The Coffee Joint just became the first legal business where people can consume pot, and a new Colorado bill could take social consumption even further with tasting rooms inside dispensaries.
“I think it’s an awesome thing,” said the Coffee Joint manager Meredith Wharton. “Why not be able to taste the product you’re about to buy?”
House Bill 1258 wouldn’t allow people to smoke the samples, and it puts limits on the amount a customer would be allowed to taste. The bill passed through the finance committee, but is still a long way from becoming a law.
Some people opposed to tasting rooms are worried about drugged driving.
Members of the Colorado Department of Transportation met with the public Wednesday night as part of a new safety campaign to cut down on marijuana-impaired driving.
“There is a much bigger stigma against driving drunk than there is against driving high, why is that?” asked Sam Cole, the traffic safety communications manager for CDOT. “And it may have something to do with how driving high has become more normalized in our society and more accepted.”
While Cole couldn’t comment specifically on the dispensary tasting room legislation, he worries those who drive high are not getting the right message.
“Over 50 percent of marijuana users tell CDOT that they’ve driven high in the last 30 days,” said Cole. “That’s really scary. And a lot of them actually believe that they are safer drivers when they are high.”
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