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US (CO): Cannabis Enforcement Division new rules went into effect Jan. 8, 2024

The Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) has announced new rules that go into effect on Jan. 8, 2024.

"As we approach the new year, we are committed to leveraging the unique opportunity we have to reflect on our successes and lessons learned as one of the most mature adult-use cannabis markets in the nation," said Dominique Mendiola, senior director of the Marijuana Enforcement Division. "We look forward to continuing our work together to demonstrate a model for responsible regulation as directed by the voters of Colorado and the General Assembly."

Here is a summary of the MED's legislation implementation:

  • HB 23-1279 Allow Retail Marijuana Online Sales - Removed the prohibition preventing a Retail Marijuana Store from accepting online orders and payment for retail marijuana over the internet.
  • HB 23-1021 Embargo And Destroy Marijuana - Authorized the Division to embargo regulated marijuana when the health, safety, or welfare of the public imperatively requires emergency action and authorized the destruction of embargoed regulated cannabis after notice and opportunity for a hearing.
  • SB 23-199 Marijuana License Applications and Renewals - Removed the requirement that the State Licensing Authority deny the first state license renewal application where local approval had not been obtained within the first year of state licensure. Under SB 23-199, a state-issued License that has not yet received local approval can still be renewed if the Applicant submits written documentation that demonstrates the Licensee has taken action to obtain local approval and why local approval has not yet been obtained.
  • SB 23-271 Intoxicating Cannabinoid Hemp and Marijuana - Authorized the State Licensing Authority to promulgate rules allowing or prohibiting chemical modification, conversion, or synthetic derivation of cannabinoids. The bill also allows a regulated cannabis cultivation facility to obtain marijuana seeds, immature plants, and genetic material from additional entities within Colorado's regulated marijuana framework, as well as from outside the Colorado-regulated marijuana space.

Here are some additional highlights from the new and revised rules effective Jan. 8, 2024:

  • Hospitality:
    • Increased sales allowances for Retail Marijuana Hospitality and Sales Businesses, specifically allowing for sales of no more than one ounce of Retail Marijuana flower, no more than eight grams of Retail Marijuana Concentrate, and no more than 100
      milligrams of Retail Marijuana Product;
    • Hospitality businesses must provide consumers with information regarding safe transportation, and must establish standard operating procedures on measures to prevent overconsumption and the Transfer of Retail Marijuana to any person
      displaying visible signs of intoxication;
    • A new rule creates narrow exceptions to other Licensed Hospitality Business requirements for spas, such as exempting video surveillance requirements for certain areas in which personal spa services are provided to customers.
  • New Reduced Testing Allowance Certification Fee: Effective Jan. 8, 2024, licensees interested in reduced testing privileges will need to submit (A) an attestation form regarding their understanding of the testing rules and requirements and (B) payment of the Reduced Testing Allowance Certification fee. Unless a Licensee has achieved a Reduced Testing Allowance Certification, every Harvest and Production Batch must be subject to required testing.

The MED will also be announcing additional stakeholder meetings in early 2024, with a focus on regulatory efficiencies and operational streamlining measures.

The MED appreciates the diverse perspectives of stakeholders who participated in the 2023 rulemaking processes that informed many of the regulatory updates reflected in these new rules. During this annual rulemaking and fee rulemaking, the Division held eight (8) stakeholder work
group meetings and received approximately 304 written comment submissions. And while the Division is prepared to engage in regulatory oversight and enforcement measures as necessary to protect public health and safety, we also recognize the importance of prioritizing education and technical assistance to support the success of Colorado's regulated community. The MED staff will be preparing and distributing compliance tools to assist Licensees as they prepare their compliance with these new and revised rules, including a recently released comprehensive Industry Bulletin(opens in new window). To access the complete Final Adopted Rules, including an annotated version of the rule revisions, please visit the MED Rulemaking webpage(opens in new window).


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