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Polis signs into law bills on marijuana delivery, social use and investment that will change the pot industry

The slate of legislation represents an expansion of people's ability to purchase pot and consume it in Colorado, all while allowing for more investment in the industry

Cannabis plants grow inside a cultivation facility near Lafayette on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (Andy Colwell, Special to The Colorado Sun)

 Laws signed by Colorado’s governor could bring big changes to the state’s marijuana industry, including the creation of businesses where people can consume cannabis and companies that deliver marijuana products.

The changes don’t take effect immediately. Voters in a city or county must first approve of allowing both new varieties of marijuana businesses.

State regulators cannot begin issuing “hospitality” licenses to marijuana retailers or other businesses seeking to allow use on their property until 2020. Delivery businesses cannot receive a state permit before 2020 for medical marijuana and 2021 for other marijuana products.

The laws were among several marijuana-related measures that Gov. Jared Polis, who is supportive of the state’s cannabis industry, signed Wednesday.

Polis also signed a measure allowing publicly traded companies to own marijuana businesses and limiting background-check requirements on investors.

All together, the slate of legislation represents a new dawn for marijuana in Colorado under a state leader more open to cannabis. Broadly, they represent an expansion of people’s ability to purchase pot and consume it, all while allowing more investment in the industry.

Polis said the new laws will help keep Colorado at the national forefront on legal marijuana.

“We can’t rest on our laurels,” he said.

MORE: A new era dawns for marijuana in Colorado. But some believe relaxed rules go too far.

Last year, former Gov. John Hickenlooper vetoed similar legislation on marijuana “tasting rooms,” where people can consume pot at stores that sell it, as well as a bill that would have opened the industry up to public investment.

Polis has also signed into law this year a measure that allows doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients who would otherwise be prescribed opioids and another authorizing people diagnosed with autism to obtain medical marijuana.

Colorado Sun staff writer Jesse Paul contributed to this report.

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