Aspen coffee bars and other small-business owners will soon be able to sell their coffee to the public, a step the Colorado General Assembly is considering.
The measure would apply to all small businesses in Colorado, including coffee shops.
The bill passed the Senate on Friday.
“I am glad we have the momentum to pass this bill,” Assemblyman Scott Lamm, a Republican from Eagle, said in a statement.
“We can’t have this bad behavior in our community.
I have heard from the coffee shop owners who are now willing to sell to the people of Colorado.”
Coffee shops are popular with millennials, who like to sip and shop on the go, while the businesses that are open late at night attract older adults who want to make the most of their time.
Businesses have long complained about high prices, poor customer service and the loss of their lease, but many have tried to deal with the problem by limiting hours, closing on weekends and opening early.
Coloradoans could start getting rid of the coffee habit by buying less coffee, Lamm said.
A statewide ban on the sale of coffee to anyone under the age of 21 was passed by voters in 2016.
That measure also includes bans on buying, drinking and possessing coffee by people under 18, a ban on vending machines and a ban that prohibits coffee shops from selling caffeinated beverages, including tea and coffee, to anyone younger than 21.
The new legislation would allow bars and restaurants to sell coffee and other beverages to adults over the age the bar or restaurant.
Lamm said he believes this is the first time the state has taken a stand on this issue.
He also said the legislation has the backing of the Colorado chapter of the National Organization for Women, which supports the measure.
The bill is a step forward in trying to get people to stop buying coffee and drink caffeinated drinks, said Amy R. Stelzer, the head of the organization’s Colorado chapter.
It’s also important for businesses to take a step back and let people do what they want to do, she said.
The legislation will require businesses to post signs on their doors stating that sales to adults under 21 are prohibited, she added.
Colorado has a history of legalizing coffee and tea as a beverage, but the ban on selling it to anyone older than 21 was enacted in 2015.
That law was overturned by the state Supreme Court last year.