Amended Colorado On-Site Consumption Bill Clears Legislature

By Benjie Cooper

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Since the recent resurgence of legal marijuana began in the United States, the topic of on-site consumption at the place of purchase was one that was going to be unavoidable. Enjoying a cocktail or a beer at a bar is a regular activity around the country, so people will naturally want the same type of establishment to exist for cannabis.

Some places, like California, included the option of cannabis lounges in their adult-use cannabis legislation, but the concept isn’t one that’s embraced by all legal states at the moment.

Governor John Hickenlooper

In places like Las Vegas, the issue puts marijuana tourists in a tricky spot as most hotels do not allow marijuana smoking in their rooms, and there are currently no licensed lounges for them to visit. Since public consumption isn’t legal, visitors who purchase recreational cannabis must be discrete.

When voters passed Amendment 64 in 2012, Colorado became the first state in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana. Governor John Hickenlooper would later sign and pass HB1258 which established the regulations that make up the framework of the state’s current cannabis market.

Colorado doesn’t currently authorize on-site consumption of marijuana on a state level, but lawmakers just passed an amended version of HB1258 which would permit dispensaries statewide to allow customers to consume limited amounts of cannabis without leaving the place of purchase.

Passed with a 57 to 8 vote in the Colorado state House, the amended version of the bill allows dispensaries, medicinal or not, to apply for annual licenses to sell cannabis flowers, concentrates, and edibles intended for on-site consumption.

“We don’t need people using marijuana in our parks or on our sidewalks,” Representative Jonathan Singer [D] told the Washington Times. “This bill will help make sure people aren’t consuming more than they should and are doing it in an environment no different than what you would see at a winery or brewery.”

Governor Hickenlooper received the measure Thursday and is currently reviewing it.