Colorado has garnered over half a billion dollars in marijuana-related revenue since legal sales began in 2014, according to a new analysis of state data released Wednesday by Denver-based VS Strategies.
The report — which can be found by clicking here — details the sources of the revenue and provides a snapshot of how it is being distributed.
“Legalizing, regulating, and taxing marijuana for adult use has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue for Colorado,” says Mason Tvert of VS Strategies (Tvert previously worked for the Marijuana Policy Project). “Marijuana tax money has been used to improve a wide range of programs and services. It is funding everything from school construction to substance abuse treatment to fighting homelessness. While it might not fix every school or help every person who needs it, it is having a significant and positive impact on our community.”
Legislation allowing those convicted of a marijuana possession misdemeanor to have the conviction sealed (essentially removed) from their criminal record has been signed into law by Governor John Hickenlooper.
House Bill 1266 was signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper yesterday, giving those previously convicted of marijuana possession charges that are now legal to have the conviction sealed from their record, meaning it won’t show up in a criminal background check.
According to the official summary of House Bill 1266; “The bill allows persons who were convicted of misdemeanors for the use or possession of marijuana to petition for the sealing of criminal records relating to such convictions if their behavior would not have been a criminal offense if the behavior had occurred on or after December 10, 2012. The court shall order the record sealed after the filing fees are paid and the petitioner establishes the offense is eligible for sealing.”
A bill to allow those convicted of a marijuana possession misdemeanor to have the conviction sealed from their criminal record has been approved by Colorado’s full legislature.
House Bill 1266 has now been approved by the full House of Representatives and Senate, sending it to Governor John Hickenlooper for consideration. Hickenlooper has yet to state whether he will sign the measure into law, allow it to become law without his signature, or veto it.
According to the measure’s official summary; “The bill allows persons who were convicted of misdemeanors for the use or possession of marijuana to petition for the sealing of criminal records relating to such convictions if their behavior would not have been a criminal offense if the behavior had occurred on or after December 10, 2012. The court shall order the record sealed after the filing fees are paid and the petitioner establishes the offense is eligible for sealing.”
A Colorado measure to allow those previously convicted of a marijuana possession misdemeanor to have the conviction sealed from their criminal record has been passed through three House committees.
House Bill 1266 was given approval by the House Judiciary Committee last week with a 9 to 2 vote; yesterday it passed the House Finance Committee unanimously, and today it was passed by the House Appropriations Committee. It will now be up for a vote in the full House of Representatives where passage will send it to the full Senate for consideration.
According to its official summary; “The bill allows persons who were convicted of misdemeanors for the use or possession of marijuana to petition for the sealing of criminal records relating to such convictions if their behavior would not have been a criminal offense if the behavior had occurred on or after December 10, 2012. The court shall order the record sealed after the filing fees are paid and the petitioner establishes the offense is eligible for sealing.”
Legislation that would prohibit courts from telling those out on bond that they can’t use medical cannabis has been passed by Colorado’s Senate and House.
Senate Bill 178 “prohibits a court from imposing as a bond condition a ban on marijuana use if the person possesses a valid medical marijuana registry identification card.”
The Senate passed the measure earlier this month with a unanimous vote, and it was passed through its third reading today in the House of Representatives with a vote of 57 to 6. It will soon be sent to the desk of Governor John Hickenlooper, who will have the option of signing it into law, vetoing it or allowing it to become law without his approval.
Colorado’s full House of Representatives has passed House Bill 1220 through its second reading.
The measure will need to be passed through one more reading before being sent to the Senate for consideration. According to its official summary, the bill “places a cap on the number of plants that can be possessed or grown on a residential property at 12 plants in the aggregate, with 6 or fewer being mature.”
The measure would also set a limit of 12 plants for medical marijuana patients and primary caregivers. Patients who cultivates more than 12 plants “must cultivate the plants in compliance with applicable city, county, or city and county law.”
Earlier today Colorado’s full Senate gave final approval to Senate Bill 184.
The proposal “authorizes the operation of a private marijuana club” if the “local jurisdiction has authorized clubs”, with marijuana clubs being defined as ” a membership-based club not accessible to the general public that operates to allow members to consume retail or medical marijuana on the premises”.
The House of Representatives must now pass the bill before it can be sent to Governor John Hickenlooper.
The proposed law establishes the following rules for cannabis clubs:
Colorado is moving toward limiting growing marijuana at home under a bill that sets a max of 12 plants per residential property.
A House committee voted 11-2 Monday to curb the nation’s most generous allowances for growing pot at home.
Colorado currently allows medical pot patients to grow up to 99 plants, far beyond other marijuana states, and it also allows recreational users to group their allotted six plants into massive co-ops, entire greenhouses of pot that aren’t tracked or taxed.
But sponsors say lower limits are needed statewide to avoid attracting black-market pot growers. Of the 28 states that allow medical marijuana, none but Colorado allows patients to have more than 16 plants growing in their homes.
“Colorado home-grow laws position Colorado as an attractive market for criminal operations,” said Rep. Cole Wist, R-Centennial.
Others argued that the lax plant rules prompt neighbor complaints about odors and possible fire danger from strained power supplies.
“We’re not here to deprive anyone of medicine … our concern is the effect that it has on neighborhoods,” said Fort Collins Police Detective Jim Lenderts.
The measure approved Monday night, House Bill 1220, would still allow large-scale grows, just not in residential areas. It now awaits a vote by the full House.
Lawmakers were also considering a bill to give law enforcement more money to pursue black-market pot.
Deputies of Gov. John Hickenlooper testified that federal uncertainty about the future of marijuana makes it important for states violating federal drug law to impose limits. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other members of the Trump Administration have said states should not be allowed to flout the federal Controlled Substances Act.
“In the midst of uncertainty at the federal level … we think it’s imperative” that Colorado show it can regulate pot, said Mark Bolton, the governor’s marijuana adviser.
But the bill passed only after medical marijuana users testified for hours that the limit would force them into the more expensive commercial market. Colorado has some 19,000 medical marijuana patients whose doctors have recommended a high number of plants in order to produce cannabis oils and other medical treatments.
“It’s re-criminalizing something that’s already legal here in Colorado,” said Ashley Weber, head of Colorado NORML.
Lawmakers amended the bill to make it a misdemeanor, not a felony, to be caught with too many plants on the first offense.
“Colorado has the most liberal laws in the country on this,” said Rep. KC Becker, D-Boulder.
Colorado’s Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee has given approval to legislation allowing for the operation of private marijuana clubs.
Senate Bill 184 was passed with a bipartisan 5 to 2 vote, sending it towards a vote by the full Senate. The measure “authorizes the operation of a private marijuana club” if the “local jurisdiction has authorized clubs”. Under the proposed law, marijuana clubs would be defined as ” a membership-based club not accessible to the general public that operates to allow members to consume retail or medical marijuana on the premises”.
According to the measure’s summary, below are a list of rules that such clubs must follow in order to be operating within state law:
According to the guide’s official intro, it is “intended to help assist employers in the marijuana industry build occupational safety and health programs.” It was created by a Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment working group that included “epidemiologists, medical doctors, industrial hygienists, safety professionals, and regulatory specialists” According to the guide, this resulted in “a thorough review of the potential occupational safety and health issues in the industry”.
The guide points out that it doesn’t introduce any new regulations for the cannabis instead. Rather, it includes details about current regulations and best industry practices (using both state and federal guidelines).