Marijuana: Department of Revenue releases final recreational pot rules

The Colorado Department of Revenue has released its set of rules for the soon-to-be recreational marijuana industry. And there are a lot of them. The document is 144 pages long; see it below.

Much of the language in the doc is taken from existing medical marijuana rules in Colorado (which also got an update this week) including when and how cannabis can be sold and who can own and operate marijuana dispensaries.

A department press release maintains that "these rules are designed not to make the operation of Retail Marijuana Establishments unreasonably impracticable, but also promote public safety and ensure compliance with constitutional and statutory guidelines."

Starting October 1, the DOR will accept applications for recreational marijuana stores. If all goes as planned, those shops could open their doors as early as January 1, 2014. Medical marijuana facilities switching over to recreational sales will pay a $500 application fee, plus anywhere from $2,750 to $14,000 for an annual license.

Among the more controversial moves are rules that prevent stores from advertising in newspapers or the radio where more than 30 percent of the audience is reasonably expected to be under the age of 21. Stores must also grow their own cannabis until October of 2014, when separate cultivation facilities will be allowed.

In addition, the rules call for a system to track marijuana from the time it is grown until the point of sale (but not record to whom it is sold) -- much like the system required by the rules written for medical marijuana in 2010.

That system never materialized, despite the state having spent six-figure sums to create a "seed-to-sale" way to track plants and inventory. Details of the project's failure made their way into a previous state auditor's report, which lambasted the DOR for its mishandling of the medical marijuana industry.

To Jessica LeRoux of Twirling Hippy Confections, the Marijuana Inventory Tracking system (MITs) now being proposed is a slap in the face to the hundreds of medical businesses that want to transfer into recreational sales. Why? Because such operations have already bought into a failed medical marijuana tracking system through their licensing and application fees over the past few years.

Continue for more about the final recreational marijuana rules from the Colorado Department of Revenue, including the complete document.
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William Breathes
Contact: William Breathes

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