Colorado Lawmakers Discuss Bill To Legalize It – Lemonade, That Is

Kurtis Bright

Lawmakers in Colorado, the state that was famously among the first to legalize marijuana for recreational use, are set to discuss a bill that would open a path for another substance to be legally sold by entrepreneurs – specifically lemonade from kids' neighborhood stands, according to 9News.

Senate Bill 103, "Legalizing Minors' Businesses" has been sponsored by Senators Angela Williams and Jack Tate and Representatives. James Coleman and Terri Carver, and would allow kids to run a small business without having to fear The Man rolling up to shut them down.

The bill is being introduced in the wake of public outcry over police shutting down a lemonade stand three boys set up last summer near a Denver arts festival.

Over Memorial Day Weekend in 2018, Denver-area mom Jennifer Knowles helped her three boys, Ben, William, and Jonathan, who at the time were aged 6, 4, and 2 respectively, to set up a lemonade stand at a park across the street from their house. The boys said they wanted to raise money to help a 5-year-old Indonesian boy named Marcelle they learned about and wanted to sponsor through Compassion International, a charity based in Colorado Springs.

However, responding to a complaint from a neighbor or perhaps from a vendor at the nearby arts festival, police came and made the boys shut down, citing Denver law that requires a temporary vending permit in order to operate in a city park.

"Left my kids absolutely devastated – crying," Knowles said. "[They] didn't understand what was going on. You know, they were just trying to have a lemonade stand."

Instead, they got a lesson in bureaucracy, learning that Denver requires a one-day, $100 permit to operate within 300 feet of a city park. That's on top of a $25 application fee.

What the new bill would allow, if it is signed into law, is for people younger than 18 to operate a temporary business, defined as no more than 84 consecutive days. The bill would prohibit any Colorado city or county from requiring any kind of license or permit for a business to operate under those conditions.

The bill goes further to specifically lay out the legalities for operating a lemonade stand, saying that a "children's neighborhood beverage stand" must be run by people younger than 17 and be in a residential neighborhood.

And, perhaps throwing a bone to the grumpy arts festival vendor who ratted out the Knowles boys last summer, the law would require such stands to be 200 feet away from any other vendor who is selling drinks.