Among numerous regulatory provisions included in the three measures passed by Colorado lawmakers today and yesterday, medical marijuana dispensaries will get a head start on applying for a recreational business license – a 9 month moratorium will be placed on individuals applying who aren’t currently running a dispensary. In addition, penalties for minors will be reduced to be analogous to a minor in possession of alcohol, and marijuana sales to tourists will be explicitly legal, though their purchase limit would be lowered to a quarter of an ounce, rather than an ounce.
The House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee approved House Bill 1317 with a 6-5 vote. Among other provisions, the measure would converts the medical marijuana enforcement division to the marijuana enforcement division and would give division the authority to regulate medical marijuana as well as recreational marijuana. The measure also requires that an individual running a marijuana retail outlet be a resident, and clarifies that tourists be legally authorized to purchase, possess and consume marijuana. The measure now moves to the House Committee on Finance.
On top of this measure’s passage, the state’s Senate Business, Labor, & Technology Committee approved Senate Bill 283 with a unanimous 4-0 vote. Among other regulatory provisions, the measure would add marijuana to the state’s clean indoor air act, would require “the division of criminal justice in the department of public safety to undertake or contract for a scientific study of law enforcement activities related to retail marijuana implementation”, and would align the penalties for a minor in possession of marijuana to a minor in possession of alcohol.
In addition to these two measure, House Bill 1318 was approved through the House Finance Committee. The measure would establish a 30% excise tax on retail marijuana, which would be in addition to standard sales tax. The measure, even if approved by the state’s legislature and governor, will need to be put to a vote of the people before it comes law.
These measures, even if not perfect, bring Colorado several steps closer to state-licensed legal marijuana sales.