Hey, budtender

Colorado consumers may soon have the option to belly up to the marijuana bar. A bill introduced Monday in the State Legislature would legalize cannabis tasting rooms. House Bill 1258, aka the “Tasting Rooms” bill, would allow retail cannabis businesses to add onsite consumption beginning next January.

“We don’t need people using marijuana in our parks or on our sidewalks,” bill sponsor Rep. Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont, said. “This bill will help make sure people aren’t consuming more than they should and are doing it in an environment no different than what you would see at a winery or brewery.”

Under the bill, customers would be permitted to vape or sample single-serve infused products – no smoking would be allowed as per the Clean Indoor Air Act. The measure would set a purchase limit of either 3.5 grams flower, 1 gram concentrate or 10 milligrams of edible. Consumers would have to be at least 21, and employees would need to be up-to-speed on their pot “TIPs” training.

Existing retail and medical marijuana businesses would be allowed to operate one tasting room per licensed location. The tasting room could be adjacent to the business but would be required to have a separate entrance. The room could also be located elsewhere in the city, depending on local zoning. Consumers would be allowed to take their leftovers in child-resistant “pot-ty bags.”

Other sponsors of the bill include Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton; Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora; Sen. Steve Fenberg, D-Boulder; Sen. Vicki Marble, R-Fort Collins; and Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver.

Similar measures are also moving forward in California, Massachusetts and Nevada.

“This bill creates a uniform policy for licensed marijuana-consumption establishments, provides a critical step toward cannabis-free public spaces, and allows consumers safe and supervised consumption,” Chris Woods, owner of Boulder’s Terrapin Care Station, said.

The legislation also allows towns and cities to decide whether or not to allow cannabis tasting rooms. It would also be up to them to decide whether or not to allow food trucks on site, which would surely be a win-win move.