What a month! The Colorado Legislature resumed their 2021 legislative session on February 16th, which means we at Colorado NORML have been very busy. Our full attention has been directed at both proposed bills and the backlog of bills left over from the 2020 session. The Legislature resumes their session with approximately $1.5 billion in uncommitted funds. With COVID relief still a pressing issue and many other bills either formally introduced or in the works, lawmakers will have to be especially strategic about which bills they direct their energy behind.
There have been multiple cannabis-related bills introduced since the resumption of the legislative session, which can be viewed below:
SB21-056 - EXPAND CANNABIS-BASED MEDICINE AT SCHOOLS
HB21-1058 PROMOTING SOCIAL DISTANCING IN MARIJUANA INDUSTRY
You may have also seen our email about a bill that has not been introduced yet: a bill that would put a cap on THC potency. Please keep an eye out for action alerts from us on this vital issue. Another bill at the Capitol you will see an action letter to send out to the business committee in support of promoting social distancing in the marijuana industry. Blue Rising and SMART Colorado came in opposition to the bill; we will need your help in testimony and in numbers.
In addition to fighting the possibility of a proposed potency cap, there is plenty of other work to be done during this session. We will continue working on and paying attention to efforts to codify Governor Polis’ executive orders for telehealth and curbside pickup, as well as continue encouraging lawmakers to further expand the expungement of cannabis-related offenses.
This is where you come in. Our virtual Lobby Week will run from March 15th-19th over Zoom! We are currently in the midst of arranging meetings with Colorado lawmakers so that you - our members and their constituents - can share your thoughts, feedback, and concerns directly. Please watch your inbox for more information!
On behalf of all of us at Colorado NORML, thank you for reading, and we hope to see you at our second chapter meeting of 2021 on March 9th at 6 pm MST.
Executive Director, Colorado NORML
Chapter Meetings Update
We are excited to announce that we will be resuming our monthly chapter meetings for 2021! Due to COVID-19 the meetings will be held over Zoom on the 2nd Tuesday of each month! Meetings will run from 6 pm-7:30 pm MST. This month’s theme is Women's History Month: Cannabis Legislation, Women of Cannabis, and the Cannabis Community. We will be discussing recent 2021 legislative bills. There will even be a hemp cooking demo, so please join us! As an added bonus, if you join our meeting, provide your email and it will be entered into a drawing for some CO NORML gear!
Carla Boyd - Professional Cannabis Chef, Hemp Way Foods
We held our first virtual chapter meeting last month on Feb. 9th. We encountered minor difficulties, but overall it was a success; If you missed the meeting, you can view it below!
In the wake of 2020, and the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, Colorado’s cannabis industry is entering new territory. Our organization is working to advocate for both patients and recreational marijuana users, but now that the 2021 Legislative Session has resumed, we are going to need your help. The best way to help us further our mission during this unprecedented time is by becoming a member. Your membership - either as an individual or a business - helps keep our organization running. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of membership, click here.
If you would like to sign up to testify in person or write a letter about a bill that is being heard by the Legislature, please sign up and register using this link. Follow upcoming legislation via our website below
To watch videos of the stakeholder meetings that have taken place, please visit our YouTube channel here.
Lobby Week will take place from March 15th-19th. We will be sending out more information via email soon, but you can also access all of the information about Lobby Week here.
1144 15th St Suite 2700, Denver, CO 80202 | (720) 319-7337 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to Colorado NORML's first newsletter of 2021! We hope your year has been off to a safe and healthy start. January always provides time for reflection on the past year and planning for the new one. I am very excited to share some of Colorado NORML’s goals for 2021 with you. The first is to resume holding chapter meetings, albeit in a virtual format for our community’s safety. Our second goal is to collaborate with experts and other advocates in Colorado in order to create a platform for cannabis education that we can bring to the public. We hope that we can utilize this program to dispel misconceptions and misinformation about cannabis on both private and public levels. Our final goal is to continue building coalitions and working as a community in order to pass better regulatory language at the Capitol. As you will read in the Upcoming Legislation section of this newsletter, there are a couple of upcoming bills that our organization strongly opposes, and we hope you will join us in this opposition at our next Lobby Day, which will be the subject of February’s newsletter!
Finally, a quick note about this year’s legislative sessions: The Colorado Legislature gaveled in on January 13th in order to swear in new elected officials, before gaveling out after several days. The legislature will return to session on February 16th, which will mark the start of the 120-day lawmaking session. Because of this late start, the session will end about a month later than normal.
From all of us at Colorado NORML, thank you for reading, and we hope to see you at our first chapter meeting of 2021 on February 9th at 6 pm MST.
