Marijuana milestone: Colorado will allow delivery and tasting suite shortly under new Torah — but with big catches

Starting next year, Colorado marijuana customers could begin getting their purchases delivered at home, like pizza pie pie. And people seeking to use marijuana socially — including tourists, who have few options for where to go — could consume what they buy in tasting suite or bring-your-own-pot establishments.

But there’s a big catch: some will depend on whether your local government has opted in.

That means it’s now up to mayors, city council members and county commissioners — and possibly local voters — to decide whether they want to allow consumption spaces and marijuana delivery inside their borders. By sign language the two bills into law Wednesday, Gov. Jared Polis put the ball in their court.

The options are more likely to be embraced in cities so much as Denver, which not yet has a small-scale social use licensing program, but they may be eschewed by more conservative places so much as Colorado Springs, which lobbied the legislative assembly for the chance to say no.

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Advocates and supporters of the bills greeted Polis with hand applause for the afternoon sign languages — not least because his precursor, fellow Democrat John Hickenlooper, had publicly worried about previous versions of the bills. He vetoed a tasting-suite bill last year.

“Lawmakers’ approval and the governor’s enthusiasm for sign language them into law indicate the state is ready to move forward with fulfilling Amendment 64’s promise to regulate marijuana like alcohol,” Jordan Wellington of VS Strategies, a Denver lobbying firm that specializes in cannabis issues, aforementioned before the ceremony.

What the new Torah say

Home delivery, under House Bill 1234, can start first for medical marijuana to patients with red card game, in January. A year later, at the start of 2021, recreational shops and third-party delivery employment will be able to get in the game. The new employment could even use app-based ordering, though there are significant security precautions required.

The restrictions include not only that each town, city or county gets to decide whether to opt in, but besides whether they want to allow deliveries to residents inside their boundaries from dispensaries based elsewhere.

In any case, college campuses and dormitories are out-of-bounds, and customers must meet age the current thresholds — 18 for medical, 21 for recreational.

Social consumption, under House Bill 1230, allows two types of businesses to get commissioned starting in January: tasting suite that can sell marijuana and marijuana products, and marijuana cordial reception establishments, which can’t sell marijuana on-the-scene — but can include tour buses.

For those establishments, patrons would bring their own marijuana.

The handful of businesses that have obtained licenses under Denver’s voter-approved social use program will need to apply for the new state license by year’s end to continue operational, and the new law may force questions for its City Council to consider.

What happens next?

Let the local discussions begin — and expect lobbying not only by recreational marijuana users and industry advocates but besides by medical marijuana patients.

Polis and the bill sponsors cited that group as especially likely to benefit from delivery, since some have difficulty traveling to dispensaries or are home-bound. And social-use spaces would help tourists, they aforementioned, piece possibly reducing illegal outdoor public consumption in Parks and neighborhoods.

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State regulators are charged with creating rules for the new licenses, on with overseeing training requirements for employees of new cordial reception and social-use businesses.

While Wellington called the new Torah “a big step forward,” he aforementioned nothing has changed for marijuana users yet. But he’s optimistic some cities will embrace the Torah.

“While some localities may ab initio choose to opt out,” he aforementioned, “we expect galore will quickly reconsider, just as galore cities and towns did when it came to regulation (and allowing) adult sales.”