COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Recreational marijuana clubs are currently in the works for Colorado Springs and could start opening in the next few months.
The clubs would be 21 and up, and guests would bring their own bud to smoke.
"We don't want neon lights, we don't want disco shows," said KC Stark, who is planning to open a pot club called Studio A64. "That's not the way Colorado Springs is. We want responsible use by adults in a relaxed, controlled environment."
Stark and his business partner Jack Roth have a clear idea of the kind of club they want to run. They said they have three potential locations downtown and on the westside where they could open and hope to be operating in the next three months.
"We don't want to sell alcohol," said Stark. "We want to offer fresh pressed juices and organically grown products. Give (marijuana) cooking classes. Be the Martha Stewart Show of cannabis."
"About a century ago it was called the gold rush," said Roth, owner of The Smoking Gift smoke shop in Old Colorado City. "Now it's called the green rush."
The pair said they want to avoid requiring a membership fee and make money off of selling food and beverages.
Mark Slaugh, a marijuana advocate who helps businesses comply with cannabis regulations, said he expects to see several pot clubs open this year in the city.
"I've been approached by at least three folks in Colorado Springs looking to open recreational clubs," said Slaugh, CEO of iComply.
Slaugh said he believes the clubs will create jobs, boost revenue, and maybe even make the streets safer.
"It's not going to detrimentally impact our society," Slaugh said. "If anything it may help people drink less. Which, a small reduction in alcohol use actually leads to a larger social benefit than a large expansion of cannabis use. Because it's objectively safer."
Not everyone agrees with him though.
"I'm totally against it myself," said Colorado Springs resident Brad Ackerman. "I think the government getting more money to spend by taxing it is something I'm totally against as well."
The city of Colorado Springs has yet to start regulating pot clubs. A spokesperson said the city is still looking at all the issues.
A marijuana club in Del Norte shut down the day after it opened because of a landlord dispute. In Denver, Club 64 had a New Year's Eve event but "doesn't have a brick and mortar location," according to the club's attorney, Robert Corry.
"For right now, it's a mobile club," Corry said. "We're actively looking for a permanent location."
Corry said the club charges a $50 yearly membership fee, has 200 current members and 700 people on it's waiting list. The club served alcohol on New Year's Eve and plans to follow suit at other events.
The next event is planned for Feb. 3 in a location that's not yet been announced.