Marijuana Enforcement Division Mulling Some Big Changes

COLORADO:  Over the past several weeks, dozens of politicians, state administrators, doctors and industry stakeholders have been meeting and discussing potential game-changing rules for Colorado’s marijuana industry — all of which will be presented at a hearing at the end of the month, when public feedback will be sought.

As part of the state Marijuana Enforcement Division’s 2015 Rulemaking Session, six different working groups have met to “discuss, deliberate and provide suggestions” before the MED begins drafting new regulations. Issues such as commercial production limits, the sale or transfer of cannabis business licenses and the never-ending saga of edibles packaging have all been addressed in some form, and they include changes that could affect pot shopping, from the grow warehouse to the shelf.

Although discussion of House Bill 14-1366 (which is scheduled to take effect in January 2016 and could result in the labeling of all marijuana edibles with a red stop sign containing the letters “THC”) has received most of the attention — and ire — from marijuana industry advocates, proposed changes to record-keeping, potency variances and hemp testing could all cause rippling effects to the state’s pot bubble.

Two Aspen Marijuana Shops Cited For Underage Sale To Enforcement Officer

COLORADO:  Two recreational marijuana shops in Aspen were cited this week by state regulators for selling pot to an underage customer in a set of rare cases for the industry in Colorado.

The Marijuana Enforcement Division confirmed that it issued two citations after conducting seven underage compliance checks in Aspen.

Since January 2014, the division has conducted about 130 underage compliance checks statewide, resulting in a total of nine violations, Moore said.

In the 19 months since recreational marijuana has been legal in Colorado, recreational shops — for the most part — have been  lauded for their compliance with state law, particularly on the hot-button topic of underage possession and consumption.

No Free Pot Samples At Cannabis Cup In Denver

COLORADO: The free sampling of businesses’ marijuana, edibles and concentrates — a tradition that has long been a primary draw for fans of the annual Cannabis Cups that happen around the world — will no longer happen so freely at the Denver event.

The U.S. Cannabis Cup in Denver is High Times magazine’s largest event and likely one of the biggest ticketed marijuana parties in the world; the trade show, expo and festival takes over the Denver Mart in unincorporated Adams County every 4/20 weekend. But when the Cup opens its doors on Saturday at noon, it’s going to look and feel very different when compared to the sampling free-for-all of last 4/20.

“Licensed cannabis businesses are not allowed to participate in the transaction of sampling or giving marijuana away at events like the Cup,” said Rhett Jordan, founding partner at the Native Roots chain of pot shops, interpreting an April 3 bulletin from Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division.

Colorado Marijuana Still Not Tested For Contaminants

COLORADO:  A year into sales of recreational marijuana in Colorado, the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division still has yet to start ordering the testing of marijuana for contaminants, something the state of Washington has been doing for nearly six months.

An ongoing investigation between USA Today and 9Wants to Know reveals more than 13 percent of marijuana and THC-infused products has failed testing for contaminants for such things as mold, salmonella and E. coli in Washington.

Colorado has struggled to define criteria for contaminant testing and, as of now, only orders testing for potency of marijuana and marijuana products. In addition, an earlier investigation by 9Wants to Know revealed Colorado’s MED remains either unwilling or unable to offer specifics on how that testing is going.

In contrast, Washington marijuana enforcement office told USA Today Reporter Trevor Hughes all sorts of details about that state’s testing.

 

Inside Colorado’s New Marijuana Rules

COLORADO:  The Marijuana Enforcement Division has approved an updated set of rules for the recreational and medical marijuana industries. Many of the changes appear to be procedural and mostly clarify existing processes for things like converting a medical dispensary to a recreational or dual-use shop.

The timing was key, as new recreational marijuana producers can begin selling their own cannabis. And as of October 1, grows no longer need to be directly tied to a specific recreational dispensary — meaning they can wholesale to any state-licensed entity.

