Refresh Checked Unchecked Menu Search Shopping bag Geolocation Person Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube Info Icon CBC Icon CBC Shape CBD Icon CBD Shape CBG Icon CBG Shape THC Icon THC Shape THCV Icon THCV Shape
Advertise on Leafly

Colorado Cannabis Club Measure Clears Early Hurdle

March 2, 2017
Shot of a young man smoking a joint at an outdoor festival
DENVER (AP) — Colorado is moving ahead with a first-in-the-nation attempt to allow marijuana clubs.

But the measure that passed a Republican state Senate committee Wednesday evening doesn’t go as far as some marijuana activists hoped.

The bill would allow on-site marijuana consumption at private clubs in willing jurisdictions. And those clubs may allow indoor cannabis consumption, despite health concerns about indoor smoking.

“We're legal and we need a place for people to go. We need social clubs.”
Ashley Weber, Colorado NORML

But the bill is far from allowing a statewide network of cannabis clubs. For one, it would allow any jurisdiction to ban them, same as they can currently prohibit retail marijuana sales.

Also, the bill does not permit cannabis clubs to serve alcohol nor food.

Since the legalization measure passed in 2012, marijuana activists have complained that tourists and people who don’t want to use cannabis in front of their children need places to consume.

“We’re legal and we need a place for people to go. We need social clubs,” said Ashley Weber of Colorado NORML, a marijuana-legalization advocacy group.

Related

Where Can I Smoke Legally in a Legal State?

Smoking cannabis is banned on sidewalks, in parks as well as most Colorado hotels and car-rental companies.

Colorado law currently neither bans nor permits cannabis clubs. The result is a patchwork of local regulations regarding the clubs.

Supporters of the bill called it more of a first step toward establishing the nation’s first Amsterdam-like clubs. Though bars couldn’t allow cannabis consumption, yoga studios, art galleries, coffee shops or other public event spaces could apply for licenses.

“I don’t have time for perfect when we have an opportunity to move forward,” said Shawn Coleman, a lobbyist for a Boulder County marijuana company.

Related

I Spent 3 Hours on Loopr, Denver’s New Dab Bus. Here’s Who I Met.

The city of Denver is working on its own rules for bring-your-own cannabis clubs. Denver’s measure does not allow indoor smoking, though the drug could be smoked on outdoor patios in some cases.

The statewide measure now awaits a vote by the full Senate.

Even if Colorado’s cannabis club proposal clears the Senate and then the House, the bill still faces a dicey path to becoming law.

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper opposed Denver’s measure last fall, and he has told reporters more recently that he’s not sure if a statewide law would invite federal intervention in Colorado’s marijuana experiment.

The Associated Press's Bio Image

The Associated Press

The AP is one of the world's largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering.

View The Associated Press's articles

  • DBG

    Fact: San Francisco actually had the first “cannabis club” back when Dennis Peron opened his on Market Street in JUNE 1998 as he initiated his political run for Governor of CA. We were able to get small qty (1g to 1oz) of numerous flowers and concentrates over the counter without the need for any cards ; watch videos, listen to music, and even dance throughout the night. Needless to say, the word-of-mouth advertising spread quickly and soon the SFPD were asking questions and observing (from outdoors only), and word has it that there was concerted pressure ( i.e. threats ) for Mr. Peron to close his facilities which eventually happened some time later.
    I still have an original “Peron for Governor” window placard from my initial visit.

  • Justin Thyme

    This is a TERRIBLE move forward for cannabis clubs. The bill only allows for prepackaged food and basically make it possible for big canna to come in and take over the market the clubs that exist currently have worked very hard to build. We will continue to try and slaughter SB184 until they come up with a bill that doesn’t only favor big canna.