These are all of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Marijuana bills proposed in the 2018 session. Each bill has its own bill number, please use your browser search feature to find the bill you are interested in. Return to the Colorado home page to pick a different bill category.

None of the text is the opinion of Engage. Each bill's description, pros, and cons are our best effort at describing what each bill does, arguments for, and arguments against the bill. If you believe we are missing something, please contact us with your suggestion. Some of these bills have the notation that they have been sent to the chamber's "kill" committee. This means that the leadership has decided to send the bill to the State committee even though it does not belong there based on its subject matter. This committee, in both chambers, is stacked with members from "safe" districts and the idea is to kill the bill without forcing any less safe members to take a hard vote. It is possible for a bill to survive the kill committee, but it is very rare.

Each bill has been given a "magnitude" category: Major, Medium and Minor. This is a combination of the change the bill would create and the "controversy" level of the bill. Some minor bills that are extending current programs would be major changes if they were introducing something new, but the entire goal here is to allow you to better curate your time. Something uncontroversial likely to pass nearly unanimously that continues a past program may not be worth your time (and please remember, you can still read all of the minor bills!).

HB18-1011: Marijuana Business Allow Publicly Traded Owners

Makes it so that only those who own more than 5% of shares in a marijuana business need to go through disclosure and background investigations, as well as repeals provision requiring passive investors to go through an initial background check, provisions that limit out-of-state greater than 5% owners to 15, and provision that prohibits publicly traded entities from holding a marijuana license.

Pros

Marijuana is a real business now in Colorado and deserves to be treated like one. While it is still important to hold larger shareholders to higher standards, given that it is a mind-altering drug like alcohol, we don’t need to waste time and money on insignificant shareholders. It’s also not necessary to hold the out-of-state ownership restriction anymore. Legalization is on the march nationwide.

Cons

This is still a drug that is illegal in the United States. We need to know these details on anyone who owns part of a business, given the dangers both legally and personally. The current law has served the state well as it has handled the legalization transition, now is not the time to change it.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1011

HB18-1015: Repeal Ammunition Magazine Prohibition

(this bill is identical to SB18-052)

This bill repeals the ban on high-capacity magazines and the requirement that that some magazines manufactured in Colorado after July 1, 2013 be stamped as such.

*This bill has been assigned to the House’s “kill” committee, State Affairs*

Pros

The high-capacity magazine ban is an infringement on the 2nd Amendment rights of Colorado citizens. The framers did not carve exceptions into the 2nd Amendment and if a Colorado citizen wants to use high-capacity magazines they have the Constitutional right to do so. Furthermore, criminals do not follow laws, that is why they are criminals, so this ban won’t help prevent tragic incidents of mass shootings because someone who wants to commit a mass shooting isn’t going to make sure they obtain their weapons legally. There are numerous ways around this ban, so the only effect is to keep law-abiding citizens who already weren’t going to shoot anyone from using them. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people, so the solution to mass shootings is in people, not guns.

Cons

This ban was put into place after the Aurora theater shooting, where the shooter was able to fire 30 bullets without reloading. It of course is still on the books, which tells you all you need to know about its constitutionality. There is no need for any gun owner to fire so many bullets without pause, the only reason to do so is if you want to kill as many people as possible before you have to stop firing. Any loopholes in the enforcement of the law should be closed, not used as a justification for ditching it altogether. The fact that criminals will try to evade the law isn’t a reason to not have it. By that logic we shouldn’t have any laws at all, since criminals won’t try to stick to them.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1015

HB18-1037: Concealed Handguns on School Grounds

Removes the limitation on carrying concealed handguns (by people with valid permits to do so) on school grounds.

*This bill has been assigned to the House "kill" committee, state affairs*

Pros

The elimination of the ability to have concealed guns at schools means the only people with guns at schools are bad guys, which leads to the unfortunate shootings that have become all too common. A good guy with a gun on the scene could nip many of these situations in the bud. Someone has to have a valid permit in order to do this, so they have already been vetted by the state.

