DENVER (CIRCA) – Thurlow Weed and Littletree Oppy’s private club is one of the few places in Colorado where you won’t get busted for smoking pot outside your home. If that sounds confusing, it’s because it is. Adult recreational marijuana use is legal in the state, but you still can’t light up just anywhere.
However, because of legal loopholes, you can at iBake.
“We’re not a cannabis business,” Weed told Circa. “And that was the hardest thing to get across.”
In 2012, Colorado legalized adult weed sales but didn’t define where it could be consumed. The U.S. also has broad anti-smoking laws. This has left marijuana users in a tough spot.
That created the need for iBake. But for the club to stay in business, it has to operate as a private club, like cigar bars and some hookah lounges, where members pay dues and access is limited.
“By being ‘bring your own,’ we’ve defined the fact that we’re just a private members club, which could be considered a cannabis club as well,” Weed said. “And we openly allow the smoking.”
iBake’s 20,000-plus members span from locals on regular lunch breaks to honeymooners looking for a one-time high and even octogenarians crossing off bucket list items.
Its basic monthly membership costs about $10, and then there are $2 daily fees. But the staff does not auto-renew memberships since patrons come from all over the world.
There’s a map on one of the club’s walls adorned with pins showing the origins of visitors to the club. There’s one on Antarctica, though Oppy thinks that’s a joke.
For now, Colorado’s clubs likely won’t go the route of Amsterdam-style coffee shops, but private clubs like iBake have at least set the framework for how lawmakers might one day regulate social consumption.
“As far as providing a place for people to come consume, that’s what we’ve done,” Weed said.