COLORADO: Colorado released landmark — but temporary — rules for the operation of recreational marijuana stores on Monday, providing finer detail to the state’s new legal pot industry but leaving many of the most complicated subjects untouched.
The rules mean Colorado joins Washington as the first two states to issue administration regulations for an unprecedented legal marijuana industry open to anyone over 21. The new rules govern everything from how a store obtains a license to how it transports marijuana to what types of packaging pot must be sold in. But the rules don’t address the details of how a store tracks its marijuana inventory or how crucial marijuana-potency testing will work. The rules also don’t resolve questions over some aspects of marijuana labeling and advertising.
Among the more notable regulations in the rules:
• Recreational marijuana stores and medical-marijuana dispensaries can’t operate out of the same shop unless the dispensary refuses to serve people under 21.
• Marijuana and marijuana-infused products must be sold in child-proof packaging.
• Marijuana products must be labeled with the license numbers of the producer that makes them and the store that sells them, as well as a to-be-determined “universal symbol, indicating that the containers holds marijuana.”
The rules, though, are ultimately placeholders that state officials hope to have rewritten by the time any recreational marijuana stores actually open, in January 2014. The first-draft “emergency rules” were released Monday to comply with a deadline set in Amendment 64, the measure voters approved in November that legalized marijuana retail sales to people over 21.
The, coincidentally, 64 pages of emergency rules are set to expire in late October, and state officials have already announced a more in-depth rulemaking process to spell out more robust regulation of the new industry.
“Our work is not done and we will continue to move forward and provide our state with a well regulated industry that maintains a clear focus on public safety,” Barbara Brohl, the executive director of Colorado’s Department of Revenue, said in a statement.
Brohl credited a collaboration between lawmakers, state officials, industry advocates and concerned citizens with helping her department issue the emergency rules in time. The department had about a month after Gov. John Hickenlooper signed several marijuana-related bills in late May to write and publish the emergency rules.