Cons

Introducing guns into schools is a recipe for disaster. Civilians are not trained to assess and react to active shooter situations and may be just as likely to shoot innocent bystanders as the gunman. In addition, this lack of training may result in a tragedy where a concealed carry individual believes someone has a gun when in fact they do not. This happens far too often with trained police officers already. Since Columbine, police training to react to these mass shooter incidents has improved greatly and they are more likely to resolve any active shooter situation in the best manner possible. In addition, while it is true that permit holders are vetted, we don’t allow them in the state capitol, where the legislators work, so let’s keep them out of schools.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1037

HB18-1062: Sales Tax on Retail Marijuana

Repeals the state sales tax exemption for retail marijuana sales that prevents special district and other limited purpose governmental agencies from collecting their taxes (think the RTD district or the scientific and cultural facilities district) and also lowers the marijuana sales tax from 15% to 12.1%.

KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE

Pros

This will not change the tax levels on marijuana. Last year’s massive 267 bill consolidated two marijuana taxes into one, it removed the state sales tax from marijuana and increased the special marijuana tax. In doing so, it made a mistake. It omitted the special districts from collecting their marijuana sales tax money (RTD has lost $2 million already, and isn’t getting this money back). This bill fixes this error and lowers the marijuana tax to compensate, which might otherwise require a vote from voters due to TABOR.

Cons

This fix ignores the legislative intent of 267, which the majority of the state legislature agreed to last year. The legislature intended the full sales tax burden on marijuana sales to be 15%, not 12.1%. The fix here in effect lowers the tax on marijuana sales, and there is no TABOR requirement for fixing a simple drafting error, which everyone agrees was the original problem. This takes money out of the marijuana tax fund, which is widely used across the government and will results in cuts somewhere.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1062

HB18-1074: Deadly Force Against Intruder at a Business

Expands the rights of citizens to use deadly force against intruders from just own homes to also include place of business. This right extends to anyone who works at the business.

*This bill has been assigned to the House “kill” committee, state affairs*

Pros

Citizens should be able to defend themselves and this is a natural extension of that right from our home to our work. If a citizen finds him or herself in the unfortunate situation of experiencing peril at their work, they should be able to defend themselves without facing criminal charges.

Cons

These so-called castle doctrine laws give citizens more rights than police to use deadly force and it is always almost impossible to disprove them, no matter the circumstances, because of the clause in the law that says fear of any harm, no matter how small, is grounds for killing another human being. In a business, it’s easy to see how this could go off the rails very quickly with much larger amounts of foot traffic from strangers.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1074

HB18-1092: Marijuana Delivery Pilot Project

Creates a pilot program for allowing marijuana delivery service. Allows a very limited number of municipalities and licenses to participate and tasks state licensing authority to create rules under a strict set of guidelines provided in terms of safety and legal requirements.

Pros

This is already happening, illegally, in the state. Oregon is already experimenting with a legal version. Colorado nearly passed a law flat allowing this last year. The pilot program approach allows the state to get it right on a smaller scale first. Alcohol is allowed to be delivered in the state, marijuana should be treated the same.

Cons

This remains a federal crime. The state should not be expanding into new frontiers until that situation is resolved. Crime around marijuana remains an issue. We don’t need to be sending it out into the streets, along with delivery agents who can only deal in large amounts of cash.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1092

HB18-1096: Special Event Permit Alcohol Beverages

Adds organizations incorporated for educational purposes to the list of those allowed to seek a special event permit to sell alcoholic beverages. Also removes requirement that municipalities can only seek permits if they own arts facilities.

PASSED HOUSE

Pros

These types of events are great fundraising opportunities and leaving out educational groups makes it more difficult for them to raise money. Municipalities without art facilities shouldn’t be punished for it in this way.

Cons

Educational groups shouldn't be pushing alcohol at their events. It sends the wrong message.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1096

HB18-1133: Marijuana Processor Registration

Creates registration for recycling marijuana waste into industrial products.

