Yesterday was Opening Day of the First Regular Session of the Seventieth General Assembly of Colorado.
The balance of power has shifted. Democrats still control the feisty House, under the leadership of two strong women: Rep. Crisanta Duran as House Majority Leader and Rep. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst as Speaker of the House. The more sedate Senate is now under Republican control with Sen. Bill Cadman in the position of President of the Senate.
Outgoing House Speaker, Mark Ferrandino, couldn’t resist poking one last jab at the Senate when the swearing in of House members was delayed while the Chief Justice, another woman, was detained in the Senate.
The first day of the session is always family day. Kids and spouses sit in the chambers with their respective legislators. But the party atmosphere comes to an end when the work starts and negotiations get underway.
So what do we in the cannabis community have to look forward to in 2015?
- The medical marijuana code is up for sunset review, so we know there will be a bill introduced making changes to the medical marijuana industry.
- Marijuana edibles are still a concern.
- Caregivers and doctors will see stricter regulations in SB014.
- Home production of Butane Hash Oil may be banned.
- A Felony DUI bill is already in the pipeline (HB1043).
- HB1036, a bill requiring medical marijuana centers to post signage warning pregnant women about the dangers of marijuana, has been introduced.
- HB1007 would allow certain local governments to enact a tax on retail marijuana. So would SB040. Yes folks, we have 2 competing bills here.
- Big surprise! SB006 would curtail asset forfeitures.
- Expect to see a bill addressing the use of medical marijuana on probation.
More bills are sure to follow. Stay tuned.