Colorado Lawmakers Approve First-In-The-Nation Regulations Governing Retail Marijuana Production And Sales

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 9, 2013

    Colorado lawmakers made history Wednesday by approving first-in-the nation regulations governing the retail production and sale of cannabis to those age 21 and older.

    The Huffington Post has the story here:

    On the final day of the legislative session, Colorado lawmakers finally passed two historic bills to implement recreational marijuana legalization in the state — making Colorado the first state in the U.S. to take such steps toward the legal sale, regulation and tax of marijuana for recreational use.

    House Bill 1317, which proposes the regulatory framework for legal marijuana, passed the Senate on a 29-6 vote and passed the House on a 37-28 vote, on Wednesday.

    House Bill 1318, which proposes the tax rates which will fund the regulatory framework for legal marijuana sales and will ultimately need Colorado voter approval, passed the Senate 25-10 and passed the House 37-28, Wednesday.

    Both the regulatory framework bill and the tax bill head to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk and appear poised to become law.

    The two measures do not impact the state’s existing medical marijuana laws, nor do they interfere with existing legal protections legalizing the personal possession (up to one ounce) and cultivation (up to six plants) for non-commercial purposes.

    Further details about the newly approved regulatory bills is available here.

    Lawmakers’ proposed tax scheme on the commercial production and retail sale of cannabis must be approved by a majority of state voters before being implemented. Proposed taxes do not apply to those engaged in the personal cultivation or not-for-profit transfers of cannabis.

    Lawmakers’ proposals come six months after 55 percent of state voters approved Amendment 64, which legalizes the adults possession and cultivation of limited quantities of marijuana, and tasked the state with establishing regulations for the retail production and sale of cannabis to the public.

    46 responses to “Colorado Lawmakers Approve First-In-The-Nation Regulations Governing Retail Marijuana Production And Sales”

    1. Gene says:

      But is it true you can still lose your job if its in your system. That’s something that needs to change.

      [Paul Armentano responds: This issue is being litigated.]

    2. Evening Bud says:

      Hooray! The ball is rolling. I know there are some here who will criticize this; and I’m not thrilled with the relatively high taxes. But we have to take this first step. We have to get this procedure moving. We can try to lower the taxes later. In any event, paying a high tax is definitely better than getting busted. So, Hooray, Colorado! I hope to visit that great state in the not-too-distant future and enjoy a freedom the rest of us can only hope for.

      Come on, Washington State, it’s your turn now.

    3. Don Berry says:

      I’m beginning to consider moving to Colorado so that I can enjoy actual freedom in the years left to me.

    4. Galileo Galilei says:

      I like the bit about the majority of voters approving the tax scheme before it’s implemented.

    5. Michael Miller says:

      So you can still lose your job eh? That’s ridiculous and needs to be changed. That is completely nonsensical.

    6. Ron says:

      Keep the taxes reasonable or there will still remain a reason for the underground market.

      Keep it simple and reasonable makes it much for convenient to follow the law drawing a better separation between cannabis and the rest of the illegal market. This will improve the public perception more than anything else. Way to go Colorado. I hope Florida is paying attention.

    7. Danielle says:

      I wish it were legal in Illinois, too. :/ I don’t want to go to jail, and it’s not like I can move.

    8. InnocentToker says:

      I will gladly (not happily) pay taxes on legal cannabis to prevent being a statistic in the legal system. I hear people continue the tripe about black market sales skyrocketing to avoid the taxes but I say baloney. There may be a bit of that tomfoolery but most consumers want to be legal and avoid the back alleys and dealers. The mere fact that I may be able to walk out of a commercial establishment with cannabis and no handcuffs trivializes the tax issue.

    9. Ned says:

      Hmm…what about rules on production only for wholesale? Policy specifically focused on ensuring that the legal market does not continue to create black market incentives, ie, moderate taxation, large scale production provisions that can lower per gram production costs that smaller black marketeers can’t beat.

      Focus on meaningful functional rules that establish normalized legality, not political feel good rules that will cause problems.

    10. bummer oklahoma says:

      im glad i moved to Colorado, for the first time in near 50 years ill not be a felon in the making!