Since 2000, Colorado has let people use cannabis for medical reasons. It became legal for adults to use in 2012. The laws and rules of the state have changed over the years, but they are still being made better all the time. The rules that Colorado has for weed are talked about in this post. You can find the whole set of rules below.
The Basics of Colorado’s Cannabis Laws
- The Marijuana Enforcement Division is the regulatory agency for cannabis in Colorado.
- Colorado cannabis tracking is done through Metrc.
- Cannabis delivery is legal in Colorado.
- Cannabis is legal in Colorado for both medical and recreational use.
- Medical marijuana is subject to a 2.9% state sales tax.
- Retail marijuana is subject to a 15% state sales tax, levied on retail sales, along with a 15% excise tax, levied on the first transfer of marijuana from a wholesaler to a processor or retailer.
Law #1: Labeling and Packaging Things
The law says that regulated marijuana flower and trim, as well as regulated marijuana concentrate, must be packaged and labeled before being given to a patient or consumer. Before giving Medical Marijuana flower and trim, Retail Marijuana flower and trim, Medical Marijuana Concentrate, or Retail Marijuana Concentrate to a patient or consumer, a Medical Marijuana Store, a Retail Marijuana Store, or an Accelerator Store must follow these minimum labeling and packaging rules:
1. Packaging of Regulated Marijuana Concentrate. Prior to Transfer to a patient or consumer, Regulated Marijuana Concentrate shall be in a Child-Resistant Container that does not exceed the sales limit in Rules 5-115(C) and 6-110(C). a. A Pressurized Metered Dose Inhaler, Vaporizer Delivery Device, or syringe-type device that is within an intended use that is listed in Rule 3-1015(B) and is not an Alternative Use Product need not itself be Child-Resistant but must be placed into a Child-Resistant Container prior to Transfer to a patient or consumer. b.
A Pressurized Metered Dose Inhaler, Vaporizer Delivery Device, or syringe-type device with an intended use that is listed in Rule 3-1015(B) and that is not an Alternative Use Product must be labeled with at least the Universal Symbol, but is not required to include “Contains Marijuana. Keep away from children.”, prior to Transfer to a patient or consumer.
The Universal Symbol shall be legible and no smaller than ¼ of an inch by ¼ of an inch. c. A Marketing Layer or Container for a Pressurized Metered Dose Inhaler or Vaporizer Delivery Device must be affixed with a label that states “Not approved by the FDA.” d. Nothing in this Rule authorizes the use of a syringe for any type of injection involving a needle piercing the skin.
2. Packaging of Regulated Marijuana Flower and Trim. Prior to Transfer to a patient or a consumer, Regulated Marijuana flower and trim shall be in a Container that does not exceed the sales limit in Rules 5-115(C) and 6-110(C). The Container may but is not required to be Child-Resistant. Any Regulated Marijuana flower and trim in a Container that is not Child-Resistant shall be placed into a Child-Resistant Exit Package at the point of Transfer to a patient or consumer.
2. Labeling of Regulated Marijuana Flower and Trim, and Regulated Marijuana Concentrate. Prior to Transfer to a patient or consumer, every Container of Regulated Marijuana flower and trim, or Regulated Marijuana Concentrate and any Marketing Layer shall be affixed with a label that includes at least the following information: a. Required License Number(s). The license number for each of the following:
i. The Regulated Marijuana Cultivation Facility where the Regulated Marijuana was grown;
ii. If applicable, the Regulated Marijuana Cultivation Facility(ies) where the Physical Separation-Based Medical Marijuana Concentrate or Physical Separation-Based Retail Marijuana Concentrate was produced;
iii. If applicable, the Regulated Marijuana Products Manufacturer where the Medical Marijuana Concentrate or Retail Marijuana Concentrate was produced; and
iv. The Regulated Marijuana Store that sells Medical Marijuana, Retail Marijuana, Medical Marijuana Concentrate, or Retail Marijuana Concentrate to the patient or consumer, except the Regulated Marijuana Store may affix its license number to the Container or Marketing Layer.
v. Retail Marijuana that was designated as Medical Marijuana pursuant to Rules 5-235, 6-230, 6-730 must be labeled with the license number of the Retail Marijuana Cultivation Facility.
vi. Retail Marijuana Concentrate that was designated as Medical Marijuana Concentrate pursuant to Rule 5-335, 6-335, 6-830 must be labeled with the license number of the Retail Marijuana Products Manufacturer. b. Batch Numbers. The Harvest Batch Number(s) assigned to the Regulated Marijuana or the Production Batch Number(s) assigned to the Regulated Marijuana Concentrate. c. Statement of Net Contents.
