Sorting Through the Harvest of Marijuana Bills Passed by the Colorado Legislature

Governor John Hickenlooper has signed over 400 bills into law since February, but only thirteen directly concerned marijuana.
Governor John Hickenlooper has signed over 400 bills into law since February, but only thirteen directly concerned marijuana.
Colorado House Democrats

It's been a busy few months for Governor John Hickenlooper's right hand, which has signed over 400 bills from the latest legislative session into law since February 21, the last on June 6. Fifteen marijuana-related bills were put in front of him during that span, most of which received the governor's signature. The new laws address a wide array of issues in commercial and medical marijuana, industrial hemp and the gray and black markets. Here's a breakdown on each marijuana-related bill passed by the Colorado Legislature in 2017, the actions that Hickenlooper took on them, and when (and if) they'll become effective.

HB17-1034: Medical Marijuana License Issues
Sponsors: Representative Dan Pabon (D-District 4), Senator Randy Baumgardner (R-District 8)
Status: Signed
Effective: Immediately
Summary: The retail marijuana code requires a license for retail marijuana business operators. This bill creates a corresponding medical marijuana business operator license. Under current law, a medical marijuana licensee may move his or her location within the city or county where the business is licensed upon approval of the local and state licensing authority. Under the retail marijuana code, a licensee can move his or her business anywhere in Colorado upon approval of the state and local jurisdiction. The bill would allow a medical marijuana licensee to move his or her business anywhere in Colorado upon approval of the state and local jurisdiction to conform with the retail marijuana code.

The bill also allows medical marijuana-infused product manufacturers to sell or buy medical marijuana from another medical marijuana-infused product manufacturer.

SB17-015: Unlawful Marijuana Advertising
Sponsors:
Senator Irene Aguilar (D- District 32), Representative Dan Pabon (D-District 4)
Status: Signed
Effective: September 1, 2017
Summary: The bill makes it a level 2 drug misdemeanor for a person not licensed to sell medical or retail marijuana to advertise for the sale of marijuana or marijuana concentrate. The bill excludes from the crime primary caregivers, medical marijuana-infused product manufacturers, retail marijuana product manufacturers, and retail marijuana testing facilities.

SB 17-178: Marijuana Use as a Condition of Bond
Sponsors: Senator Vickie Marble (R-District 23 ), Representative Jovan Melton (D-District 41)
Status: Signed
Effective: August 9, 2017
Summary: The bill prohibits a court from imposing as a bond condition a ban on marijuana use if the person possesses a valid medical marijuana registry identification card.

HB 17-1197: Exclude Marijuana From Farm Products Definition
Sponsors: Representative Joann Ginal (D-District 52), Senator Don Coram (R-District 6)
Status: Signed
Effective: August 9, 2017
Summary: Under the Farm Products Act, the commissioner of agriculture or his or her designee licenses farm product dealers, small-volume dealers, and their agents. The bill excludes marijuana from the definition of "farm products" under the act.

HB 17-1295: Repeal Governor's Office of Marijuana Coordination
Sponsors:
Representative Bob Rankin (R-District 57), Senator Dominick Moreno (D-District 21)
Status: Signed
Effective: July 1, 2017
Summary: The Colorado General Assembly created the governor's office of marijuana coordination in 2014 to coordinate the executive branch response to the legalization of retail marijuana as directed by the governor. The bill repeals the office of marijuana coordination, effective July 1, 2017.

SB 17-025: Marijuana Education Materials Resource Bank
Sponsors:
Senator Randy Baumgardner (R-District 8), Senator Chris Holbert (R-District 30), Representative Jonathan Singer (D-District 11)
Status: Signed
Effective: Immediately
Summary: This bill will create and maintain a resource bank to be known as the Jack Splitt Memorial Resource Bank by July 1, 2017, for public schools to use without charge. It will consist of materials and curricula pertaining to marijuana use and, upon request of a public school, to provide technical assistance in designing age-appropriate curricula on marijuana use.

The bill authorizes the Department of Education to contract for the maintenance of the resource bank and the development of the curricula, and directs the department to solicit input from persons within and outside of the marijuana industry.

Upcoming Events

After the resource bank and curricula are available, school districts, charter schools and boards of cooperative services are encouraged to report to the department on their effectiveness and offer recommendations for changes. The bill authorizes resource bank expenses to be paid from the marijuana-tax cash fund.

HB 17-1203: Local Government Special Sales Tax on Retail Marijuana
Sponsors:
Representative Steve Lebsock (D-District 34), Senator Larry Crowder (R-District 35), Senator Beth Martinez Humenik (R-District 24)
Status: Signed
Effective: Immediately
Summary: The Colorado Court of Appeals has held that current law does not authorize counties to levy and collect a sales tax on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products in addition to any sales tax imposed by the state and the standard sales tax imposed by the county. Current law is also silent regarding the authority of a statutory municipality to collect a special sales tax on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products. The bill authorizes counties and municipalities to levy, collect and enforce a special sales tax on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products; except that a county may levy, collect and enforce a special sales tax on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products only under the following circumstances:

  • The county levies, collects and enforces a special sales tax upon all sales of retail marijuana and retail marijuana products in the unincorporated areas of the county.
  • The county levies, collects and enforces a special sales tax upon all sales of retail marijuana and retail marijuana products in the municipalities within the county that do not levy a special sales tax on the sale of retail marijuana and retail marijuana products. The county special sales tax is authorized only until the municipality obtains voter approval for a special municipal tax on the sale of retail marijuana and retail marijuana products. After such time, any county special sales tax is invalid within the corporate boundaries of the municipality unless the county enters into an intergovernmental agreement with the municipality to allow the county to continue to levy, collect and enforce the county's special sales tax.
  • The governing body of any county and the governing body of any municipality within the boundaries of the county that levies a municipal special sales tax on the sale of retail marijuana and retail marijuana products enter into an intergovernmental agreement pertaining to the county's levy, collection and enforcement of a special sales tax upon all sales of all retail marijuana and retail marijuana products. The intergovernmental agreement may include a provision for the apportionment of a specified percentage of the gross retail marijuana special sales tax revenue collected by the county to the municipality.
  • The bill specifies that a county or a municipality may not levy a special sales tax under any circumstance until the proposed tax has been referred to and approved by the eligible electors of the county or municipality, as applicable. A county or municipality must refer the proposed tax to the eligible electors only on the date of the state general election, on the first Tuesday in November of an odd-numbered year, or, in the case of a municipality, on the date of a municipal biennial election.

Keep reading for more bills, including one the governor vetoed.



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