Cannabis clubs, where people could go to use marijuana, may soon be expressly legal in Colorado. Or they may not be; it all depends on what comes out of a committee of state House and Senate members.
It’s a conference committee, not a joint committee. (We mourn the lost opportunity for a good pun.)
Anyway, Tuesday's party differences are more complicated than “War on drugs: yes or no?” Both Colorado's House and Senate, despite differences in party control, have passed bills to legalize pot clubs.
- The Republican-controlled Senate’s bill lets cities allow members-only pot clubs.
- The Democrat-controlled House’s bill lets cities allow pot-consumption locations, which could allow events and other things outside of a club to exist and be open to the general public. Perhaps these not-club places could even be called a joint, and thus we recover the pun, and this is when we show ourselves out...
The Senate would have everyone in the club, workers and members, be at least 21.
The House says cities would have to include age restrictions, but would otherwise leave most of the ground rules up to local governments.
The Senate version has a long list of provisions, including:
- Workers must be Colorado residents
- People using pot can’t be seen from the sidewalk
- It can’t be a restaurant
- No alcohol sales allowed
- No pot sales either, you have to bring your own
One proposed compromise would keep the House’s version, add in the Senate’s bit about being unable to see pot use from the sidewalk, and consider that good enough.
We’ll find out what they want to do Wednesday.
The conference committee is permitted to change the bill however it wants. Theoretically, it could start from scratch and draft a whole new deal on pot clubs that will need a new round of votes.