12-12-2016, Colorado isn’t a place you’d expect to see tightening marijuana laws. It was the first state to launch recreational marijuana growing. It also currently has some of the most lenient growing laws in the United States. However, Federal concern about Colorado’s marijuana industry is quickly prompting change.
Colorado: The Trouble Maker
We don’t know much about what Donald Trump thinks of marijuana legalization, but we do know that he thinks Colorado is a problem. He, unfortunately, is not the only one. The neighboring states of Nebraska and Oklahoma also think Colorado weed is a problem. They blame the state for an influx of black market marijuana and even sued over it.
The US Supreme Court dismissed the case. However, many still believe recreational marijuana is dangerous to neighboring states. This belief is likely shared by newly picked Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. As a result, Colorado is attempting to take the spotlight off of their state. Marijuana coordinator, Andrew Freedman, told reporters that their latest proposed laws are a way to ensure they are “beyond reproach for how well (they’re) regulating marijuana.”
New Laws for Growers
Colorado currently lets medical patients grow up to 99 plants, and allows recreational growing of up to six plants. It also permits cooperative grows, where groups of adults can cultivate large numbers of plants. These home and cooperative grow setups are unregulated and untaxed by the state. Many also suspect that much of their harvest ends up in neighboring states.
To reduce the number of undocumented plants, Colorado is considering a variety of new laws. These laws may range from a ban on recreational grows to more paperwork for those wanting to grow for medical reasons. The governor has already proposed a plan that would limit all home growing to 12 plants or less. This rule is already in effect in a few Colorado cities.
While twelve plants would reduce the amount of marijuana being grown in Colorado, it is still considerably more than California’s 6 plant and Washington’s 4 plant limit.
For the People or For the State
The Governor’s office says the new rules will reduce potential problems with the federal government. Some, such as Jason Warf, with the Southern Colorado Cannabis Council, believe that the new rules are strictly about tax revenue.
For now, home growers in Colorado should make sure to keep up with the current laws, because who knows how long they will stay so lenient.
Marijuana legislation can be complicated, but Jenny Bloom is always up for the task. Although not a lawyer, her experience as a reporter and PR specialist helps her understand legalese – especially when it relates to growing marijuana. A passionate supporter of legalization and home... [read more]