Colorado legislators decided Wednesday not to advance a bill that aimed to protect employees from being fired for using marijuana in their personal time.
The 10 members of the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee voted unanimously against the bill, HB 20-1089, after nearly three hours of testimony from people on each side.
Though the bill would have done nothing to prohibit employers from administering drug tests, many committee members cited the lack of an adequate test to determine whether an employee is intoxicated in the moment — much like a breathalyzer does for alcohol — as a reason to table it. Others thought the proposed change to the law was too broad.
As year two of legal cannabis sales in California comes to a close, shoppers are still more likely to buy marijuana from illicit sellers than from state-sanctioned stores that pay taxes and test their products for safety.
California’s 7,000 licensed cannabis businesses — and the state’s tax revenue — are feeling the pinch.
Prominent cannabis companies that a year ago were growing aggressively have, in recent months, laid off hundreds of workers. They say hefty taxes, onerous regulations and competition from a thriving illicit market are forcing them to scale back operations.
It wasn’t so long ago that marijuana was illegal in Massachusetts. But even though cannabis sales and use have the green light in the Bay State, illicit deals haven’t disappeared — they’ve just been refined.
In Massachusetts, marijuana retailers are prohibited from knowingly selling more than one ounce of pot or its dry-weight equivalence to a customer within a single day. Illicit dealers get around that by visiting a licensed cannabis store several times in one day, buying the maximum allowed on each visit, aka “looping.” They also visit several shops to make buys on the same day, known as “smurfing.”
Armed with fresh supplies, they either sell across state lines, or to local customers.