Colorado Governor Hickenlooper Vetoes Tasting Room Bill
On June 4th Colorado’s Governor John Hickenlooper vetoed a groundbreaking bill that would have allowed licensed “tasting rooms” in the state, citing health and safety concerns.
“We are concerned that marijuana use at consumption establishments could result in additional impaired or intoxicated drivers on our roadways,” Hickenlooper wrote in a statement on the veto. “… This bill also poses public health risks. Allowing vaporization of marijuana in confined spaces poses a significant health risk for employees and patrons of consumption establishments.”
Colorado state laws do not allow for public consumption, but a number of unlicensed cannabis clubs have opened and have been in operation in the past couple of years. The clubs currently allow for sharing and for customers to bring their own cannabis. This law, House Bill 1258, would not have allowed sharing or outside cannabis in a licensed facility if it had become law.
Hickenlooper was caught on video making statements about the veto by Kieran Nicholson which was posted on Twitter (see below).
Gov. John Hickenlooper comments on his veto of #marijuana tasting room bill. #colorado pic.twitter.com/j0dAtob8zd
— kieran nicholson (@kierannicholson) June 5, 2018
Denver actually started issuing licenses for cannabis clubs to hopefully gain regulatory control over the businesses. Their rules would allow vaping and edibles to be served by coffee shops and other businesses.
“What we were trying to do with House Bill 1258 was offer certainty on the issue of public cannabis consumption so that regulators could have a bright line when it comes to enforcement,” Chris Woods of Terrapin Care Station said in a statement. “In its wisdom, the Colorado Legislature sought to close a significant gap in regulation. It’s unfortunate that the governor chose not to offer another regulatory tool to state and local regulators. This fight is not over.”
The bill was strongly opposed by the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.