At risk of raising the ire of the White House, Colorado is on the brink of becoming the first state with licensed pot clubs. But the details of how these clubs will operate are as hazy as the underground clubs operating already.
Denver officials are working on regulations to open a one-year pilot of bring-your-own marijuana clubs, while state lawmakers are expected to consider measures to allow either marijuana “tasting rooms” run by marijuana dispensaries, or smoke-friendly clubs akin to cigar bars.
Alaska regulators, spooked by how the Trump administration might view marijuana, recently decided not to move forward with rules for use of marijuana at authorized stores, though the issue there isn’t dead.
California and Maine voters expressly signed off on public marijuana consumption but haven’t settled on rules. Oregon lawmakers are considering legislation to allow marijuana use at special events like concerts, and in cannabis lounges. But Colorado may be first out of the gate with statewide pot-club regulations, possibly by this summer.
Colorado officials from both parties have come around to the idea of Amsterdam-style pot clubs for a simple reason: Everyone is tired of seeing pot smokers on public sidewalks.
“It’s a problem we’ve got to address,” said state Sen. Chris Holbert, a suburban Denver Republican who opposed marijuana legalization but doesn’t like seeing its use on the sidewalk, either.
Pointing jokingly to his suit and tie, the gray-haired Holbert said he’s even had panhandlers ask him for marijuana near the state Capitol.
“I mean, look at me. If I’m getting hassled, everyone’s getting hassled,” Holbert told reporters.
Democrats here agree tourists need an out-of-sight place to use marijuana.
“No voter in Colorado voted to allow the use of marijuana on their sidewalk, in their parks, in their public view,” said Democratic state Rep. Dan Pabon of Denver. “But that’s essentially what we’ve done by