Pros

This helps the environment, by recycling these materials, as well as public safety by making them no longer usable as marijuana in any form. The registration process will make sure that all security questions are handled appropriately and that these facilities have accountability to maintain a license.

Cons

Marijuana remains a federally illegal drug. Participating in recycling that drug into something else opens up even more people to liability to federal crimes. The current state of federal indifference is not guaranteed to last and we do not need to be expanding into yet more federally illegal activities.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1133

SB18-021: Marijuana Closed-Loop Payment System Pilot Project

Creates a closed-loop payment system pilot program for the state’s marijuana industry. Pilot program must include both retail and medical marijuana retail locations and customers.

KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE

Pros

The state desperately needs a solution to the payment problem with legal marijuana. Because it is still an illegal federal drug, credit card companies and banks refuse to do any transactions involved with it. This means everything is done is cash, which makes retail locations dangerous targets for thieves. This is a first step at creating a closed loop system that will give people an alternative to cash and aid both the retailers and the state in sales accounting.

Cons

The state should not be setting up payment systems for a drug that is illegal in the United States. Until the federal government makes the drug legal, anything the state constructs puts it and its citizens at risk of punishment from the federal government.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-021

SB18-029: Development of Marijuana Tracking Technology

Requires institute of cannabis research at CSU-Pueblo to develop marijuana tracking technology that can be affixed to plants and products and scanned by a device. This would allow the state to guarantee that the marijuana was sourced from a legal business.

KILLED IN SENATE COMMITTEE

Pros

The black and grey marijuana markets remain a problem in Colorado. This technology would allow the state to better crack down on illegal growing. As marijuana legalization continues to spread around the country the state may even be able to benefit from this technology being used in other states.

Cons

Any technology of this type is bound to be an expensive endeavor (all of the tags and scanners required) that will also drain lots of time from law enforcement agencies (all the scanning). How much it will crack down on the black and grey markets is unclear. Registered retail locations are likely already mostly complying with the law, so this may not help much there. It also limits the tracking technology to something that can be scanned, which may crowd out other solutions.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-029

SB18-051: Prohibit Multi-Burst Trigger Activators

Adds firearms modified by so-called bump stocks or other similar devices that turn firearms into automatic weapons to the possession of a dangerous weapon felony.

*This legislation has been sent to the Senate “Kill” committee, State Affairs*

Pros

This is a ban on the type of attachment that allowed the Las Vegas shooter to massacre so many innocents so quickly. We already ban automatic weapons, because we have rightly recognized that there is no need for any civilian to possess one and that this ban does infringe on the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms (it goes without saying that automatic weapons and other such tools of war did not exist in 1787). We do not need any Las Vegas style massacres in Colorado and no responsible Colorado gun owner needs a device to turn their weapon into an automatic weapon. We are the only 1st world country in the world to have constant mass shootings and common-sense regulations are a key step in preventing more of them.

Cons

This bill is an infringement on the 2nd Amendment rights of Colorado citizens. The framers did not carve exceptions into the 2nd Amendment and if a Colorado citizen wants to increase the rate of fire on their weapon they have the Constitutional right to do so. Furthermore, criminals do not follow laws, that is why they are criminals, so this ban won’t help prevent tragic incidents of mass shootings because someone who wants to commit a mass shooting isn’t going to make sure they obtain their weapons legally. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people, so the solution to mass shootings is in people, not guns.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-051

SB18-052: Repeal Ammunition Magazine Prohibition

(this bill is identical to HB18-1015)

This bill repeals the ban on high-capacity magazines and the requirement that that some magazines manufactured in Colorado after July 1, 2013 be stamped as such.

Pros

The high-capacity magazine ban is an infringement on the 2nd Amendment rights of Colorado citizens. The framers did not carve exceptions into the 2nd Amendment and if a Colorado citizen wants to use high-capacity magazines they have the Constitutional right to do so. Furthermore, criminals do not follow laws, that is why they are criminals, so this ban won’t help prevent tragic incidents of mass shootings because someone who wants to commit a mass shooting isn’t going to make sure they obtain their weapons legally. There are numerous ways around this ban, so the only effect is to keep law-abiding citizens who already weren’t going to shoot anyone from using them. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people, so the solution to mass shootings is in people, not guns.

