Governor Signs Legislation to Create Opportunities for Marijuana Businesses
26 Jun 2019
In recent weeks, Governor Jared Polis signed three bills into law aimed at creating new opportunities for investment and innovation in Colorado’s marijuana industry. In total, these laws will keep Colorado at the forefront of the growing marijuana industry. Commenting on the passage of this legislation, regulatory attorney Tom Downey: “Just like Governor Polis said, ‘we can’t rest on our laurels,’ we need to make sure that the marijuana industry in Colorado is regulated, but allowed to continue to help bolster Colorado’s economy.”
The first of the three, House Bill 1230, allows two types of social consumption businesses to obtain licenses beginning in 2020: tasting rooms that sell marijuana and marijuana products, and “marijuana hospitality establishments,” where individuals 21 years and older can bring their own marijuana to consume on the property. The “marijuana hospitality establishments” are likely to include mobile business models as well, including tour buses. Each city or county will have the opportunity to decide whether to opt in before such licensing is available locally.
Under House Bill 1234, dispensaries and stores will be allowed to deliver to homes and other places, beginning in 2020 for medical marijuana and a year later in 2021 for other marijuana products. App-based ordering may also be available in 2021. Delivery to college campuses and dormitories is off limits, and each city or county will have the opportunity to decide not only whether they will opt in, but also whether they will allow deliveries to their residents from dispensaries located elsewhere.
Finally, House Bill 1090 repealed the provision that prohibited publicly traded corporations from holding a marijuana license. Beginning in November, publicly traded corporations will be allowed to own licensed marijuana businesses in Colorado, and even non-U.S. citizens will be allowed to own equity in licensed businesses.
Tom Downey is a Director at Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, PC. With significant experience as both a government official and private attorney, Mr. Downey helps his clients navigate all aspects of regulatory law. The majority of his practice consists of advising and representing corporate clients in the administrative, transactional and disciplinary processes related to liquor licensing, legalized marijuana and licenses governed by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.