A strip club and a Smokin Gun: New Colorado pot shop stirring up intrigue

GLENDALE — Colorado’s newest pot shop has some wondering whether strippers and weed are too closely aligned on a busy highway just east of downtown Denver.

The Smokin Gun Apothecary opened on a site formerly occupied by the Denver area’s best known strip club, Shotgun Willie’s. The strip club hasn’t gone away — it’s moved just across the parking lot, testing ethical and potentially legal issues about the state’s growing legal recreational pot industry.

Beyond banning the sale of pot and alcohol in the same shop, Colorado has no regulation regarding marijuana and other adult businesses. Zoning rules require shops to be away from schools or anywhere children congregate.

A bowl of marijuana sits next to the Smokin Gun’s one-gram containers, which are designed to look like shotgun shells, naturally. (Brennan Linsley, The Associated Press)

Colorado’s rules about using pot are hazier. The state bans public marijuana consumption. But the state allows local governments to decide whether to allow private pot clubs. Smokin’ Gun is preparing a rooftop lounge area in anticipation of a local ordinance to allow shoppers to toke up.

Both businesses have the same owner, who envisions pot shoppers getting discounted drinks at the strip club. Deborah Dunafon plans to sell mugs at the pot shop that customers can use for a free beer at the strip club. Colorado law bans the sale of both marijuana and alcohol at the same place, so there won’t be any alcohol flowing where weed is sold, she said. Read More