Karen-esque energy found in these emails. Our eyes rolled into the back of our heads and everything.
Davis goes on to allege that various cannabis companies “will be bringing illegal products to give away freely for consumption at this ticketed, publicly available sesh event. These types of events go on daily, under your nose and with your tacit approval.”
This may be unrelated, but the last time we went to the liquor store there were these guys at the front giving out samples of whiskeys and IPAs. Food for thought…
Davis then finished her email with a thinly-veiled threat to Denver Mayor Mike Johnston to get the media involved.
“Mr. Mayor, welcome to the team,” wrote Davis. “Perhaps everyone receiving information in one fell swoop will hasten activity. I’m happy to invite the news station to the next chat we have.”
“Stacey Davis’ unfounded attacks on the cannabis community as a whole, including event organizers … not only tarnish the legacy of cannabis pioneers but also cast a shadow on cherished community events like the @StonerCinemaPopUp,” Barreto told Rooster in an interview.
He went on to condemn the microsales that are becoming more and more prevalent in the Denver scene. When we say “microsales,” we’re referring to a business or someone that acts as the middleman between dispensaries and cannabis users and has the gall to… we don’t know… charge $30 for a half gram of concentrates.
“The proliferation of micro cannabis sales is a concerning trend, especially when you peel back the layers and see it for what it truly is – a tactic to increase tax revenue at the expense of both consumers and small businesses,” says Barreto. “Stacey Davis’ actions … only serve to exacerbate this issue. By creating division and instability in our industry, she’s playing right into the hands of those who seek to capitalize on us, undermining the ethos of the Colorado Cannabis Community.”
Look, at the end of the day, Stacey Davis’ actions weren’t illegal. She basically did the cannabis industry equivalent to telling the teacher.
However, we’d certainly make the argument that this has hurt a lot of people and forever changed the face of Colorado’s cannabis hospitality industry. When it comes down to it, Denver set frame work that they later changed in what we would almost guarantee you was in the pursuit of one thing: money.
Businesses across Denver have lamented about insane licensing and application fees required in order to keep things above board, and we personally don’t see any issue with the events that have gone on. The idea that we can get a beer on every corner of Denver’s streets, but have to intimately nitpick every event that involves the use of cannabis is fucking ludicrous to us.
But hey, if it makes you feel any better, the last time we hit our hash pen in the bathroom of Union Station or ripped the one hitter outside of the Hi-Dive, no one batted an eye.