When voters of Colorado supported legalization last November, many likely knew it would be a while before the framework and specifics were in place. Many probably didn’t care. But, as the legislation travels through the legal processes, many changes are being made as the regulations that will govern just how the marijuana market will function are drafted, changed, and changed again.
Right now, the legislation is still in the House of Representatives. It has made it through two rounds of votes and will go through one more before moving on to the state Senate. We blogged before about some of the proposed regulations that lawmakers were after when the Marijuana Task Force forwarded their recommendations along. Many of these recommendations have stuck and some have been more finely tuned.
A quick look at where things stand with the current, albeit far from the final, version:
- What Reason Magazine calls an “unfair and misguided” legal standard for driving while stoned.
- Limits on advertising that would ban “mass-market campaigns that have a high likelihood of reaching minors.”
- A rule that would require retailers to grow most of the marijuana they sell.
- A requirement that the Co. Department of Revenue limits retail licenses, as well as production amounts of grow operations, and statewide cultivation amounts.
- A mandated system that would require plants to be tracked from “Seed to sale”.
- Bans on deliveries, internet sales, and on-site consumption
- Ban on retailers selling any other consumables like non-marijuana snacks, drinks, tobacco, or alcohol
- A requirement for Colorado residents to prove their residency with a state-issued i.d. before purchasing more than a quarter-ounce (the amount-limit proposed for buyers from other states)
The legislation will likely go through multiple additional changes as it travels the legislative path. There is a companion bill that speaks directly to taxation, proposing a 15% excise tax and a special 15% marijuana sales tax. House Republicans are already hoping to lessen the excise tax to 10% before it makes the journey over to the Senate.
Though the voters have spoken and it may seem like a marijuana free-for-all in some areas, don’t think for a moment that there aren’t some police officers and prosecutors that would love nothing more than to find a way to rain on your pot-parade.
If you are charged with a serious drug offense or a lesser criminal charge, call to speak with an today to discuss your legal options.