Colorado’s legislature has passed a social-use measure that would allow individuals to consume small amounts of cannabis – either by edibles or vaping – on site, the Denver Post reports. If signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper, Colorado would become the first state to allow social cannabis use.
The bill limits consumption to current recreational cannabis retailers and does not allow sharing or outside cannabis to be used on-location. Rep. Jovan Melton said the legislation would help address the issue of tourists and others consuming cannabis in public spaces. The bill prohibits food beyond single-serve edibles, smoking, alcohol, employee consumption, and free samples.
“I think this moves the ball forward in allowing the industry to do some sort of consumption … but does it in a way that I would say is pretty conservative. It’s actually pretty limited.” – Melton to the Post
The Marijuana Enforcement Division has opposed all previous social-use legislation. MED Director Jim Burack called this approach “incremental” and “responsible.” The American Cancer Society Action Network opposes the measure – because of the vaping provisions – and plan to submit a formal veto request to the governor.
Voters in Denver approved a social-use initiative in 2016. City officials approved the first social-use license in February. Some Colorado cities have created “private club” exemptions which allow for on-site use.
Officials in Alaska and Massachusetts are considering social-use proposals. Alaska officials have indicated they would consider the reforms next month, while Massachusetts regulators plan to consider rules in November but, so far, neither have codified plans. Maine lawmakers removed social-use language from the state’s adult-use implementation bill. California allows social-use with city approval. Nevada does not allow public use but the definition of “public spaces” does not include retail shops. Neither Oregon nor Washington allow on-site consumption.