Time For Colorado To Move Into Next Stage of Legislation

  • Business ownership: House Bill 1090 would relax Colorado’s limited ownership and investment restrictions for licensed marijuana businesses by allowing publicly traded corporations and equity funds — including large investors based in Canada — to invest. The state currently allows up to 15 out-of-state owners and allows only private investment. The bill passed the House 54-11 on Friday and now heads to the Senate.
  • Social consumption: House Bill 1230 would allow both tasting rooms that sell marijuana and “legal marijuana hospitality establishments” where patrons 21 and older can bring their own marijuana, similar to what’s allowed by a fledgling voter-approved program in Denver. The bill won 7-4 approval by the House’s business affairs committee Wednesday and is awaiting a hearing in the Finance Committee.
  • Delivery services: House Bill 1234 would allow dispensaries and stores to deliver marijuana and cannabis products to customers at their homes and other places, starting with medical marijuana and expanding to recreational after the first year. Eventually, third-party services — similar to those that have taken root in California — could jump in. The bill is awaiting action by the House business affairs committee, with several amendments under consideration.

It’s likely that both the social consumption and delivery laws would require opt-in decisions from local governments or voters before those options would be available in a given city or county. That’s been the approach for recreational sales, too.

Separately, lawmakers this year are tasked with reviewing and renewing the overarching legal infrastructure that regulates the ins and outs of both the medical and recreational markets.

Lawmakers, state regulators and industry leaders hope to harmonize the voluminous rules that govern both sectors into a single marijuana code, which could ease the strain on licensees that often operate both types of businesses. The new regulations will ensure that testing, labeling and sales of marijuana continue for another nine years in Colorado.

Bills are now being drafted after a “sunset review” by state government last year recommended changes that include eliminating redundant testing, streamlining the licensing process and setting up new rules that would allow recreational marijuana shops to sell hemp-derived cannabidiol, or CBD, products for the first time.

Since the existing codes expire at year’s end, lawmakers face a deadline of May 3, the end of the session, to replace them.

Turning point for legal marijuana in Colorado: Big changes in the works as state plays catchup

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