Coloradans are a step closer to being allowed to smoke in social settings thanks to a bill that was introduced last week.
House Bill 19-1230 would allow a regulated system for people to consume cannabis in social settings. With a proper license, it would allow cannabis hospitality establishments to run where there would be some product sales but would ultimately provide a space for people to consume their cannabis.
If the bill is passed, establishments could be allowed as early as January 2020.
“Coloradans voted for the freedom to choose cannabis as an alternative,” said Republican Senator Vicki Marble, one of the bill’s sponsors. “But we have not extended similar liberties to the consumption aspect of cannabis legalization. With this legislation, we are upholding the will of the voters while providing a safe and responsible place for people to consume outside of parks and off of the street.”
Those supporting the bill say that this will hopefully resolve some of the issues in Colorado’s cannabis market, including having “tasting rooms”, a measure that was vetoed last year by former Governor John Hickenlooper.
“Cannabis patients and retail consumers alike deserve to have a place to go to find each other, create community and consumer marijuana safely,” said lobbyist Cindy Sovine.
Sovine has plans to open what could be the first cannabis spa in the country if the rules around social consumption are relaxed.
“This legislation is about harm reduction and monitoring intoxication,” said Sovine. “It is about honoring the reality that if we benefit economically from the sale of cannabis products, we should also be respecting where and how it is consumed.”
The bill also aims to provide some clarity on policies concerning cannabis tours.
“Just like you have wineries and distilleries where you can purchase and sample products, you should be able to do the same things with marijuana,” said State Representative and co-sponsor of the bill Jonathan Singer.
The bill would allow hotels, spas and other businesses to apply for a license to provide a social space for cannabis consumption.