Tough, proposed marijuana rules posted in Colorado
December 16, 2010
DENVER – Marijuana sellers in Colorado could have to wear photo badges, and patients could have new limits on changing their primary dispensaries if tough, new rules are adopted next year.
The changes were contained in a 99-page list of draft rules posted online Thursday by Colorado regulators crafting the nation’s most extensive rules for commercial marijuana sales.
The state revenue department is expected to adopt the new rules early next year and does not need approval by lawmakers.
The rules govern all aspects of the commercial sale of marijuana.
Colorado will dictate how growers can raise pot plants and how marijuana can be sold to the state’s 116,000 marijuana patients.
The proposed rules include a four-page list of banned pesticides and other chemicals.
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In addition, marijuana patients who want to designate a primary dispensary would have to stick with the selection for at least 120 days, though they could shop anywhere they like.
The 120-day rule was requested by pot shop owners who worried they could be penalized for exceeding Colorado’s six-plants-per-patient requirement if a patient changed their dispensary designation before a plant could be harvested.
Other highlights of the proposed regulations include:
• Food containing pot would have to include a label listing all ingredients, plus a warning that the food includes marijuana “produced without regulatory oversight for health, safety or efficacy.”
• Marijuana dispensaries would have to record all sales on camera. Commercial pot shops would have to keep the recordings 20 days.
• Marijuana dispensaries could be fined or shut down for selling pot after a new 7 p.m. closing time or allowing pot to be consumed on the premises.
• Law enforcement officers who seize pot plants in the course of an investigation wouldn’t be obligated to keep the plants alive.
The proposed rules govern only commercial pot sales. A separate state agency is working on other new rules for marijuana patients, including guidelines for doctors to recommend pot.
Julie Postwaithe, a spokeswoman for the Department of Revenue’s marijuana work group that crafted the proposed regulations, said the rules took months to draft with input by marijuana growers, patients and sellers.
“The industry had an opportunity to participate in these rules,” she said.