An autumn landscape in Colorado's Rocky Mountains range.

Jasen Miller

Colorado Senate Passes Social-Use Measure

The Colorado Senate has passed the much anticipated state-wide social-use measure, allowing local jurisdictions to permit bring-your-own cannabis clubs as long as the establishment doesn’t serve alcohol or food beyond light snack, according to an Associated Press report.

However, the bill does not indicate whether the clubs could allow indoor smoking – and if it does Gov. John Hickenlooper has hinted he will veto the measure. Lawmakers say that the bill will help stem complaints of people using cannabis in public spaces, claiming that public parks and sidewalks have been inundated with cannabis consumption since the state legalized adult-use in 2012. Lawmakers are hopeful that the proposal will put an end to underground cannabis clubs that are operating without the consent of the community.

“We have a lot of problems throughout this state of people publicly using marijuana,” said Republican state Sen. Bob Gardner, the bill’s sponsor. “These marijuana membership clubs are so private that’s they’re more akin to being in your living room than to being in a restaurant.”

Hickenlooper, a Democrat, has voiced concerns that allow cannabis clubs would invite federal interference in the state’s legal market.

“I do think given the uncertainty in Washington that this is not the year to be out there carving off new turf and expand markets and make dramatic statements about marijuana,” he said in the report.

The bill next moves to the House where a no-smoking amendment could be added, making it more likely to be signed by the governor.

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