Learning the law
A handful of bills designed to implement Amendment 64 have begun working their way through the Colorado Legislature, but the one likely to draw the most attention is the 57-page House Bill 1317, which contains the majority of two task forces' recommendations. And while it's sure to change on its path to passage, here's a look at some of the stuff in Denver Rep. Dan Pabon's bill as of press time.
First, we'll probably have to get used to the phrase "retail marijuana establishment." That's what a recreational dispensary is called for licensing purposes, joining "marijuana-cultivation facilities," "retail-marijuana-products manufacturers" and "retail-marijuana testing facilities."
As currently written, HB 1317 would enact a three-month moratorium ensuring that only those currently licensed in medical marijuana, or with a pending application, will get first crack at the licenses. They would also only pay a $500 application fee, as opposed to $5,000 for those entering the marijuana industry for the first time.
MMJ centers would get the option to either convert to recreational retail or to provide both, as long as there's physical separation between the two entities and the local jurisdiction allows it. (Colorado Springs City Council is scheduled to consider retail-marijuana regulations at its May 13 meeting.) In a departure from current MMJ law, centers and infused-products manufacturers would also have the option to either grow their own pot, or buy it from an independent operation.
Out-of-state tourists would be limited to purchasing a quarter-ounce at a time, or its equivalent in edibles, and everyone must be at least 21 to buy. And, of course, "Nothing in this article is intended to require an employer to permit or accommodate the use ... of marijuana in the workplace ..."
On Monday night, the Senate Judiciary Committee killed House Bill 1114, the effort to codify how much THC can legally be in a driver's blood. The effort had already passed the House but, for the fourth time, ran into senators doubtful of both the science and the need.
"What is the problem we're trying to solve?" the Associated Press quoted Sen. Jessie Ulibarri, D-Commerce City, as asking.
• Speak Easy Vape Lounge (2508 E. Bijou St., speakeasylounge.info) will host "Colorado's first Cannabis Prom" at 7 p.m., May 4. The black-tie event will feature food, live music and more; tickets are $10.
• Last Wednesday, Gil Kerlikowske, the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, told an audience at the National Press Club that "the most responsible public policy is one that restricts [marijuana's] availability and discourages its use."