Marijuana bills, including tasting rooms, advancing at state Capitol

DENVER -- Colorado is no stranger to making news with marijuana.

Quietly this session at the General Assembly, lawmakers have been advancing legislation that could expand marijuana use.

Tasting rooms

A measure advanced this week at the state Capitol allowing marijuana to be tasted on-site near dispensaries. Currently, all marijuana must be consumed at home.

Advocates argue beer enthusiasts can taste beer at breweries, why can't marijuana consumers sample a cannabis product before purchasing it?

"It's very important to be able to taste," Anne Ho, a marijuana consumer, said. "The most important thing is flavor obviously and a lot of people are missing out on that because there are no safe places in Denver."

Safety advocates worry about social use.

"Hopefully we will be able to influence the governor to not sign the bill,"  Henny Lasley with Smart Colorado said.

Lasley is concerned about impaired driving associated with the bill.

"We are very concerned to see the statistics with drug- driving that has occurred on Colorado highways there were 77 fatalities that were classified as THC impairment in 2016," Lasley said

Pot delivery

Measures to promote a pot delivery pilot program also advanced this week at the General Assembly. FOX31 profiled the issue earlier this year.

Supporters argue this will help sick Coloradans who require THC treatement while Smart Colorado is concerned this could allow more youths to acquire marijuana since medical marijuana cards can be issued at age 18.

Social clubs and cannabis oil

Legislation also advanced this week that could lead to cannabis infused oil being sold at pharmacies as well as more social club use in municipalities around the state.

As for why the sudden uptick interest in marijuana bills?

Rep. Jonathan Singer attributes it to Republicans joining him supporting these causes.

"We learn a little bit every year. You're starting to see the sea change now between democrats and republicans," Singer said.