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Colorado Lawmakers Approve Onsite Marijuana Consumption Law

Cannabis Buds

Colorado lawmakers are working overtime this legislative session when it comes to marijuana bills. Lawmakers passed marijuana delivery and legislation to allow onsite consumption for specific types of businesses. Hotels, restaurants and dispensaries are just some of the businesses that may be allowed to apply for special permits for onsite consumption.

House Bill 1230 passed the necessary steps of the Colorado Legislature one day before the 2019 legislative session ended, according to Westword. Tasting rooms would be permitted at dispensaries. Hotels, restaurants, yoga studios, art galleries and some music venues would be permitted to have “private consumption” licenses. They’d also be able to sell a limited amount of marijuana.

This legislation goes even further to allow for mobile marijuana lounges (limos and tour buses) could be licensed to allow use onboard but would not be able to sell marijuana.

Any business that is approved for this special licensing would be exempt from Colorado’s Clean Indoor Air Act.

Senator Vicki Marble said, “In expanding access to regulated spaces for adults to consume cannabis, we are taking the responsible approach to cannabis consumption in a safe environment. HB 1230 protects the will of voters who asked for the freedom to choose marijuana as an alternative and to curb dealing and use in parks and on the street.”

It’s unknown whether or not Governor Polis will sign the legislation into law, but it’s speculated that he will. He did criticize former Governor John Hickenlooper for vetoing similar legislation.

There’s always a catch with marijuana legislation – with HB 1230, individual jurisdictions have to “opt in” if they want these types of establishments in their towns. Local jurisdictions also have the right to limit the types of consumable marijuana products that can be used.

This legislation does create a solid foundation and eliminates loopholes and much of the confusion that new marijuana legislation tends to have.

Chris Woods of Terrapin Care Station said, “Regulatory uncertainty on the local level has resulted in confusion, prompting the need for a statewide uniform policy. This bill creates that uniform policy for licensed marijuana consumption establishments.”

Key points of the new policy, if signed into law, include:

  • Age verification – no one under the age of 21 would be allowed to consume any marijuana within these licensed establishments
  • No alcohol can be sold at these establishments
  • Train employees to detect and monitor marijuana intoxication
  • Establishments would be responsible for ensuring that intoxicated patrons don’t drive
  • Only licensed marijuana-infusion manufacturers could make THC-containing menu items for licensed restaurants/social environments

Cindy Sovine of Utopia Natural Healing said, “This bill honors the reality that Colorado consumes cannabis. Patients and consumers have had to hide in the shadows for far too long. I got into this to create a community for patients like my dad, who deserve a place to go for education on treatment and for camaraderie.”

If the bill is signed into law, it would take effect in January 2020.