As the state of Colorado debates the legality of cannabis clubs, the city of Portland, Oregon has joined the cannabis industry in lobbying for a bill that would allow cannabis lounges. According to the Portland Business Journal, Senate Bill 307 would allow people to consume cannabis at licensed lounges “akin to tobacco smoking patios.”
The city believes that such a bill would be great for tourism, specifically, “craft cannabis tourism”, which sounds like one of the greatest things ever. Portland mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Chloe Eudaly who oversees cannabis regulation in the city submitted a joint statement to the Joint Committee on Marijuana Regulation, “The same way as Oregon and our city celebrate our craft beer and wine industry, Portland welcomes and wants to provide opportunities for our emerging craft cannabis industry.”
The bill originally allowed for the establishment of cannabis clubs, but was quickly changed to outdoor cannabis lounges instead when the original bill was met with a great deal of resistance. The city hopes that cannabis lounges will keep people from smoking in public, like on sidewalks or public parks. The city doesn’t seem to be concerned that passing such a law might warrant the state unwanted attention from Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department, which has promised to crackdown on recreational cannabis. Good on them for refusing to be intimidated.
Of course, not everyone is on board. Opponents of SB 307 say that the bill will possibly expose workers to “dangerous secondhand smoke” (One of the provisions of the bill states that cannabis lounges must have one open wall, so it’s not like people are going to be hotboxing the place.) and that allowing cannabis lounges will “set a bad example for the children.” Isn’t it worse for children if people are lighting up in parks? One would think so. Otherwise, SB 307 has a lot of support and we hope that it passes.
Source: Portland Business Journal
Image Source: Rose City Transplants
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