CO agencies balk at Denver social marijuana consumption task force findings

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Five Colorado state agencies have come out against a Denver task force’s recommendations that would ease restrictions on businesses applying for cannabis social consumption licenses.

Applicants for marijuana social use licenses across the United States have been paying careful attention to what’s going on in the Mile High City since voters approved public cannabis consumption in 2016.

In a letter to the task force, the state agencies questioned the recommendations, Denver alt-weekly Westword reported.

According to the task force’s conclusions, the city’s regulations for social consumption licenses are “overly burdensome” and “not experienced by other types of businesses.”

In its report, the task forced suggested:

  • The city’s department of Excises and Licenses should remove additional zoning requirements that severely limit where social consumption clubs can operate.
  • The state should define “open and public” as it relates to state statutes and businesses that allow marijuana consumption on-site.
  • Colorado should reconsider a rule prohibiting marijuana use in a business with a liquor license.
  • The state should allow exemptions from the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act (CCIAA) for social consumption clubs.

According to the Denver Business Journal, which obtained a copy of the state’s letter, the agencies rejected the committee’s recommendations to allow marijuana consumption in businesses with liquor licenses, citing public safety concerns.

Representatives from the agencies also pushed back on defining “open and public,” saying that would require new legislation or developments in case law, the Journal reported.

And, with regard to the exemptions from the CCIAA for social consumption businesses, the agencies said more research is necessary on the health risks of marijuana and advised the task force to “proceed cautiously in enacting future policy recommendations.”