Colorado Cannabis Industry to Benefit from Potential Legislative Changes

sean mcallister

Guest post by Sean McAllister

The Colorado General Assembly ended its legislative session last Wednesday, May 11. Several exciting new bills concerning marijuana passed both houses and have been sent to the governor for signature. Specific highlights include removal of the 2 year residency requirement, elimination of the purchase limit for out-of-state residents, and the creation of a new class of transporter license.

It is expected that the following bills will be signed into law:

SB 16-40: Ownership Rule Changes

This groundbreaking bill eliminates the 2 year residency requirement and allows Colorado marijuana businesses to be owned entirely, or in part, by out-of-state residents, so long as the business has an “officer” who is a Colorado resident. This bill creates 3 new classes of “owners”: (1) direct beneficial interest owners, (2) indirect beneficial interest owners, and (3) qualified limited passive investors. MED will make detailed rules this fall concerning qualifications and limitations for each group. These new changes will take effect Jan. 1, 2017.

HB 16-1261: Retail Marijuana Sunset

This bill continues the Retail Marijuana Code until Sep. 1, 2019, and implements several new changes to the statutory language such as repealing the out-state consumer limits and allowing performance based incentives for MIP and grow employees. Notable details include:

(1) repealing the requirement that a license application be denied based on a previous denial at the same location

(2) giving MED statewide authority over all packaging and labeling standards

(3) repealing the limitation on sales of marijuana themed magazines to retail marijuana stores or behind the counter at other locations where persons under 21 are present

(4) harmonizing mandatory testing with the Medical Marijuana Code

(5) allowing performance-based bonuses for employees at grows and MIPs

(6) allowing a licensee to remediate a product that has tested positive for a microbial

(7) repealing the ¼ ounce limit for sales to non-residents, so all customers over 21 can buy 1 ounce

(8) exempting non-edible, non-psychoactive retail marijuana products (e.g. non-transdermal topicals, lotions, and ointments) from the 1 ounce purchase limit

(9) requiring potency labeling of marijuana concentrate on display in display cases

(10) allowing trade craftpersons to be reasonably monitored instead of accompanied full-time while working in a limited access area

This bill will take effect upon signing by the governor (except for specific provisions that require MED rulemaking, which will take effect following rulemaking in the fall).

HB 16-1211: Marijuana Transporter License

This bill creates a distinct transporter license for third parties to store and transport marijuana between licensed businesses. MED will promulgate specific rules concerning transporter licenses in the fall, and will start accepting applications for transporter licenses beginning Jan. 1, 2017.

HB 16-1427: Multi Serving Liquid Retail Marijuana Products

This bill exempts multi-serving liquid recreational marijuana products from the universal symbol requirement, and requires such products to be packaged with a single mechanism that achieves child resistance and proper dosage of 10mg active THC per dose, with no more than 100mg active THC per container. It will take effect following MED rulemaking in the fall.

HB 16-1436: No Edibles Shaped to Entice Kids

This bill prohibits all edibles from being in the shape of humans, animals, or fruits. It will take effect following MED rulemaking in the fall.

HB 16-1359: Use of MMJ on Probation

This bill slightly tweaks the reasons a court can prohibit a probationer from using medical marijuana while on probation, to require that the prohibition be based on material evidence, as opposed to a substance abuse evaluation (as is the current law). This new law will take effect August 10, 2016.

HB16-1363: MMJ Advertising

This bill gives MED the same rulemaking authority concerning advertising for medical marijuana that it currently has for retail marijuana. New rules will take effect following MED rulemaking in the fall.

HB 16-1373: Student MMJ Use at School

With a few specific limitations, this bill permits a primary caregiver to administer non-smokable medical marijuana on school property to a student with a valid medical marijuana card. It will take effect upon signing by the governor.

HB 16-080: MMJ Required to be Grown in an Enclosed and Locked Space

This bill requires medical marijuana grown at home to be grown in an enclosed and locked space. It will take effect upon signing by the governor.

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Sean McAllister is a leading marijuana industry attorney in Colorado and California. Mr. McAllister helped draft Amendment 64 and he has represented hundreds of dispensaries and marijuana companies since 2009. McAllister Law Office represents some of the leading marijuana companies in Colorado and is a full service business law firm for the marijuana industry now licensed in California as well.

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Published by NCV Newswire
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