Colorado's Legal Cannabis Changes in 2017

Colorado saw no shortage of changes to its legal pot landscape in 2017.
Colorado saw no shortage of changes to its legal pot landscape in 2017. Scott Lentz
Even as Colorado heads into its fifth year of legalized recreational marijuana sales, regulations guiding the state's cannabis industry continue to change. In 2017, the state Supreme Court, Marijuana Enforcement Division, state legislature and local municipalities all decided on laws and ordinances that affected how cannabis is grown, sold and consumed.

Keeping up with all of the updates to cannabis laws and their consequences can make your head spin. Here's a chronological list of prominent legal changes — or attempted legal changes — that took place in 2017.

"No More Vaping in National Parks, but Is NPS's Reasoning Sound?"
The National Park Service announced in January that vaping — including all electronic nicotine-delivery systems — would no longer be allowed in any national parks; the NPS didn't forget to include the electronic systems many of us use to covertly consume cannabis in public.

"Cops Can Destroy Seized Weed, Colorado Supreme Court Rules"
After legalization in Colorado, any time police seized cannabis in a criminal investigation, they were required to care for it — either by keeping the plants alive or by returning the marijuana in a usable form to the owner. But in January, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that requiring police to store marijuana in evidence and return it violates federal law, and that the evidence must be destroyed.

"Thornton Approves County's First Recreational Dispensary"
On March 23, Thornton City Council approved a license for its first retail pot store, but not without some hesitation from councilmembers.

"Denver City Council Extends Dispensary Hours to 10 p.m."
On April 24, Denver City Council extended dispensary operating hours after months of studying the issue. Previously, dispensaries were allowed to stay open until 7 p.m., but a majority of the city's retail dispensaries have since extended their closing time to 10 p.m.

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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for
Contact: Thomas Mitchell