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A bill that would allow marijuana deliveries in Colorado is heading to the governor's desk following a final vote in the Senate on May 1, 2019. Separate legislation providing for cannabis "tasting rooms” could soon follow.

If signed into law, the two bills would represent some of the most significant expansions of the state's legal cannabis program since voters approved legalization in 2012. The Senate approval of the House-passed legislation came just days before the end of the 2019 legislative session.

The cannabis home delivery bill passed the Senate in a 20-14 vote. Starting in January 2020, licensed medical cannabis shops could deliver marijuana to registered patients. Deliveries for recreational cannabis would be allowed starting in January 2021.

Deliveries would be limited to one time per day per customer and could be transported only to private residences. The legislation would impose a $1 per delivery tax that would go toward cities or counties where the delivery company is based, and that revenue would go toward local law enforcement.

The Senate approved the tasting room bill in a 23-12 vote. It authorizes “hospitality spaces in which marijuana may be consumed on site” and allows cannabis retailers to obtain a license for products to be sold and then consumed in a designated hospitality space.

It would also amend the Colorado Clean Air Act to make smoking marijuana in these spaces an exception under the law.

If signed into law, the two bills would represent some of the most significant expansions of the state's legal cannabis program since voters approved legalization in 2012.

But there's one step left before it heads to the governor: After passing the Senate on third reading, it must go back to the House for a final vote approving the Senate's changes. That final action is expected within days.

When legislation to allow social consumption sites arrived in 2018 on the desk of former Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper — now a 2020 presidential candidate — he vetoed it, arguing that it violated a constitutional statute prohibiting cannabis from being consumed “openly” or “publicly.”

Hickenlooper's successor, Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, who pursued broad marijuana reforms as a House representative, is much friendlier to the cannabis industry, though, and advocates expect him to give the legislation his signature. He criticized his predecessor's vetoes on several cannabis bills in an earlier interview with Marijuana Moment, and he pledged to back those proposals if he was elected.

Lawmakers also gave final approval May 1, 2019, to legislation allowing the use of medical cannabis for any condition for which a physician can prescribe opioids.


This article has been republished from Marijuana Moment under a content syndication agreement. Read the original article here.

Featured Image: The Colorado Capitol in Denver. Photo by Hustvedt on Wiki Commons

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