Colorado’s marijuana laws are about to change. The Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) has been conducting meetings to smooth out any wrinkles in existing laws so that stakeholders and government officials can better understand new laws and regulations. The public is highly encouraged to attend and provide input as well.
Cannabis business owners, doctors, lawyers and government officials are discussing how to best implement HB 1034, HB 1261, SB 187 and SB 192, all of which have been signed into law by Governor John Hickenlooper. Since MED oversees the marijuana industry, it’s looking at a wide range of ways in which to enforce the new laws.
Meetings will be conducted through the end of September, however, some big changes we can bet on have already been put on the table. Here are five from the most recent meeting:
Perhaps most importantly for consumers, the issue of contaminated pot is being addressed via rule r1507 of SB 192. Said rule confronts failed test results for retail cannabis. The law is to set up a system of testing, though it also leaves room for one retest. Not of the same product, but if your flowers are in some way contaminated that will be solved by extraction, the extraction can then be tested for contaminants. If it passes, great. If it doesn’t, it’s trash. There will be no retesting of medical products, there it’s simply a pass/fail system.
Employee training is on the docket. The new rule here puts a program in place to train out of state employees on the ins and outs of Colorado legalization and retail sales. Purveyors are also hoping that it addresses the key badge provision. Currently, only team members with key badges can be in a retail dispensary unsupervised. Though the definition of unsupervised varies by locale (in some places, a camera will suffice), businesses hope this rule relaxes a bit.
- Moving from one location to another is also currently difficult because of the laws that change from one town to another. Rule m206 of HB 1034 would make it so that a business that wants to move to another town simply must pay a change of location application fee instead of paying all fees at once, as must currently be done.
- Packaging and labeling stand to change as well to work with HB 1261, which called the packaging issues a “matter of statewide concern.” They want essential information to be present with the least amount of packaging required to do so. Colorado is looking at other legal states at the moment to see what they’re doing in the labeling arena. Much of the packaging and labeling decisions will be made later in the month, however, leaving us with…
- Rule m601 of HB 1034 regarding infused cannabis products. The new rules hit business owners more than consumers; they allow medical infused product (MIP) licenses to sell to other wholesale MIP manufacturers and so on, including the exchange of flowers.
The next round of meetings will be on September 14th and 15th to discuss licensing clinical medical cannabis research. A very exciting prospect. The meetings will be in Golden at the Colorado Gaming Commission conference room, 17301 West Colfax Avenue. Any unresolved issues will be brought up during two separate catch all sessions, September 19th and the 22nd at the same location. The final day that public comment will be considered is October 16th during the final rule hearing.