A list of any solvent(s) used to produce any Solvent-Based Medical Marijuana Concentrate or Solvent-Based Retail Marijuana Concentrate. i. Ingredient List Including Major Allergens. If applicable, a list of all Ingredients used to manufacture the Regulated Marijuana Concentrate including identification of any major allergens contained in the Regulated Marijuana Concentrate in accordance with the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, 21 U.S.C. § 343 (2010).
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, 21 U.S.C. § 343 (2010) requires disclosure of the following major food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. i. Note that this Rule does not include any later amendments or editions to the United States Code. The Division maintains a copy of 21 U.S.C. § 343 (2010), which is available to the public for inspection and copying during the Division’s regular business hours. j. Required Warning Statements. Either the label affixed to the Container or the Marketing Layer shall include the following information:
i. “This product was produced without regulatory oversight for health, safety, or efficacy.”
ii. “There may be long-term physical or mental health risks from the use of marijuana including additional risks for women who are or may become pregnant or are breastfeeding.
Use of marijuana may impair your ability to drive a car or operate machinery.” k. Vaporizer Delivery Devices and Pressurized Metered Dose Inhalers.
i. Ingredient List. A list of all ingredients, including Additives, used to manufacture the Vaporizer Delivery Device or Pressurized Metered Dose Inhaler.
ii. Expiration Date. Effective July 1, 2022, a Marijuana Products Manufacturer that produces a Vaporizer Delivery Device or Pressurized Metered Dose Inhaler shall include an expiration date pursuant to Rule 3-335(M).
iii. Storage Conditions. Effective July 1, 2022, a Marijuana Products Manufacturer that produces a Vaporizer Delivery Device or Pressurized Metered Dose Inhaler shall include ideal storage conditions for the Vaporizer Delivery Device or Pressurized Metered Dose Inhaler pursuant to Rule 3-335(M).
The statement of net contents must identify the net weight of the Regulated Marijuana or net weight or volume of the Regulated Marijuana Concentrate prior to its placement in the Container, using a standard of measure compatible with the Inventory Tracking System. d. Universal Symbol. The Universal Symbol on the front of the Container and any Marketing Layer, no smaller than ½ of an inch by ½ of an inch, with the following statement directly below the Universal Symbol: “Contains Marijuana. Keep away from children.” e. Required Potency Statement.
i. The potency of Regulated Marijuana flower or trim shall be expressed as (1) the percentage of total THC and CBD from the test results for that Harvest Batch, or (2) if the Harvest Batch is not required to be tested, either as (i) a range of percentages of total THC and CBD that extends from the lowest percentage to the highest percentage for each cannabinoid listed, from every test conducted on that strain of Regulated Marijuana cultivated by the same Regulated Marijuana Cultivation Facility during the preceding six months or
(ii) an average for each cannabinoid listed, from every test conducted on that strain of Regulated Marijuana cultivated by the Regulated Marijuana Cultivation Facility during the preceding six months. If CBD is not detected in Harvest Batch, then Total CBD potency is not required.
ii. The potency of Medical Marijuana Concentrate or Retail Marijuana Concentrate’s Total THC and CBD shall be expressed as a percentage. If CBD is not detected in the Production Batch, then Total CBD potency is not required.
The potency of Regulated Marijuana, Medical Marijuana Concentrate, and Retail Marijuana Concentrate shall be displayed either:
(i) In a font that is bold, and enclosed within an outlined shape such as a circle or square; or
(ii) Highlighted with a bright color such as yellow. f. Date of Sale. The Regulated Marijuana Store shall affix the date of sale to the patient or consumer to the Container or Marketing Layer. g. Patient Number. The Medical Marijuana Store shall affix the patient’s registration number to the Container or Marking Layer at the time of Transfer to the patient. h. Solvent List.
3. Packaging of Regulated Marijuana Flower and Trim. Prior to Transfer to a patient or a consumer, Regulated Marijuana flower and trim shall be in a Container that does not exceed the sales limit in Rules 5-115(C) and 6-110(C). The Container may but is not required to be Child-Resistant. Any Regulated Marijuana flower and trim in a Container that is not Child-Resistant shall be placed into a Child-Resistant Exit Package at the point of Transfer to a patient or consumer.
Cannabis Packaging Explaining:
- Labeling can’t be hidden or made to stand out. You can put more than one sign on a container, but all the necessary information must be accessible at first glance.
