We now have our first really good preview of how the legal market for marijuana will likely work in Colorado. The task force created by Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) to come up with recommendations on how to implement the newly approved Amendment 64 has finally released its official report. While the state government will probably not adopt every suggestion of the task force, this document should serve as the basic road map for implementation.
In addition to helping to shape the new marijuana rules in Colorado, it is likely this report will end up having national implications. It will probably directly or indirectly influence future marijuana legalization laws/regulation in other states.
The report is 165 pages and contains a total of 58 individual policy recommendations. The recommendations cover everything from how marijuana growers should be regulated to how products should be labeled and packaged. Here are just a few of the recommendations most likely to be of interest to an average consumer.
- Only Colorado residents should be allowed to attain licenses to run a marijuana business.
- Both residents and visitors should be permitted to buy marijuana for personal use, but the state could adopt a lower per-transaction purchase limit for non-residents. The highest possible limit would be one ounce per purchases because legally that is the most an adult is allowed to possess under the new law.
- Allow marijuana stores to only sell marijuana or related products.
- Require all marijuana products to label the THC content, list of non-organic pesticides used to in growing, and the point of origin.
- All marijuana products sold should be in child-proof packaging with a warning label.
- Limit THC per serving in marijuana infused products.
- Don’t allow marijuana products to also contain nicotine or alcohol.
These recommendations are non-binding but it is likely that many of them will be adopted in some form by the state.
This is the beginning of a very important transition in marijuana policy. The big political issue is no longer just whether or not marijuana should be legal but how it should be regulated and taxed.