Colorado Governor Signs Historic Measures Creating Legal and Regulated Marijuana Market

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Executive Director May 31, 2013

    This week, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed two historic measures into law, making Colorado the first state in the country to officially authorize a legalized and regulated cannabis market.

    These measures, House Bills 1317 and 1318, are the first-in-the nation regulations governing the statewide commercial production and retail sale of cannabis to those age 21 and older. HB 1317 establishes a regulatory framework for retail cannabis businesses, which are anticipated to begin operating in early 2014. House Bill 1318 proposes tax rates for commercial marijuana production and sales.

    These regulations were drafted by the legislature with guidance from a task force, created at the request of the Governor. Colorado NORML served on this task force as a representative for marijuana consumer interests.

    The Colorado Department of Revenue is anticipated to more details for the program in the coming weeks. The proposed tax rates in HB 1318 must be approved by a majority of state voters. They seem likely to do so, as recent polling revealed that 77% of Colorado voters support the 15% excise tax on cannabis sales (which is designated for school construction) and an additional 10% sales tax to cover the costs of regulating the industry.

    The regulations in House Bill 1317 would require marijuana retail outlets to license with the state and for the first nine months, only currently operating medical marijuana dispensaries can apply. Owners must also be Colorado residents. Initially, these stores must sell marijuana that they cultivated themselves, but by October 2014 this restriction will be lifted to allow independent growers and retail outlets. State residents will be able to purchase up to one ounce of usable marijuana at a time, while out of state visitors will be capped at one quarter ounce per purchase. Possession of up to one ounce of marijuana would be legalized for everyone over the age of 21, regardless of residency.

    For more information on Colorado’s marijuana program, click here.

    24 responses to “Colorado Governor Signs Historic Measures Creating Legal and Regulated Marijuana Market”

    1. Jake says:

      Let me get this straight. This is great news but the fact of the matter is I can go into the next state, and buy all the alcohol I want, but as not being a Colorado resident, I am restricted to one quarter ounce of marijuana? For this regulation, they put in place to stop smuggling marijuana from Colorado to neighboring states. How about, fully legalize marijuana across the goddamn country, then these regulations would not need to be put into place. The stupidity of Colorado’s neighboring states ‘all states that have marijuana illegal’ is beyond me.

    2. Ned says:

      Can someone explain to me the reasonable justifiable necessity to limit possession to one oz? Regulation should be about managing production, distribution, sales, and harmful acts while verifiably under the influence. It shouldn’t be about seeking to micromanage users purchasing habits. It seems to me this is purely a political regulation, put in place as a “feel good” measure to placate the fearful loathers.
      So then what happens if a person is discovered to be in possession of 29 grams? A fine? Arrest? It’s like saying I can have 24 12 oz. beers, but not 25. It’s genuinely ridiculous.

    3. the-latchkeykid says:

      I’m curious as to why the current dispensaries get the jump on every other resident wishing to start up a cannabis retail outlet? Is it because when you look at the dispensaries that are up and running in many states that have them are controlled by a very few with one or two being grandfathered in from the outside? The blatant unfairness created in the recreation or medicinal field regarding who gets to have a dispensary or retail outlet and who doesn’t should be looked at closely by the residence of Colorado to be sure that a select few with political connections and great wealth don’t bully the market for themselves. I think some regulations with retailers and private growers whose product is of the highest standard quality should be drawn to help the local economy.

    4. Brian says:


    5. Douglas says:

      This is truely a day in History. I pray every day for God to end cannabis probition

    6. John Mcclane says:

      Just sue them.

    7. Ll says:

      The federal government seems to be preoccupied with an outbreak of transparency, I mean corruption, so perhaps liberty will flourish for a while in this small place.

      God’s speed, Colorado.

    8. St. Nick and Dime says:

      Marijuana legalization is looking/feeling more Norml… Hope I win lottery, so I can live in Colorado! Or just make it legal everywhere. I’d rather have that.

    9. Cat Cassie says:

      I never thought I would see this day. The stores are not open hear yet but things appear to be moving in the right direction. If you live in one of the nanny states there are many houses at reasonable prices on the southeast plains in Colorado. It is cold there and they do get blizzards but at least you would have the freedom to be who you are.
      Its only about 60 miles or so from the city of Pueblo and about 100 miles from Colorado Springs where there are jobs. And from what I hear there will be more jobs coming soon.

    10. TheOracle says:

      Great News despite the goofy restrictions that allow prohibitionists to use zoning to keep things from getting started and more goofy restrictions that allow you to cultivate only 6 plants at a time, with only 3 of them allowed to be in the flowering stage. I mean, that really fuckin’ sucks. You can’t keep a decent selection of mother plants AND have a decent number of clones under those laws. Six mother plants would be decent from which to select clones. Not all clones survive or do well. They get hit with disease or some shit, and bam, since they all have the same genes they’re all hit, all useless, all dead. You know, people like to have a variety for what ails them, for after-work wind-downs, the weekends, cold months, warm months, hot months. Cold months you’re joints may hurt, crack a lot.

      No mention of Jamen Shively managing to call of the federal dogs: IRS, DEA, whoever the fuck? I can’t believe he’s stick that much money into cannabis and gonna let the feds come in and fuck up everything. I can’t believe the common people who are thankful he’s doing something on their behalf are gonna just sit back and let the feds fuck everything. Something has got to give at the federal level cause at the grass roots level aint’ nothing changin’. We ain’t goin’ to backtrack on our cannabis freedom.