DENVER – A bill that would have created a pilot marijuana delivery program in Colorado died Wednesday in a Senate committee.
House Bill 1092 had already passed the Democrat-led House and was killed in a 3-2 vote in the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee.
The bill had bipartisan and bicameral lead sponsors. Reps. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora, and Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont were the prime sponsors in the House, while Sen. Tim Neville, R-Jefferson County, was the prime sponsor in the Senate.
Had it passed, the bill would have implemented a pilot delivery program for both medical and recreational marijuana in three different municipalities.
The pilot program would have run between Jan. 1, 2019 and Dec. 31, 2020, after which the state marijuana licensing authority was to have reported back to the General Assembly’s finance committees about the pilot’s results.
There was a host of rules attached to the proposed program aimed at tracking the marijuana and ensuring those delivering the product, and ordering it, were of age and had the proper licenses.
Melton had argued that delivery would allow the state to track marijuana from “seed to sale,” and that it would prevent the product from getting into the hands of underage people. He also argued that it would be beneficial for medical patients who are confined to their home.
The three members introduced a similar delivery measure last year, but it was amended to strip out the delivery language before a version dealing with single-instance transfers of marijuana and excise tax reviews was signed by the governor. Gov. John Hickenlooper had expressed concerns about passing a new delivery law in the face of questions regarding federal enforcement under the new administration.
One proponent of the measure killed Wednesday said it would have negative effects on patients who need a delivery system.
“This decision is just a huge blow to patients and veterans who are unable to access the cannabis they constitutionally have a right to,” said Matt Kahl, the executive director of Veterans for Natural Rights.
But other groups, including police organizations, were against the bill, saying that it created more danger for people delivering the product, among other reasons.
Deliveries are currently allowed in some other states, including Oregon, Nevada and California.