Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper will soon be looking at a bill that would allow the licensing of cannabis 'tasting rooms' in Colorado. The bill would allow existing recreational cannabis retailers to offer customers the ability to use consume cannabis inside their businesses.
If passed this would be the first example of this kind of social cannabis use legislated in the US. Peter Marcus, spokesman for the Colorado dispensary chain Terrapin Care Station, said the new bill is part of the slow-and-steady approach top sanctioning social use in Colorado.
“It’s a way to wrap our brains around what the regulatory structure would look like for public consumption,” he told The Denver Post.
Tourists are a big piece of the push behind this legislation, said Rep. Jovan Melton (D-Aurora). He sees the bill as a way to provide tourists with an appropriate place to smoke so that they aren't using cannabis in public spaces.
“This is a way so tourists aren’t consuming on the sidewalks, which was something that was never intended by Amendment 64 (of Colorado’s constitution),” he said.
But, as always, not everyone is on-board with the proposed changes. In particular groups such as the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACSCAN) are concerned that the legislation could enhance the risk of developing lung cancer and other respiratory related aliments.
“The person there is inhaling this second-hand emission,” said R.J. Ours - the COlorado Government Relations Director for ACSCAN. “It isn’t vapor. It’s chemical aerosol."