Cannabis social consumption bill passes first hurdle in Colorado

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A Colorado House committee advanced a bill that would allow social cannabis consumption venues in the state.

The measure, passed 7-4 by the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee, would allow licensed “marijuana hospitality establishments” for limited sales of cannabis products for on-site consumption.

Those licensed spaces, contingent on authorization from the local jurisdiction, could include dispensary tasting rooms, cannabis cafes, designated areas in hotels, marijuana tour buses and other venues.

The measure could help clear up some of the legal confusion surrounding cannabis tours in Denver.

One of the most contentious parts of the bill is that it would allow licensed hospitality areas an exemption from Colorado’s Clean Air Act.

The city of Denver allows social consumption venues, but businesses argue that the rules to obtain licenses and to succeed are too restrictive.

Colorado lawmakers passed a narrow dispensary tasting room bill last year, but it was vetoed by then-Governor John Hickenlooper.

New Gov. Jared Polis is considered more receptive to marijuana bills.