Recent Colorado Cannabis Regulation Developments

Colorado cannabis regulation
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Much has been happening with regard to cannabis regulation in the U.S. state of Colorado in the last few weeks – here’s a summary of some of what’s been going on.

In late May, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 117 into law, which confirms industrial hemp as a recognized agricultural product for which a person with agricultural water rights may use the water subject to relevant regulations for industrial hemp cultivation, even if that water is supplied from a federal Bureau of Reclamation facility. Previously the Feds had declared water stored in a federal facility cannot be used to grow hemp.

Last Monday, Governor Hickenlooper signed another bill into law allowing Colorado residents to use medical marijuana to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms if they have received clearance from a doctor to do so. According to The Cannabist, this is the first qualifying condition covered under the state’s medical marijuana law to be added since it was rolled out back in 2001 – 16 years ago.

An updated list of qualifying conditions in Colorado:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Cachexia
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe pain
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Governor Hickenlooper also made a final decision on remaining bills of the 2017 Legislative Session late last week, one of which was related to medical marijuana.

The Governor vetoed  SB17-111, which would have provided the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) the ability to modify vertical integration requirements for medical marijuana licensees and granted an exception to requirements for inventory transfers between identically owned licensees.

Governor Hickenlooper said both provisions would have weakened long-standing laws in a way that would favour a subset of licensees, created challenges for MED, and ran the risk of destabilizing Colorado’s medical marijuana markets.

Earlier last week, the Governor also signed HB 17-1220, which deals with measures to stop diversion of legal marijuana to the black market, and HB 17-122; which is relation to gray and black market marijuana enforcement efforts.

HB 17-1367 was sent  to the Secretary of State to become law without signature; which is in connection to marijuana research authorization an appropriation for the same.