Recreational marijuana has been legal in Colorado since 2012, but the people who buy legal pot have been having a hard time finding where they can consume their purchase. This is now set to change if a bill that has been approved by a House Committee eventually gets the nod from the entire State Assembly and Senate.
Under current law, recreational cannabis can only be consumed in private residences and private establishments. The ban on public and open consumption of cannabis remains in place even if the law legalizing recreational cannabis intended to regard recreational cannabis in the same way that alcohol is treated by the law.
In the past, all efforts to create a system by which the social consumption of marijuana could be licensed have failed. However, the sponsors of HB 1230 feel that the time may now be right for an enabling to law to be enacted so that businesses can get licenses for the social consumption of marijuana on their premises.
Representative Jonathan Singer, the sponsor of the bill, says that his intention is to fix two major issues in the law.
First, his bill will provide more clarity about the meaning of “open and public” so that cannabis businesses and consumers can know the limits of where cannabis consumption is allowed or not. Currently, marijuana seems to be in no man’s land on this issue, he added.
By defining what “open and public” means, it will be possible to license premises where tourists and residents can consume recreational marijuana. This is especially important because many people who live in rented premises cannot consume recreational cannabis at home because the landlords don’t permit its consumption on the premises.
HB 1230 seeks to create two kinds of licenses that businesses can apply for in order have cannabis users consume their stuff in the premises.
The first kind of license will enable consumption lounges and other public places to have a limited amount of cannabis that people can buy and consume while in the premises.
The second type of license wouldn’t allow on-site cannabis sales, but people can come in with their own cannabis and consume it from those premises.
However, any business that is licensed to sell or facilitate the consumption of alcohol wouldn’t be eligible for any of the cannabis social consumption licenses. Under the proposed law, local authorities would also have the right to decide whether to permit or ban cannabis consumption lounges and other such facilities within their jurisdictions.
Now that the bill has passed the first hurdle in the Business Affairs and Labor Committee of the House, it now heads to the House Finance Committee. The Green Organic Dutchman (TSX: TGOD) (OTCQX: TGODF) and Therma Bright, Inc. (TSX.V: THRM) (OTC: THRBF) hope that this bill is enacted into law so that the dilemma of where people can consume legal weed in Colorado can be solved sooner rather than later.
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