- Labels need to have English written or printed clearly.
- The font size needs to be at least 1/16 inch.
- Health benefits claims on packaging must not be fake or misleading.
- The packaging can’t be designed to appeal to kids or people younger than 21.
Law #2: Security
Security alarm systems and lock standards are legal references. A. Security alarm systems: the bare necessities. All regulated marijuana businesses must follow this security alarm and lock standards unless the rules say otherwise.
1. Each Licensee must ensure that all of its Licensed Premises are continuously monitored. Licensees may engage the services of a Monitoring Company to fulfill this requirement.
2. A Licensee shall maintain up-to-date and current records and existing contracts on the Licensed Premises that describe the location and operation of each Security Alarm System, a schematic of security zones, the name of the Alarm Installation Company, and the name of any Monitoring Company. See Rule 3-905 Business Records Required.
3. Each Licensed Premises shall have a Security Alarm System, installed by an Alarm Installation Company, on all perimeter entry points and perimeter windows.
4. Upon request, Licensees shall make available to agents of the Division or relevant Local Licensing Authority or Local Jurisdiction or state or local law enforcement agency, for a purpose authorized by the Marijuana Code or for any other state or local law enforcement purpose, all information related to Security Alarm Systems, Monitoring, and alarm activity.
5. Any medical marijuana grow operation outside, in a greenhouse, or a retail marijuana grow operation is a limited access area that needs to meet all of the security alarm system standards spelled out in this rule. An outdoor or greenhouse medical marijuana cultivation facility or retail marijuana cultivation facility must have enough security means to show that people who aren’t supposed to be there can’t easily get to the outdoor areas.
The Licensee is in charge of keeping the building safe, just like a Medical Marijuana Cultivation Facility or a Retail Marijuana Cultivation Facility that is in an indoor Limited Access Area and can be fully locked down and alerted. The fencing needs to have at least perimeter fencing that keeps people from going into the Limited Access Areas, and it needs to meet at least the following basic standards:
a. There must be a fence around the whole Limited Access Area made of a nine-gauge or less metal chain link fence or another material that is just as safe. The fence must be at least eight feet high from the ground to the top. If that’s not possible, it can be six feet high and have a one-foot barbed wire arm with at least three strands running along the whole thing. All support posts must be made of steel and be firmly grounded.
b. All entrance and exit gates must be at least eight feet high from the ground to the top of the entry gate. Alternatively, the gate maybe six feet high from the ground to the top with a one-foot barbed wire arm with at least three strands. The gates must be made of a nine-gauge or lower metal chain link fence or similarly secure material.
c. From the outside, the fence must block the Limited Access Area so that it is hard to see. d. Every area where people can enter or leave the fence must be lit up, including a 20-foot area around the place of entry or exit. But they don’t have to be, the necessary lights may be move-detecting.
Check out Rule 3-225(C). e. A Licensee or Applicant for initial licensure can ask the Division in writing to waive one or more of the security standards listed in subparagraphs (a) through (d) of this Rule. They can do this by submitting a security waiver request on a form provided by the Division and waiting for approval from the Division. Depending on the situation, the Division may agree to waive the security requirements if it thinks that the alternative safety measure suggested by the Licensee or Applicant for initial licensure meets the goals of the above security requirements or if the security requirements are against a general local ordinance.
Authorized security waivers end at the same time as the underlying license, but they can be renewed at the same time that the application to renew the license is sent in. The person who is licensed or applying for their first license must include the following in their request for a waiver:
i. A list of the specific rules and subsections of a rule that they want to be waived;
ii. The reason for the waiver;
iii. A description of an alternative safety measure that the licensee will use instead of the requirement that is the subject of the waiver; and iv. An explanation of how and why the alternative safety measure meets the goals of the security rules, specifically public safety. B. Lock Standards: The Barest Need
1. Every time someone comes in or goes out, the Licensee must make sure that commercial-grade, non-residential door locks are used. Any medical marijuana cultivation facility, retail marijuana cultivation facility, or greenhouse medical marijuana cultivation facility that is outside must meet all of the requirements for the lock standards set out in this Rule. Monitoring with video A. The bare necessities. All businesses that are allowed to sell marijuana must follow these video security rules unless the rules say otherwise. 1. Before using the rights of a Regulated Marijuana Business, an Applicant must set up a video monitoring and camera recording system that works properly. This Rule says that the recording method has to be digital and follow the rules it sets out.