Cons

This ban was put into place after the Aurora theater shooting, where the shooter was able to fire 30 bullets without reloading. It of course is still on the books, which tells you all you need to know about its constitutionality. There is no need for any gun owner to fire so many bullets without pause, the only reason to do so is if you want to kill as many people as possible before you have to stop firing. Any loopholes in the enforcement of the law should be closed, not used as a justification for ditching it altogether. The fact that criminals will try to evade the law isn’t a reason to not have it. By that logic we shouldn’t have any laws at all, since criminals won’t try to stick to them.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-052

SB18-067: Auction Alcohol in Sealed Container Special Events

Current law is structured so that an organization cannot hold a special event at a licensed premise where alcohol is brought in from the outside in sealed containers for auction purposes. This bill creates an exception to the state alcohol laws to allow most non-profit organizations to do that.

PASSED SENATE

Pros

Auctioning alcohol is a good way for these types of organizations to raise money at benefits. An organization must be able to acquire a special event permit (or already be exempted from one). There is no reason to force that organization to only use alcohol that is already on premise.

Cons

We shouldn't be encouraging alcohol consumption and auctioning it off sends the wrong message. This bill goes in the wrong direction by making it easier.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-067

SB18-079: Sake Vinous Liquor Colorado Liquor Code

Classifies Sake as a vinous liquor (wine) under the state’s liquor code.

PASSED SENATE COMMITTEE

Pros

Sake is wine, rice wine, so this designation is appropriate.

Cons

Sake doesn't belong with wine, it belongs with hard alcohol because of alcohol content similarities.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-079

SB18-088: Taxation of Retail Marijuana Sales

Repeals the state sales tax exemption for retail marijuana sales that prevents special district and other limited purpose governmental agencies from collecting their taxes (think the RTD district or the scientific and cultural facilities district).

PASSED

Pros

This fixes a simple error from last year’s massive 267 bill that accidentally left these special districts out of the state sales tax they are owed for marijuana taxation. The assembly is allowed to fix errors in past legislation relating to taxation without asking the voters under TABOR laws and has done so in the past. It also keeps the marijuana tax level at the point the legislature intended last year.

Cons

This is a tax increase, whether or not it was a mistake to lower taxes last year. Thus it requires a vote of the people under TABOR period.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-088

SB18-097: Concealed Handgun Carry With No Permit

Allows anyone with a legally possessed handgun to carry it in a concealed manner. Does not change any current laws regarding where concealed weapons are allowed.

Pros

If someone can legally own a gun, there is no reason to put them through extra hoops to allow them to carry it concealed. Colorado is already a so-called “shall issue” state, so the current distinction between those who apply for a permit and those who do not is almost meaningless: one just bothered to do the paperwork. Law-abiding citizens are the only people hurt by these sorts of laws, which criminals just ignore. If any citizen finds themselves in an unfortunate active shooter situation, having someone with a concealed handgun can save lives.

Cons

While the distinction is small, it does exist. With multiple mass shootings a week in this country, the last thing we need is to make it easier to walk around with a concealed weapon. Regular citizens are not trained to respond in such a situation and are just as likely to make things worse through friendly fire as to stop a shooter.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-097

SB18-138: Transfer Alcohol from Surrendered License

Allows current alcohol licensees to purchase alcohol from another licensee that has either surrendered its license or had it revoked if the two entities have common ownership within 60 days of the seller losing its license. The seller must first give wholesalers the opportunity repurchase.

Pros

This allows owners to transfer alcohol between their own properties if one of them loses it license for whatever reason, while protecting the wholesalers if they want to repurchase.

Cons

Someone with a revoked license shouldn’t be able to shunt their alcohol to another entity.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-138