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Marijuana Laws in Colorado

October 17, 2022

2014’s Amendment 64 made Colorado the second state to legalize marijuana for adult use. The Amendment includes a handful of new regulations for individuals attempting to enter Colorado’s marijuana market.

The state has approved rules enabling the people of Colorado to obtain specific licensing to open dispensaries and retail outlets and the general legislation for individuals who choose to use cannabis in Colorado. 

It’s crucial to realize that launching a cannabis company or getting a license is a complex process in Colorado. Along with the fact that failing to comprehend the legal restrictions on growing, selling, or having marijuana could result in dire repercussions in Colorado.

Fortunately, there is assistance available; experienced lawyers specializing in cannabis law are offering consulting services to assist you in adhering to state marijuana laws in Colorado. 

Who Can Purchase Marijuana in Colorado?

You must be 21 or older to buy, have or use retail marijuana in Colorado and must present a valid ID proving so.You must buy adult-use marijuana only from licensed stores. 

Adults aged 21 and older may buy and possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana at a time. They may give up to 2 ounces of marijuana to another adult aged 21 or older, but can not sell marijuana. This includes homegrown marijuana. 

Only licensed retailers may sell marijuana products. 

Who Can Possess Marijuana in Colorado?

Adults aged 21 and older may have up to 2 ounces of marijuana. Using marijuana in any way smoking, eating or vaping isn’t allowed in public places. This includes the following outdoor and indoor areas,  such as:

  • Public roads, streets or sidewalks;
  • Alleys, parks or trails;
  • Golf courses, parking lots or in any open space;
  • Public buildings or shopping centres;
  • places of businesses usually open to the general public;
  • automobiles and other vehicles located on public property or public right-of-way.

Where Can I Use or Possess Marijuana in Colorado?

Your best option is private property. However, property owners have the right to prohibit marijuana usage and possession on their grounds. Marijuana use may not be permitted in rented housing.

You might not be able to use marijuana in a hotel room since hotel owners have the right to outlaw its use and possession on their grounds.

Employers in Colorado still have the option to forbid marijuana use while employees are on the clock, even if it is legal. They might conduct a marijuana test and base hiring decisions on the results.

Sale and Distribution of Marijuana in Colorado

Although it is legal to possess marijuana in Colorado, selling, delivering, or distributing it is still illegal unless you have a permit and a business set up explicitly to do so. The stringent controls in this industry make breaking the law quite expensive.

Cultivation

According to Colorado marijuana laws, adults over 21 may grow up to six cannabis plants indoors as long as the following conditions are met:

  • Three or fewer of the plants must be fully grown and in bloom;
  • They must also be in a secure area that is locked; 
  • They must not be seen outside, such as through a window.

Additionally, even if more than two individuals live there, home producers are not allowed to have more than 12 marijuana plants in their homes.

The space where the marijuana is grown must be locked and enclosed if a person under 21 resides there. Homegrown marijuana must also be kept out of the reach of anyone under 21 who enters the premises.  

Home Cultivation

Six marijuana plants are the maximum number that patients or their primary caregivers may grow in Colorado under the marijuana laws. No more than three are mature, flowering plants that produce usable forms of marijuana. 

Driving and Traveling 

You could be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if you use drugs before you drive. Even though Colorado has legalized marijuana usage for adults, this is still the case. Even if marijuana is used medically, police can still stop you for driving while intoxicated.

Even if the car is not moving, neither the driver nor any passengers are permitted to open any marijuana container and use the product. It is illegal to leave the state with any form of marijuana.

Advertising Marijuana Laws in Colorado

Retail marijuana establishments, referred to as retail marijuana stores, retail marijuana cultivation facilities, retail marijuana product makers, and retail marijuana testing facilities, are governed under Colorado‘s rules on marijuana advertising. Despite complaints and even a lawsuit over how wide and confusing the marijuana laws are, advertising regulations have essentially remained the same since they were passed. These marijuana laws forbid or restrict specific marijuana advertising by Retail Marijuana Establishments, including:

  • making false, misleading, or deceptive statements on any product, sign, or document provided to consumers;
  • targeting consumers outside of the State;
  • publishing unsolicited pop-up advertisements on the Internet;
  • publishing banner ads on mass-market websites;
  • targeting minors under the age of 21 (including use of cartoon characters);
  • outdoor advertising on signage; and
  • advertising to location-based devices, such as cellular phones.