2. All video surveillance records and tapes must be kept in a safe place that only the management staff of a Licensee can get to. If the Division, the relevant Local Licensing Authority or Local Jurisdiction, or any other state or local law enforcement agency asks for them, video surveillance records and recordings must be given to them. This is for any state or local law enforcement purpose allowed by the Marijuana Code or for any other purpose. All Division employees and representatives must keep video surveillance records and recordings of point-of-sale areas secret.
However, the Division may give these records and recordings to the Local Licensing Authority or Local Jurisdiction, or to any other state or local law enforcement agency for a reason allowed by the Marijuana Code, or for any other state or local law enforcement reason.
B. Equipment for video surveillance 1. At the very least, video surveillance gear must include digital or network video recorders, cameras that can meet the recording standards in this Rule, video monitors, digital archiving devices, and a color printer that can print still photos. 2. All video surveillance systems must have a failure warning system that lets the Licensee know right away if the system stops working or is interrupted for a long time.
3. Licensees are in charge of making sure that all video equipment is up to date and working properly so that the playback quality is good enough to watch and all people and activities in the monitored areas are recorded.
4. As soon as the power goes out, all video surveillance devices must have enough battery life to record for at least four hours.
Dispensary security explained:
- Companies must keep up-to-date records and contracts on their licensed property that show where and how each security alarm system works, a map of the security zones, and the names of any companies that installed the alarms and are watching them.
- Every licensed building has to have a security alarm system put by a company that installs alarms on all windows and entry points around the outside, and the system has to be constantly watched.
- A company must set up a fully functional video security and camera recording system before starting a business. The MED has specific rules that the tracking system must follow.
Law #3: Taxes
Read everything you need to know about Colorado’s weed taxes here.
- The state taxes retail marijuana sales at 15%. There is also an excise tax of 15% on the first time marijuana moves from a wholesaler to a processor or vendor.
- There is a 2.9% state sales tax on medical marijuana.
Law #4: Delivery
legal reference: G. Regulated Needs for Marijuana Delivery.
1. A Medical Marijuana Store, a Retail Marijuana Store, a Medical Marijuana Transporter, or a Retail Marijuana Transporter cannot deliver regulated marijuana to patients, parents, guardians, or consumers in the same vehicle that is also used to transport regulated marijuana between licensed premises.
2. Delivering medical marijuana and marijuana for sale.
a. A Medical Marijuana Store and a Retail Marijuana Store that both have a valid delivery permit and the same controlling beneficial owners can use the same delivery vehicle to make deliveries of Medical Marijuana and Retail Marijuana without having to go back to either or both of the stores between deliveries.
b. A Medical Marijuana Transporter and a Retail Marijuana Transporter with the same Controlling Beneficial Owners and a valid delivery permit can use the same delivery vehicle to make deliveries of both types of marijuana without having to go back to either the Medical Marijuana Store or the Retail Marijuana Store between deliveries.
3. A Medical Marijuana Transporter with a valid delivery permit can use the same Delivery Motor Vehicle to make deliveries for more than one Medical Marijuana Store with a valid delivery permit. The Transporter does not have to stop at any Medical Marijuana Stores in between deliveries.
A Retail Marijuana Transporter with a valid delivery permit can use the same Delivery Motor Vehicle to make deliveries for more than one Retail Marijuana Store with a valid delivery permit. The Transporter does not have to stop at any Retail Marijuana Stores in between deliveries. When delivering medical or recreational marijuana, an owner licensee or employee licensee must not open any containers of medical or recreational marijuana while in the delivery vehicle.
4. They also cannot package or re-package medical or recreational marijuana once the delivery vehicle has left the licensed premises of a medical or recreational marijuana store. According to rule 4, a medical marijuana store or a retail marijuana store can’t take delivery orders for fresh regulated marijuana products unless the vehicle making the delivery can keep the regulated marijuana products in a cool, dry place.
5. Any store that sells medical marijuana, marijuana for recreational use, transports medical marijuana or transports marijuana for recreational use must keep a transport schedule that lists the following: A. The time of delivery; B. The patient or consumer’s name and the number of a valid, acceptable form of identification (like a driver’s license);
C. The address of the private residence; D. Proof that the delivery was received by the person receiving it; E. If applicable, the patient registry number; F. If applicable, the primary caregiver registry number of the patient’s parent or guardian; and G. For every regulated marijuana delivery that could not be tracked.
6. Proof of the patient’s medical record and identity. Before giving the Medical Marijuana to a patient or the patient’s parent or guardian, the Owner Licensee or Employee Licensee must: i. Check the patient’s or parent’s or guardian’s ID and registry identification card; ii. Make sure the patient or parent or guardian has a valid registry identification card; and iii.
