Colorado’s second-largest dispensary chain objects to social cannabis-use bill

HB 1230 still managed to pass through the Senate Finance Committee with a vote of 4-3

AP

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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A six-year effort to introduce regulations on social cannabis consumption businesses in Colorado has been greatly supported by the industry at large. However, the measure is now being resisted by one of the largest cannabis dispensary chains in the state. 

The company opposing the measure is called The Green Solution. It is the second-biggest dispensary chain in Colorado and it publicly declared opposition of House Bill 1230 amidst the bill’s initial state Senate hearing at a finance committee that took place on Thursday, April 25.

Boasting numerous pot-infused product lines, of which the company sells inside 17 of its dispensaries spread across 10 Colorado cities, The Green Solution has a well-established presence in Colorado, putting it in a prime position to oppose such a bill.

https://www.google.com/search?q=the+green+solution+colorado&safe=strict&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjgybz4ov_hAhWLXRUIHQ86AngQ_AUIECgD&biw=1280&bih=689#imgrc=YLomZ9t7FHGI1M:

(Pictured) The Green Solution advertising products inside a store

Despite the fact that The Green Solution is not on-board with the bill, HB 1230 still managed to pass through the Senate Finance Committee with a vote of 4-3 with cannabis activists hopeful that it will become the law.

“In the roughly 200 bills I’ve worked on, this may be the most thorough stakeholder process I’ve ever seen,” said lobbyist and Southern Colorado Cannabis Council director Jason Warf at the hearing. “Any opposition that’s coming out of the woodwork has had many years to do so.”

This extensive chunk of legislation targets outdated laws in the cannabis industry, inclusive of an amendment that targets social cannabis consumption. It would ultimately put the local government in charge of regulating social consumption statewide. This means that the state government would be eliminated from the approval process.

“The bill clarifies this issue sufficiently so as to allow communities to pass ordinances and resolutions that authorize consumption in a manner that is sufficiently restricted,” Calvo explained to committee members. “The second thing we’ve learned through our conversations [with local leaders] is that each community is unique, and its governing bodies are most effective when they respond to the unique needs and concerns of their residents.”

Social consumption businesspeople see HB 1230 as a safeguard in the event that their measure does not pass. Social-use business owners would rather the MED be in charge of Colorado’s licensing system for cannabis companies and dispensaries permitting consumption; comparable to the way Colorado’s Liquor Enforcement Division oversees bar and alcohol sales.

“No one would propose that we prohibit the existence of bars. Oh, that’s right — we did that back about 100 years ago,” said Senator Pete Lee, prior to the vote. “For a lot of people, there’s nowhere else to go, so this provides a space where it can be done safely and effectively. … I say we’re treating it just like alcohol.”

The bill now progresses to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Soon after HB 1230 passed, another bill proposing medical and retail cannabis delivery also flew through the Senate Finance Committee with a vote of 4-3. It will now be considered by the Appropriations Committee, before reaching the Senate floor.