While a final form of draft legislation is not yet available, staff believes the latest draft presents enough detail to make a recommendation. The bill would apply to both medical marijuana and retail marijuana establishments. In local jurisdictions that have medical and/or retail marijuana and that opt-in to the statute by either adopting and ordinance or that have a successful initiative or referendum, “medical marijuana accessory establishments” and/or “marijuana accessory establishments” would be permitted. While the optional nature of the establishments is preferable, CML has flagged a number of issues of concern on operational aspects of the bill, including:
- The inclusion of medical marijuana, which is intended to be medicine and not a social use. Staff believes this is in conflict with the intent of creating a location for social consumption.
- The accessory premise is not allowed to be attached to the store or center and may be located anywhere within the jurisdiction.
- The draft inappropriately mimics the beer manufacturers tasting room model, which are state-only licenses, whereas the existing marijuana code recognizes dual authority.
- Even though consumption on the accessory premises is restricted to non-smoking consumption, it appears in the draft that any product can be sold at the location.
- Licensed retail stores only operate an accessory premises only without being connected to an actual retail store.
- A store approved for an accessory establishment can sell marijuana to any other accessory establishment
- The language for local opt-in by ordinance or initiated/referred measure complicated and should be streamlined to comport with similar language in the existing marijuana code.
- The requirement that any unconsumed product purchased must consumed on premise or destroyed may actually incentivize overconsumption.
Even though the intent of the legislation is to create an option, CML is currently opposed to the current draft unless amended, given the number of issues that still need to be resolved.