Executive Director, Colorado NORML
Chapter Meetings Update
We are excited to announce that we will be resuming our monthly chapter meetings for 2021! Due to COVID-19 the meetings will be held over Zoom on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, beginning on February 9th! Meetings will run from 6 pm-7:30 pm MST. This month’s theme is Black History Month: Social Equity within Cannabis Legislation and the Cannabis Community. We will also discuss some important 2021 legislative updates. There will even be a cannabis cooking demo, so please join us! As an added bonus, if you join our meeting, your email will be entered into a drawing for some CO NORML gear!
We will be holding a deeper discussion regarding social equity with John Bailey of the Black Cannabis Equity Initiative later in February. Please watch for an announcement of the day and time!
One of the best ways to support Colorado NORML’s mission is through one of our memberships. We offer them at many different price points, and all come with many benefits! If you are interested in joining us for 2021 or learning more, please click below.
The following bills all drafts. They currently have no official numbers or titles, as they cannot be formally introduced until February 16th.
□ THC Potency Cap □
Please be aware that there is a 23-page draft of a bill that would cap THC potency at 15%, align medical potency standards with recreational standards, and essentially destroy the cannabis industry here in Colorado. Representative Yadira Caraveo and Representative Kyle Mullica, House District 34, are sponsors of such language. See our breakdown of the bill here.
□Aligning Cannabis Delivery with Alcohol Delivery□
This bill has been drafted in order to stop the "Amazon model" of cannabis delivery. Since HB 19-1234 already states that both medical and recreational marijuana cannot be transported directly from a storage facility to the consumer, we question the intent of and oppose the bill. The bill would adversely impact social equity transporter startups and limit the market for delivery sales. Additionally, the bill does not take into consideration public health and safety during a pandemic, limiting delivery during this time of distress.
Curbside Pickup and Telehealth
Representative Matt Gray will be formally introducing a bill that will codify Governor Polis' curbside pickup and telehealth executive orders. The telehealth element is especially important, as it would allow those with limited access to transportation or doctors to get their medical marijuana card.
We are very excited that there is currently a bill being drafted related to expanding expungement. Organizations such as Vicente Sederberg law firm and great leaders like James Coleman are helping to draft the language.
Research and Education
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has requested more research into cannabis and whether or not high levels of THC potency have the potential to be harmful. We see this as an excellent opportunity for a research and education bill! We will be pushing for a four-year quantitative study that could be funded through Colorado's marijuana tax fund. This would allow for real, concrete research to be conducted that would result in clear-cut statistics that would not be altered.
A bill is being developed in order to reduce single-use plastics waste from cannabis containers. There are already Coloradoan dispensaries such as Terrapin who are setting an example by using biodegradable packaging for their cannabis products. We will be discussing this topic throughout the year, and are hoping to bring big change in 2022.
During the 2020 Legislative Session, Colorado NORML introduced bill HB20-1089, titled Employee Protection Lawful Off-duty Activities. This would have clarified that the prohibition on an employer terminating an employee for the employee's lawful off-duty activities extends to activities that are lawful under state law even if those activities are not lawful under federal law. The bill would have prohibited an employer from terminating an employee for the employee's lawful off-duty activities that are lawful under state law even if those activities are not lawful under federal law.
Unfortunately, HB20-1089 didn't make it out of first committee. Our goal is to hold stakeholder meetings this year and attempt to run a similar bill to this in 2022.
Other Recent News
Delivery for cannabis was passed in the legislature when Governor Polis signed HB 19-1234. This allowed for local municipalities to opt in to delivery for medical marijuana in the year 2020 and for recreational marijuana in the year 2021. So far we have seen Superior passed its very first ordinances in October of 2019, with no dispensaries in the town delivery has been at a standstill. Longmont was the first city to allow for medical delivery in October 2020, with dispensaries in the city limits willing to deliver to patients.
Aurora recently was the first city City to write an ordinance allowing for recreational delivery. Every local ordinance is going to be unique in its own way. Aurora seems to be spearheading the way for Social Equity transporters license. Aurora will only allow third party transporters who hold an SE License. Their ordinance also allows for delivery drivers to accept tips!
Denver is in the middle of discussion for implementing both recreational and medical delivery. Second draft should be out the first or second week of February. They too will be part of the social equity discussion and will be implementing social Equity transporters within their city limits as well. Northglenn is just coming on board for delivery discussion.
Colorado NORML is dedicated to reforming marijuana laws and protecting the marijuana consumer. Colorado NORML also supports NORML's mission of moving public opinion sufficiently to achieve the repeal of marijuana prohibition so that the responsible use of cannabis by adults is no longer subject to criminal sanction.
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Disclaimer: The materials found in this site are for general informational purposes only and are not for the purpose of providing legal or medical advice. Please consult your lawyer or doctor for legal or medical advice.