Colorado Medical And Recreational Marijuana Laws
Colorado Medical and Recreational Marijuana laws – Colorado is one of the established marijuana markets, legally allowed to indulge in both medical as well as recreational marijuana. In fact, with Amendment 64, in 2014, Colorado became the 2nd state in U.S. to be allowed to establish the adult-use marijuana market.
With a market growing manifolds in terms of the retailors, it’s becoming crucial for marijuana dispensaries, both medical and recreational, to adopt with state-of-the-art cannabis dispensary POS, which will work towards revenue generation, along with staying in sync with compliance norms prevailing in the industry.
Let’s understand Colorado’s marijuana industry, specifically Colorado medical and recreational marijuana laws.
Colorado Medical And Recreational Marijuana Laws
- Retail cannabis licensing
- Cost for a retail dispensary license in Colorado
- Cost for a medical dispensary license in Colorado
- Application process for marijuana business in Colorado
- Basic marijuana dispensary requirements in Colorado
- Purchasing limits for retail cannabis
- Possession limits of medical marijuana in Colorado
- Possession limits of recreational marijuana in Colorado
- Taxes for marijuana in Colorado
- Colorado’s medical marijuana program
- Debilitating conditions qualifying for medical marijuana
- Tracking and reporting requirements in Colorado
- Zencanna’s POS tracking and reporting integrations
Colorado Marijuana Laws For Retailers
Colorado Retail Cannabis Licensing
The State Licensing Authority is legally in charge of the licensing process for all marijuana licenses. Once a marijuana business avails the license, the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) will look into compliance for the licensed businesses.
Cost for a retail dispensary license in Colorado
The license application cost for a retail dispensary in Colorado is $4500 plus $2500 (due to the local government). Renewal of the retail license will amount to $1800 annually.
Cost for a medical dispensary license in Colorado
The combined application cum licensing fee for a medical dispensary license comes to $9000 for up to 300 patients, $16,000 for 300-500 patients and $22,000 for 500 or more patients.
Application process for marijuana business in Colorado
- All applicants, including owners, managers and employees must be Colorado residents for at least 2 years, prior to application.
- A detailed financial and criminal background check will be done.
- Each application floor must highlight detailed and accurate floor plan of the prospective dispensary/retail operation.
- The entire application process spans a duration of 45-90 days. Once the state licenses a cannabis business, the licensee has a year to obtain approval and licensing from its local jurisdiction.
Basic marijuana dispensary requirements in Colorado
- Marijuana dispensaries are allowed to sell flower, seeds, edibles, concentrates, tinctures and topicals.
- Marijuana dispensaries should adhere to the timings of 8 a.m. till midnight. The late-night timings might be further limited by local jurisdictions, for e.g. in Denver, dispensaries should be kept open only till 10 p.m.
- Marijuana dispensaries should not be anywhere within 1000 feet of the school. In short, the location presence is very crucial for a marijuana dispensary.
- Security and surveillance requirements are of paramount importance in a marijuana dispensary. Stores must have alarm systems and locks at all entry points, including windows. These in turn should be monitored constantly and in the event of any discrepancy, it should be reported to MED.
- In terms of packaging, each marijuana product is supposed to be packaged in a sealed, non-transparent container.
- Marijuana products containing THC should clearly highlight the “THC” label, specifying serving size and all THC information (non-organic pesticides, fungicides and herbicides and lab testing information)
- In packaging label, edibles should highlight the entire list of ingredients, along with their nutritional values and required state warnings.
Purchasing limits for retail cannabis
- Tourists and residents are allowed to purchase marijuana, no more than 28 grams of flower (1 ounce) in a single transaction.
Possession limits of medical marijuana in Colorado
- Up to 2 oz of usable medical marijuana (seeds, leaves, buds and flowers or any mixture obtained) or
- 6 marijuana plants, with not more than 3 mature plants at a time.
Possession limits of recreational marijuana in Colorado
- 1 oz of flowers/8 grams of concentrates/800 mg of edibles and
- 6 plants (with no more than 3 mature ones)
Taxes for marijuana in Colorado
- 10% sales tax and 15% excise tax are applicable on retail marijuana sale in Colorado.
- In addition to the tax mentioned above, an additional state sales tax of 2.9% and local government sales tax is also applicable.
Colorado’s medical marijuana program
Medical marijuana was legally passed by Article 18, section 14 of the Colorado Constitution and Title 12, Article 43.3 of the Colorado Revised Statues, which now is called “Colorado Medical Marijuana Code”. As per the code, one is allowed to use medical marijuana only if
- He/she is a Colorado resident
- One is 18 years of age or above.
- Minors, under 18, with debilitating condition will have to apply for medical marijuana card with due approval of a parent/guardian, plus a certification from two separate physicians.
Debilitating conditions qualifying for medical marijuana
- A chronic disease, which causes cachexia (wasting syndrome/severe weight loss), severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, persistent muscle spasms.
Tracking and reporting requirements in Colorado
- Colorado state widely uses METRC for its seed-to-sale tracking. Hence, it emphasizes both medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries, operating within the state, to integrate with METRC for inventory reporting and compliance.
- METRC system generates RFID tags, which are like barcodes, attached to each plant. These tags help to track a plant every time it’s transported, damaged or sold. Hence, the scanning of these tags assists with the seed-to-sale tracking process of a marijuana flower or product.
- As per the state’s reporting requirement, every marijuana dispensary should submit inventory reconciliation reports to METRC, stating products sold, destroyed or even in-transit (with all taxes collected).
- Dispensaries are supposed to keep records on-site for at least 6 months, before storing them securely off-site. These records include existing employee lists, information on video surveillance, security alarms etc., advertising records, detailed floor plans of licensed dispensary premises and visitor logs (to keep a tab on any visitor access into limited/restricted access areas).
- In the event of unavailability/inaccuracy of records from a marijuana dispensary, state is authorized to conduct an independent accountant audit, where the questionable dispensary’s on-site records and even off-site records will be demanded for a review.
Zencanna’s POS tracking and reporting integrations
Zencanna’s marijuana dispensary point-of-sale system integrates with Colorado’s tracking and reporting requirements.
- The POS integrates well with METRC to track and trace compliance, automate reporting and establish inventory accuracy.
- The cannabis retail software integrates with BIOTRACKTHC, to assist further with compliance and adhere with government mandates in state.
- Zencanna’s POS system is equipped with right hardware accessories like embedded bar code scanners, which conveniently scan the RFID tags, assisting further in the state’s seed-to-sale tracking process.
- The marijuana POS is highly tax compliant, automating cannabis tax calculations and tax filing for both medical and recreational cannabis dispensaries, across all states, including Colorado.
- To avoid “looping”, every purchase by a customer is linked to his ID, to track the total amount of marijuana sold. Once the daily limit is met, the POS will automatically block any further sales, making it easy for the staff to stay within permissible sale limits.