Although Coloradans went to the ballot box to ensure that marijuana would be legal in their state, there are still plenty of details to hammer out. By gubernatorial order, a group of experts and public officials has commenced meetings that will determine the specific mechanisms of the state’s retail sales laws. Read on…
The Amendment 64 Implementation Task Force has begun to write the rules for marijuana sales in CO. “They have two months to create the rules to regulate a new industry of legalized, regulated marijuana sales in Colorado. They are members of a task force created by an executive order on December 10, when Gov. John Hickenlooper officially declared Amendment 64 law. Their mission: establishing a regulatory framework for a new statewide marijuana industry… There are five such subgroups that will work through a list of issues, which stretches more than 100 items long, to make recommendations to the full task force… Among the many questions the task force will have to wrestle with: how to track marijuana so that it doesn’t get diverted to the black market, whether to limit THC content in marijuana, impose requirements on growing standards, labeling and advertising, whether to implement restrictions to keep marijuana out of the hands of minors, and whether marijuana sales should be limited to residents of Colorado.” Thomas Clarke at the Daily Chronic
The task force mulls state-operated retail. “With A64 official, it is now legal for adults to possess small amounts and smoke marijuana in private. But the legislature still has to establish rules for how pot will ultimately be regulated and sold. The commercial component is a central consideration of the task force and one that has raised questions about whether retail marijuana shops should be limited to Colorado residents… The idea of possible state-operated recreational marijuana dispensaries was raised yesterday at a full meeting of the task force, which met for the first time last month and has divided into sub-groups. At this stage of the process, the task force has only done preliminary work intended to pinpoint the central issues.” Sam Levin at the Denver Westword.
…and excluding sales to non-Colorado residents. “Once retail shops for recreational marijuana can open their doors in Colorado, who will actually be allowed to use them? This was one of the questions raised at a meeting yesterday of the Amendment 64 task force charged with making recommendations on implementing the new law. We’ll likely see more debate over the next month on the question of whether retail pot shops should be limited to in-state residents… “No decisions were made, of course, but the question is whether or not allowing non-Colorado residents to access the industry was going to basically cause the feds to step in,” says Pabon, “because then this…[is] interstate commerce…and therefore crossing state boundaries.” ” Sam Levin at the Denver Westword
Timeline: Schedule for Amendment 64 Implementation
Washington County, CO installs moratorium on retail applications until regulations are completed. “The Board of Washington County Commissioners adopted a Resolution “Declaring a Moratorium on the Applications for Any and All Permitted Activity” relating to Amendment 64. The moratorium further states, “The Board of County Commissioners finds that the State is currently undertaking rule making activities and promulgating regulations as required for implementation of Amendment 64, and thus until such regulations and/or ultimate statutes are approved, this Board cannot regulate any activity for which Amendment 64 would allow and it is impossible to promulgate zoning regulations under these circumstances.” The Board’s action creates a moratorium period declared from 12:00 a.m., January 1, 2013, to 12:00 a.m., June 29, 2013, or until further action of this Board ending or modifying this moratorium, whichever occurs first.” Akron News-Reporter
Legal marijuana could complicate use of drug-sniffing dogs trained to detect marijuana. “Now that anyone over 21 can have marijuana, police officers across Colorado are acclimating to the idea that it’s OK for people to possess small amounts. But drug-sniffing dogs may have a harder time getting that message.,. The dogs often are used to find probable cause to search, for example, a suspicious vehicle. A dog is walked around the vehicle to sniff the air next to it, giving an alert signal such as digging at an area of the car if it senses an illegal drug… But if a police dog has been trained to alert on a substance that is legal, it could be seen as overintrusive.” Robert Allen at the Coloradan
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