In addition, Colorado’s marijuana advertising regulations limit advertising through specific platforms unless the Retail Marijuana Establishment has “reliable evidence” that 30 percent or less of the audience is expected to be under 21. This media includes: 

  • television and radio advertising (including videos and/or audio programming downloaded or streamed via the internet);
  • print advertising;
  • Internet advertising; and
  • advertising at sponsored events, such as for charity, sports, or other similar events.

Marijuana Packaging and Labeling Requirements in Colorado 

Packaging Requirements 

According to Colorado marijuana laws, each package or container containing retail marijuana, retail marijuana products, or retail marijuana concentrates must include all necessary and pertinent information for consumers, must refrain from making claims about its health or physical benefits, be simple to use for consumers, and be visible and easy to find.

Every marijuana product sold must leave the store in a child-resistant package or container. If the marijuana product packaging is not child-resistant, the retail marijuana store must place that container within an exit package that is child resistant.

Identification and consumer warning labels must be affixed to every individual container of retail marijuana, marijuana-infused product, or marijuana edible. Among the three types of products, marijuana edibles have the most comprehensive consumer warning statements for each purchase.

Required Label Information

Under the marijuana laws in Colorado, every retail marijuana store in Colorado must ensure the following information is affixed to every container holding a retail marijuana product:

  • The license number of the retail marijuana cultivation facility(-ies) where the marijuana used to produce the product was grown;
  • The Production Batch Number(s) assigned to the retail marijuana concentrate used to produce the product;
  • The license number of the retail marijuana product’s manufacturing facility;
  • The production batch number(s) assigned to the retail marijuana product;
  • The license number of the retail marijuana store that sold the retail marijuana product to the consumer;
  • A statement about whether the container is child- resistant;
  • The Identity Statement and Standardized Graphic Symbol of the retail marijuana store that sold the product to the consumer;
  • The date of sale to the consumer.

Warning Statements 

The labeling information must also include the following warning statements:

  • “There may be health risks associated with the consumption of this product.”
  • “This product is intended for use by adults 21 years and older. Keep out of the reach of children.” 
  •  “This product is unlawful outside the State of Colorado.”
  • “This product is infused with marijuana.” 
  •  “This product was produced without regulatory oversight for health, safety, or efficacy.” 
  •  “The intoxicating effects of this product may be delayed by two or more hours.”
  • “There may be additional health risks associated with the consumption of this product for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning on becoming pregnant.”
  •  “Do not drive a motor vehicle or operate heavy machinery while using marijuana.”

What are the Medical Marijuana Laws in Colorado?

Qualifying Conditions

Here are qualifying conditions to become a medical marijuana patient with a valid cannabis prescription in Colorado:

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic nervous system disorders
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Nausea
  • Persistent Muscle Spasms
  • Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
  • Seizures
  • And Any other condition a doctor would prescribe medical cannabis for.

Caregivers

The patient’s physician or another individual serves as the primary caregiver in Colorado. The caregiver needs to be at least 18 years old according to the marijuana laws. There can only be one primary caregiver for a patient at once. A patient cannot be chosen as the primary caregiver for another patient if they have already chosen one for themselves. No more than five patients may have a primary caregiver listed on the medicinal marijuana registry.

Conclusion 

The cannabis sector is quickly acquiring market share in the mainstream and evolving on a local, state, and international scale. Cannabis is one of the most challenging industries to handle due to varying state laws, changing policies, and ongoing federal illegality. 

Please keep in mind that the factual nature of the preceding recommendation regarding Colorado marijuana laws should not be interpreted as legal advice. The marijuana laws are updated and changed frequently, so make sure to follow the rules in order to run your cannabis business in Colorado.