The Colorado General Assembly began its four-month term Jan. 4, with cannabis playing a big part of the issues legislators will be facing.
Not surprisingly, with a Democratically controlled houses and a governor who has been a champion for sensible cannabis legislation all the way back to the beginning, two bills were introduced almost immediately. 0ne would allow autism to be added to the list of conditions physicians would be allowed to recommend.. Last year, a similar bill passed both houses handily, but it faced opposition from psychiatrists and state Health Department. Another will add acute pain and opioid addiction to the list.
Expect public consumption to be a major topic. There are already plans to submit one similar to the one that Hickenlooper rejected last year. There are plans to introduce a way for independent venues and music halls to allow sales and consumption.
Another would allow two licenses, one for businesses that didn’t want to sell cannabis products, like hotels, coffee shops, yoga studios and wellness centers. The second would be for businesses that did want to included sales and would allow the alcohol industry to participate. Licenses could be temporary or permanent, would allow for mobile bus tourists. And local jurisdictions would have control.
Expect a big battle again over delivery. Last year’s bill would have created a two-year pilot program for marijuana delivery in willing cities for recreational and medical cannabis. Republicans killed the bill on a party-line Senate committee vote after criticism from law enforcement.
The state’s regulatory programs for medical and retail marijuana are scheduled to “sunset,” or expire, in September 2019, which means legislators and government staff are working to revise and renew the rules.
Leland Rucker, senior editor at Sensi Magazine, joins us on Thursday mornings at 8.20am to talk about the latest news in cannabis.