House Bill 1258 that would have allowed adults visiting recreational cannabis retailers to consume small amounts of weed through edibles or by vaping, would have been the first in the nation. But the governor vetoed it last week, citing health and safety concerns.
“We are concerned that marijuana use at consumption establishments could result in additional impaired or intoxicated drivers on our roadways,” Democratic Governor Hickenlooper wrote in a letter announcing the veto.
“… This bill also poses public health risks. Allowing vaporization of marijuana in confined spaces poses a significant health risk for employees and patrons of consumption establishments,” reported the Denver Post.
Although Colorado prohibits marijuana consumption in public spaces, there are several unlicensed cannabis clubs, which Denver has started licensing after voters approved an initiative for marijuana social-use establishments.
But the concept of House Bill 1258 was quite different from these pot clubs in that it was limited to current recreational cannabis retailers and did not allow customers to share or bring their own pot into the consumption area.
The American Lung Association and American Cancer Society lauded the governor’s veto. The weed industry blasted it.
“What we were trying to do with House Bill 1258 was offer certainty on the issue of public cannabis consumption so that regulators could have a bright line when it comes to enforcement,” said Chris Woods, owner of the recreational marijuana chain Terrapin Care Station, said in a statement.
“In its wisdom, the Colorado Legislature sought to close a significant gap in regulation,” said Woods. “It’s unfortunate that the governor chose not to offer another regulatory tool to state and local regulators. This fight is not over.”