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Denver issues final social marijuana use rules, dropping waiver and ventilation plan requirements

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Denver’s plan to allow people to use marijuana at some businesses drew a step closer to reality Friday, when the city’s top licensing official unveiled final rules for the pilot program that is set to launch in coming months.

Big questions remain: Will the newly adopted regulations for the first-in-the-nation “social use” program provide measured protection for patrons and neighbors of businesses that take part, as city officials say? Or are the rules for consumption areas so restrictive that few businesses and event organizers will want to bother?

The exuberance that greeted the Nov. 8 passage of Initiative 300 — in which 54 percent of city voters directed officials to create a four-year pilot of the social marijuana consumption program — is now tempered among its chief supporters. Their protest of several draft rules released May 11 resulted in only a couple changes by city officials, including the nixing of a proposed requirement that patrons sign waivers upon entry to a business’ consumption area.

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