Gov. John Hickenlooper

Colorado now has laws governing the legal market for recreational marijuana. Tuesday Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law a set of bills that regulate all parts of the new industry including everything from licensing, how marijuana will be grown and labeling requirements.

The new laws were approved by the state legislature earlier this month based on the recommendations of Hickenlooper’s implementation task force.

One of the bills signed by Hickenlooper would enact a 10 percent sales tax on retail recreational marijuana and a 15 percent excise tax. Because of Colorado’s Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights, the legislation must first go before the voters before it can be enacted. This November the people of Colorado will get to vote on taxing marijuana. It is expected to be approved easily. The new tax revenue will be used for school construction and to pay for the cost of regulating the marijuana market.

Now that Colorado officially has laws governing the marijuana market, it is expected that the first marijuana retail shop could open as early as January of next year, assuming the federal government doesn’t try to interfere. The Obama administration still hasn’t publicly said how they plan to deal with legalization in Colorado and Washington State