Colorado Legislation Introduced to Establish Legal Marijuana Regulations
Yesterday the chair of Colorado’s Joint Select Committee on the Implementation of Amendment 64 Task Force Recommendations, a committee established by Colorado’s legislature to form legislation to help regulate legal marijuana sales, introduced a 57-page bill that would do just that. The measure contains a majority of the recommendations that were made by a marijuana task force commissioned by Colorado’s governor to discuss and determine potential regulations.
• Marijuana growers and sellers could operate separately, opposite of the requirements for medical-marijuana dispensaries.
• Only Colorado residents could own or work in marijuana retail outlets
• Out-of-state residents would be legally allowed to purchase, possess and consume cannabis, so they would only be able to purchase a quarter of an ounce, rather than a full ounce like residents can.
• Starting in October, current medical marijuana dispensaries will have a 3-month window to apply as a recreational marijuana outlet.
• The agency that currently oversees medical-marijuana dispensaries, the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, would become the Marijuana Enforcement Division and oversee all marijuana businesses.
Another measure, House Bill 1318, was also introduced yesterday. The measure would create a 15 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana and an extra 15 percent excise tax when its being transferred from the grower to the seller. Voters would have to approve both taxes in the November general election for them to become law (which isn’t true for the before-mentioned regulation bill).
House Bill 1317 has been assigned to the House State Affairs committee, and House Bill 1318 to the House Finance committee.
These measure will need to pass both the House and the Senate, as well as be either signed into law or let become law, by the governor. Colorado’s legislative session ends on May 8th. Legislators are expected to hold a special session if they can’t come to a decision on these measures,