Make sure the information given at the time of the order matches the name and age on the patient’s or parent or guardian’s ID. b. If the person trying to accept the delivery order can’t show that they meet all of the standards listed in (F)(6)(a)(i) through (iv), the Owner Licensee or Employee Licensee must refuse to accept the delivery order.
7. Proof of Who You Are as a Consumer. Before delivering retail marijuana to a customer, the owner licensee or employee licensee must first make sure that the person accepting the delivery has a valid form of identification that shows they are at least 21 years old and are the same person who placed the delivery order with the retail marijuana store. If the person trying to accept the delivery order can’t show that they meet all of the requirements listed in (F)(5)(a), the Owner Licensee or Employee Licensee must refuse to deliver the sales marijuana.
8. Limits on daily deliveries. A medical marijuana store or transporter cannot give a patient more than two ounces of medical marijuana, eight grams of medical marijuana concentrate, or medical marijuana products with more than 20,000 milligrams of THC in a single business day. This includes delivering these items alone or in any combination. b. A Medical Marijuana Store or Medical Marijuana Transporter can’t deliver to a patient, parent, guardian, or private residence if the Licensee knows or should know that the patient, parent, guardian, or private residence has already received a delivery that same business day.
This doesn’t stop people from giving birth in their own homes or to more than one child at the same time. c. A retail marijuana store or transporter cannot give a customer more than one ounce of retail marijuana, eight grams of retail marijuana concentrate, or retail marijuana products with more than ten 80-milligram servings of THC in a single business day.
This includes delivering these items alone or in any combination. d. A weed store or transporter for weed can’t deliver to a customer or private residence if the licensee knows or should have known that the customer or private residence has already gotten a delivery that same business day. This doesn’t stop service to private residences or to more than one customer at the same time.
9. If an Owner Licensee or Employee Licensee can’t finish a delivery order for any reason, they have to take the Regulated Marijuana back to the Medical Marijuana Store, Retail Marijuana Store, or off-site storage building where the delivery order came from.
If the container hasn’t been opened or tampered with, the Medical Marijuana Store, the Retail Marijuana Store, or an off-site storage facility can add the Regulated Marijuana back to their inventory and match it up with the Inventory Tracking System by the end of the work day. If not, this Rule and Rule 3-235 say that the Regulated Marijuana must be thrown away.
Personal identifying information about patients and customers must be kept secret. A medical marijuana store, a retail marijuana store, a medical marijuana transporter, a retail marijuana transporter, and their owner licensees and employee licensees must keep all personal identifying information and health care information they get from patients and customers secret. They must not give this information to anyone else besides those who need it to take, process, or deliver the marijuana.
Cannabis Delivery Explained:
- A method for keeping track of inventory is also needed for delivery.
- Preparing for the first delivery requires getting responsible vendor approval.
- Customers over 21 years old, patients over 21, or parents of patients under 18 can place orders at a private home. Patients between the ages of 18 and 20 cannot obtain deliveries.
Law #5: limits on Purchases
Legal reference: Read everything you need to know about Colorado’s purchase limits here.
Cannabis Purchase Limits Explained:
- People who need medical marijuana can buy up to 20,000 milligrams of medical marijuana products, 6 young plants, 40 grams of concentrate, or 2 ounces of flower.
- People who want to use cannabis for recreational purposes can buy up to 1 ounce, or 28 grams, of flower or a product that is the same amount.
- Remember that 1 ounce of flower is the same as 8 grams of extract, 800 mg of edibles, or six seeds and clones.
Colorado Cannabis Laws FAQS
Q. How much marijuana can I buy in Colorado?
Inside a single transaction, adults aged 21 and up can buy up to 1 ounce of marijuana, 8 grams of marijuana concentrate, or marijuana goods with up to 800 milligrams of THC. Sales made to the same customer more than once in the same workday are counted as one transaction.
Medical marijuana users can buy up to 2 ounces of medical marijuana, 8 grams of marijuana concentrate, or up to 20,000 mg of THC worth of marijuana products all at once. Sales made to the same customer more than once in the same workday are counted as one transaction.
Q. Is recreational cannabis legal in Colorado?
Recreational cannabis has been legal in Colorado since 2012.
Q. How do they tax marijuana in Colorado?
There is a 2.9% state sales tax on medical marijuana available. An excise tax of 15% is applied to the first transfer of marijuana from a wholesaler to a processor or reseller. A 15% state sales tax is also used for retail sales of marijuana.