Other rules that were adopted further define what makes a package child-resistant and require opaque packaging that is resalable for anything meant to be used more than once (like a bag of herb). All packaging has to be labeled with MED rules as well as pertinent product information. The revised regs also clarify how medical dispensaries that want to make the jump can legally transition to either dual-use or full-recreational shops — including requirements that all inventory being transferred is entered into the state’s computerized inventory tracking system. Fees for transitioning businesses were also lowered. For example, licenses for a medical marijuana center applying for a retail marijuana-store license dropped from $3,750 to $3,000.

The new rules also set a limit on the number of plants each medical-turned-recreational shop can have. If the shop was a type 1 medical center before, it can’t grow more than 3,600 recreational plants. Type 2 centers converting over can grow up to 6,000 plants, and Type 3 centers making the switch can grow up to 10,200 plants. The department reserves the right to lower those allowed plant counts on an individual basis if a center can’t prove that it is using or selling all of its cannabis. Businesses that want to increase plant counts can also apply for waivers, though they’ll have to demonstrate the need by showing at least three months of financial data with the state. Shops that have already hit the 10,200 plant maximum will not be given waivers for more.

 

 

Colorado Tightens Marijuana Rules

COLORADO:  Medical and retail marijuana dispensaries will receive about 30 new rules related to almost every aspect of their businesses.

The state Marijuana Enforcement Division, or MED, released the new rules Thursday, Sept. 24. The rules change everything from the startup licensing fees, to rules for cultivation, production, edibles, sales, employee training and product testing. Right down to a hand-washing requirement.

State officials have contended that Colorado’s new recreational marijuana industry is a work in progress, and these new standards underscore that fact.

“I think the new rules make a lot of sense,” said Mark Slaugh, CEO of iComply, a cannabis industry compliance and consulting firm. “We’re putting out consumer education and teaching business owners and workers how to be responsible vendors. From a business decision, it’s a no-brainer.”

 

No Colorado Marijuana Stores Found Selling To Minors In Police Checks

COLORADO:  Police have so far sanctioned no recreational marijuana stores for selling to minors during underage compliance stings across the state, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Authorities in Denver and Pueblo, working with regulators from the state Marijuana Enforcement Division, have conducted 20 undercover stings in which they see whether a store will sell pot to someone under 21. Sixteen of the compliance checks have occurred in Denver, home to most of the state’s recreational marijuana stores.

So far, no store has sold to someone under 21 in the checks.

“It is imperative that we keep marijuana out of the hands of kids,” Barbara Brohl, the executive director of the Department of Revenue, which includes the Marijuana Enforcement Division, said in a statement. “These results show that strong efforts are being made by the MED and the marijuana business licensees to do just that.”

Colorado Recreational Marijuana Sales Exceed $5 Million In First Week

COLORADO:  Colorado marijuana dispensaries made huge sales in the first week of legal recreational marijuana.

Owners of the 37 new dispensaries around the state reported first week retail sales to The Huffington Post that, when added together, were roughly $5 million.

That’s a lot of green for Colorado’s legal weed.

Colorado, the first state to allow retail recreational marijuana sales to adults age 21 and older, has projected nearly $600 million in combined wholesale and retail marijuana sales annually. The state, which expects to collect nearly $70 million in tax revenue from pot sales this year, won’t have its first official glimpse at sales figures until Feb. 20, when businesses are required to file January tax reports, according to Julie Postlethwait of the state Marijuana Enforcement Division. [Read more…]

More Than 100 Recreational Marijuana Shops In Line To Open In Colorado

COLORADO:  Colorado could have more than 100 recreational-marijuana stores open Jan. 1, according to newly released numbers from the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division.

The division, which oversees Colorado’s regulation of marijuana businesses, accepted 136 applications in October from people seeking to open recreational pot shops. The division also accepted 28 applications for recreational marijuana-infused-products businesses and 174 applications for recreational cultivation facilities. [Read more…]

More Than 100 Recreational Marijuana Shops In Line To Open In Colorado

COLORADO:  Colorado could have more than 100 recreational-marijuana stores open Jan. 1, according to newly released numbers from the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division.

The division, which oversees Colorado’s regulation of marijuana businesses, accepted 136 applications in October from people seeking to open recreational pot shops. The division also accepted 28 applications for recreational marijuana-infused-products businesses and 174 applications for recreational cultivation facilities. [Read more…]