Legalizing medical and recreational marijuana may have seemed like the end of a long journey for consumers, but it was just the beginning of a vigorous regulatory obstacle course for advocates, lobbyists and industry members. As state and local governments continue to "build a plane as we fly it," to quote former Colorado marijuana czar Andrew Freedman, Colorado's Marijuana Enforcement Division wants your input during its next round of stakeholder meetings – but only if you know your shit.
The MED's summer stakeholder groups will provide suggestions and input for the agency's 2017 rulemaking session as it deliberates changes to industry regulations and legislation implementation. The five meetings will focus on the following:
Thursday, August 31
Labeling and Packaging
Thursday, September 14
Legislation Implementation: HB17-1367 – part one
Friday, September 15
Legislation Implementation: HB17-1367 – part two
Tuesday, September 19
Other Updates: Testing, sampling, permitted and prohibited transfers, transporters and operators and more
HB1034, SB192 and SB187 were all passed in the most recent Colorado Legislature session and received Governor John Hickenlooper's signature. They largely focus on industry licensing applications and transfers.
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HB 1367 – the lone subject of two different meetings – failed to receive Hickenlooper's endorsement, but he didn't veto it, either. Instead, he sent the bill to the Secretary of State to become law, along with a request to redraft it at the beginning of next year's General Assembly. A word change in late amendments to the measure required that a state agency use results from marijuana testing labs that are certified by both the Colorado Department of Revenue and accredited by the International Organization for Standardization and International Electrotechnical Commission. Only two of the MED's sixteen registered testing labs currently meet those requirements.
Those interested in applying to be a part of the stakeholder groups are encouraged to apply no later than 9 a.m. Monday, July 17, by sending an e-mail to DOR_MEDRuleComments@state.co.us. In order to be accepted, applicants must include their name and contact information, job title and employer, which MED work group they'd like to participate in, and a brief explanation of no more than 150 words detailing their qualifications and motivation.
"The Division would like to let all work group applicants know that even if not selected to participate on a work group, interested parties can still take an active role in the rulemaking process by attending work group meetings and offering verbal comments during the public comment portion of the meetings," says MED Director Jim Burack in an announcement of the meetings. "Interested parties will also be able to submit written comments to the Division concerning all rules that are being considered."
Selections will be announced by Friday, July 21.