2018 is a big year for Colorado’s cannabis industry. As Colorado continues to grow their
market and make recreational marijuana a focal point of their tourism, they are beginning to face the issue of, where can people legally consume cannabis? The answer is the forthcoming marijuana tasting rooms law.
Since the beginning, the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division has not allowed for any public consumption of cannabis on licensed retail facilities. Tourists must, as a result, find a private location to consume their cannabis without breaking any laws. Tourists cannot smoke in their cars, they cannot smoke in a state or national park, they cannot smoke in their hotels, and they cannot smoke on the streets.
So, why come to Colorado for legal cannabis if you can’t even legally consume it?
The prominence of this issue has forced the state of Colorado to find a solution: marijuana tasting rooms
House Bill 2018 ? 1258: Marijuana Accessory Consumption Establishments
Recently, the State of Colorado has introduced a bill that would allow for retail facilities to apply for an additional license that would make a lot a certain amount of space to be used as a recreational testing room.
This bill allows every medical and recreational marijuana dispensary to add a separate location within the same jurisdiction of their retail license. Every dispensary location is only allowed one marijuana accessory consumption establishment per license.
Other Regulations Included in the Bill:
- The marijuana tasting rooms must be owned and managed under an already existing retail cannabis license.
- The local governments must also approve this bill and have the right to make any adjustments they deem necessary.
- No dispensary located within 1,000 feet of a municipality that bans cannabis sales, will be allowed to apply.
- Tasting rooms must have a separate entrance and exit from the retail cannabis shop. Every tasting room must also have a proper ventilation system.
- Customers would only be allowed to consume the products purchased from the dispensary, and there will be use limits put in place (potentially one gram of flower, 0.25 grams of concentrates, or a ten-milligram edible).
This bill has finally made its way through the Colorado Senate. Recently, the bill passed in the Colorado General Assembly without much change and has been widely supported by Senator Tim Neville and Stephen Fenberg since the beginning.
This bill is now solely in the hands of Colorado’s governor, John Hickenlooper, to sign it and finally make marijuana tasting rooms a reality. Not only will this bring more money to the industry, but it gives tourists and local consumers a safe and legal place to consume cannabis.
Pro and Cons to the Bill
Allowing for marijuana tasting rooms to open up is a massive step for the Colorado cannabis industry. While this is awesome for recreational dispensaries, it is an even better thing for the consumers. Now every consumer has a safe, chill, and educational environment to consume their cannabis.
It is taking consumer education to a whole other level and allows for consumers to try out different products, vendors, and methods of smoking. Marijuana tasting rooms give dispensaries the ability to thoroughly educate consumers on how to use their cannabis products the right way.
Not everybody is supporting this bill, though. The Colorado State Patrol, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, and Smart Colorado are openly pushing for the governor to veto the bill. They have firmly spoken out against the harm that marijuana tasting rooms may have on local communities.
The main concerns that these organizations have expressed is impaired drivers, potential exposure to children, and secondhand smoke. Of these concerns, impaired drivers are at the top. However, this bill already has things in place to help regulate the issue of impaired drivers, such as consumption limits per visit. The written bill has also stated that every marijuana tasting room must have a proper ventilation system, limiting the exposure to second-hand smoke and keep the air clean.
The state of Colorado is awaiting its governor to make the final choice on this bill. If John Hickenlooper does sign the bill into law, then it is still up to the local governments to decide their stance on the matter.
The opposition to the bill has promised to fight this from being passed in every local municipality they can. Even though the state may be all for marijuana tasting rooms, it is likely that many local governments will not approve the bill. If you are a local consumer who would like to see a cannabis tasting room in your local pot shop, then you need to get out in your community and make it happen.
Not only would this be a win for Colorado’s cannabis industry, but if this bill is signed, then Colorado will be America’s first state to license public pot use!
Stay informed about the future of marijuana tasting rooms, here!