For many years, marijuana was illegal throughout the United States. But times have changed: Marijuana is now legal for medical use in 34 states and the District of Columbia, and for recreational use in 10 states and the District of Columbia. The change was driven by shifting attitudes toward the drug among the public, as well as by the scientific research that helped establish marijuana’s safety as a recreational drug and potential as a medical treatment. Among the first states to legalize marijuana was Colorado. Colorado and Washington state were the first places in the United States to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012 (California was the first to legalize medical marijuana when it did so in 1996).
But Colorado did not simply legalize the existing black market for marijuana. Instead, the legislators were careful to set up a new system for the legal production, sale, and use of marijuana. There were taxes, red tape, and plenty of new law governing where marijuana could and could not be grown, sold, advertised, or consumed.
What you need to know about personal marijuana laws in Colorado
In Colorado, adults over 21 can legally purchase and consume marijuana for recreational purposes. Medical marijuana, which requires a prescription, is available to minors who reside in Colorado, have parental permission, and are being legitimately treated for a medical condition.
But this doesn’t mean that Coloradans and tourists can have as much marijuana as they want. There are limits.
Colorado law says that individuals can have up to six marijuana plants of their own, with a maximum of three plants flowering at a given time. As for the products in the stores, those are limited, too. You can buy only so much marijuana (1 ounce of the plant, for instance. Different forms of the drug have different limits.) in each transaction. Transactions are limited to one per day.
Those boundaries aren’t too limiting, but it’s important to know where the lines are. And what’s important for individuals is even more important for business owners.
The marijuana business and the law
Entrepreneurs looking to start a marijuana growing business or open a marijuana dispensary will have to deal with a lot of red tape. State laws mandate a lot about marijuana businesses, including where such businesses can be located, how products can be displayed, and more.
Starting a business in the marijuana industry in Colorado can be a wise move. The cannabis industry is exploding right now, and popularity and profits are through the roof. But getting in on those profits can also be taxing (literally), and business owners need to be precise when following complex requirements for licensing and compliance with laws.
Colorado marijuana growing laws exist to govern whole businesses as well as individuals. Dispensaries, too, face plenty of regulation. To get a new marijuana business off the ground, entrepreneurs should reach out to local attorneys who specialize in Colorado marijuana law and business law. Between the standard legal concerns that come with founding a new business and the complex specifics of working in the weed industry, working without an attorney in your corner is simply not feasible.
Big opportunities and happy customers
Despite the red tape, though, the marijuana business has really taken off in Colorado. In fact, the cannabis industry is growing nationwide and worldwide, too. And Colorado’s consumers don’t seem to mind the legal regulations they face, either. Marijuana fans love being able to get their drug of choice easily and legally, and the vast majority of smokers obey all of the new laws that Colorado has put in place to govern its legal marijuana.