By Mark Ackerman
DENVER (CBS4)- She calls it Utopia. A place where members can participate in yoga, get massages and legally consume cannabis.
Cindy Sovine hopes Denver city officials will also see her vision for 1244 Grant Street when she turned in her "social consumption" application Wednesday. In 2016, Denver voters passed I-300, a measure to allow businesses the chance to permit marijuana use on their premises.
Sovine's "Utopia All Natural Wellness Spa and Lounge" will not sell marijuana. But, it will offer "consumption areas" for members who are over 21 years old to use marijuana. In addition to THC infused massage, Utopia plans to offer acupuncture, meditation and a full-line of hemp products and natural cosmetics.
Sovine says she got the idea when her father fought cancer. She wanted to create a social outlet for medical marijuana patients who are often isolated from each other.
"It's a way of being able to help patients access treatment services," she said, "But also access each other and share what they are using and how it makes them feel."
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As part of the application process, social consumption applicants are required to get support from a registered Neighborhood Association. Sovine and Utopia got five neighborhood organizations to approve.
"We had a little concern with the hours," said Margie Valdez of the Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods.
"But she addressed every concern we had. She's going to be a good neighbor."
Sovine agreed to close Utopia at midnight and outdoor consumption areas at 10 p.m. on weeknights and 11 p.m. on weekends.
In addition to the spa services, Utopia plans to host private parties and corporate events.
"The neighborhood support has been critical," she said. "We wouldn't want to be there if they didn't want it."
The first social use permit application was filed by Rita Tsalyuk, who hopes to open the Coffee Joint, located at 1130 Yuma Court, an industrial area on the west side of Denver. Tsalyuk has a public hearing on her application on Friday.
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