Rules announced for recreational marijuana sales in Colorado


At a glance

A sampling of rules for retail sales of recreational marijuana in Colorado. The rules were released Monday, but retail sales don't start until January.

• No single package of an edible marijuana product can contain more than 100 milligrams of active THC, no matter how many servings it contains.

• Colorado residents can buy up to an ounce of marijuana at a time. Out-of-state residents can buy up to a quarter-ounce.

• Labels on marijuana-laced snacks have to list their ingredients and carry warnings including "The intoxicating effects of this product may be delayed by two or more hours."

• Licensed growers can't sell to consumers. Marijuana can't be consumed at a cultivation site.

• Waste marijuana has to be "unusable and unrecognizable" when discarded. One method: It can ground up with an equal amount of paper, cardboard, plastic, food waste or grease.

• Testing facilities have to destroy the marijuana after they test it.

• Sheriffs, deputies, police officers and some other state officials can't get a marijuana retail license.

• Licensed retailers have to have video surveillance systems and commercial-grade locks.

• Retailers and their employees must wear identification badges issued by the Colorado Department of Revenue.

— Marijuana buyers will have to show identification and perishable pot snacks will carry expiration dates when Colorado marijuana retailers open for business next year.

State officials released more than 60 pages of detailed rules Monday on how the sales of recreational marijuana and edible marijuana products will be licensed and regulated.

Recreational pot has been legal in Colorado since last year, but retail sales don't begin until January. The voter-approved marijuana legalization measure adopted last year required the department to release rules by July 1.

The Colorado Legislature set broad parameters for recreational pot sales earlier this year, but many nitty-gritty rules were left to the Department of Revenue.

The regulations are largely dry details that make pot seem more like a loaf of bread or an over-the-counter sinus remedy than a party drug.

Buyers have to produce a government-issued photo ID to prove they're at least 21. Marijuana-laced snacks that can spoil have to carry an expiration or use-by date.

Labels have to list the potency of the drug and carry warnings such as "There may be health risks associated with the consumption of this product" and "Keep out of the reach of children."

The rules also detail exact specifications for who can work in marijuana businesses and how the drug can be transported and stored.

The department's rules indicate it plans to establish seed-to-sale tracking, making producers and sellers responsible for each plant destined for retail sale.

The state's current medical marijuana business is subject to the same rule, though the department hasn't been able to adequately fund the seed-to-sale tracking. State officials believe that if voters approve steep pot taxes this fall — a 15 percent excise tax and a 15 percent sales tax — they'll be able to properly monitor every pot plant.

Washington state, the only other state to authorize marijuana use without a doctor's recommendation, is also finalizing draft rules for retail pot sales starting next year. Both states await word from the U.S. Department of Justice about how it plans to respond to the states' defiance of federal drug law.


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