Colorado lawmakers wash hands of regulating pot clubs

The bill would have set up the nation’s first statewide regulations for pot clubs

Colorado lawmakers on Thursday backed off plans to become the first U.S. state to regulate marijuana clubs, saying approval of Amsterdam-style pot clubs could invite a federal crackdown.

It was perhaps the starkest display yet of legal pot states’ uncertainty on how to regulate the drug under President Donald Trump. Alaska marijuana regulators recently delayed planned rules for on-site pot consumption at dispensaries.

Colorado’s measure, which would have allowed users to bring their own pot to clubs, initially had substantial bipartisan support. But lawmakers ultimately sided with Gov. John Hickenlooper, who has warned that bold changes may anger federal drug enforcers.

Watch video of full debate in the Colorado House at end of story

“Given the uncertainty in Washington, this is not the time to be… trying to carve off new turf and expand markets and make dramatic statements about marijuana,” Hickenlooper told The Denver Post last month.

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Colorado and Alaska have cited federal uncertainty about whether clubs would anger federal drug enforcers. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has criticized the 28 states and Washington, D.C., that do not enforce federal law banning marijuana.

Read More: The Cannabist