Pot Faux Pas: A Cannabis Club Owner Weighs In On Marijuana Etiquette

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In this 2013 file photo, different strains of pot are displayed for sale at a marijuana dispensary in Denver. (Brennan Linsley/AP)
In this 2013 file photo, different strains of pot are displayed for sale at a marijuana dispensary in Denver. (Brennan Linsley/AP)

As more states roll out legal recreational marijuana, there are some questions to consider about where you can smoke it.

But there are also practical ones, about etiquette: Is it OK to reek of weed in public? What about carrying out a business meeting while sharing an edible?

Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson asks Rita Tsalyuk, co-owner of The Coffee Joint, a social consumption club for marijuana in Denver, for her take.

Interview Highlights

On what kinds of questions she gets from people about how to be a polite marijuana consumer

"They're actually not asking those questions. But I think our environment kind of dictates them, of how we want to see them as a consumer. We were very concerned that we will become a place where homeless people will just hang out, and it's going to get quickly dirty and unmanageable. But it's actually the other way around. People come in and they're behaving better than we could have imagined. We really didn't have to tell them how to behave. They drive it in a really nice direction. I think they were in need of a place like ours."

On if it's acceptable to carry out a business meeting while sharing an edible

"Absolutely, because you can do the same thing with alcohol. It just depends. You have to know your audience.

"You probably can imagine going to a lunch meeting and somebody will order wine during [the] lunch meeting. That's socially acceptable. ... We've seen business meetings from [the] cannabis industry happening at our place, where they all consume it together. And I think that's totally acceptable and fine, and it looks [like] something I would participate in. It looks nice."

On a person smelling like marijuana in public

"Overconsumption, it's not actually good with alcohol or with cannabis. So if people noticeably overconsumed, it's probably not good."

On there being different marijuana consumption rules depending on where you are, like a friend's house versus a concert or hotel

"Absolutely, just like everywhere. If you're in a concert, you have to be respectful to the concert establishment, and to the musicians, and if you're in a hotel, it's still not home. [If it's] not your home, you have to be respectful to whatever it is, and in your home you can do pretty much more of what you want, if you don't bother other people."

On who comes to The Coffee Joint

"Some people just come in with luggage from the airport, they're putting pins on our maps where they're from, looking at things, wowing, sitting down and consuming. Usually I would see people there between 10-15 minutes and maybe an hour or two. We have an office room where they sit down around the table, or they have a big room where there are several tables, and it's kind of an entertainment room where we have also a ping-pong table, we have a projector, we have several TVs. They kind of hang out. It's a good place to hang out.

"People [are] working from there. I've seen a lot of people come and use our Wi-Fi. I have seen people in suits calling CEOs of other companies. It would be interesting to know if they understand where they're calling from. But they say that cannabis helps them to concentrate."

This segment aired on September 24, 2018.



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