Colorado lawmakers are constantly working to update and refine marijuana laws and this week they’ve taken another step in that direction. A new bill was presented in the state legislature on Tuesday that would allow both medical and recreational marijuana delivery to be legalized in Colorado. A similar bill just passed in Oregon last week and Colorado is not far behind following suit. The bill is being co-sponsored by Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, Rep Jonathan Singer, D-Longmont and Rep. Jovan Melton, D-Aurora and, if it passes, medical marijuana delivery could begin January 2, 2018 and recreational delivery would start January 2, 2019. It would greatly help medical patients who are too sick to go to dispensaries as well as helping people who are concerned about DUIs.
Details of the Proposed Marijuana Delivery Bill
Marijuana delivery would be available to adults over the age of 21. Medical patients under 21 would need a parent or caretaker to purchase the marijuana for them. The daily limit would remain the same which is 1 ounce for recreational marijuana and 2 ounces of medical marijuana. The person purchasing the weed would need to sign for it and not be visibly intoxicated at the time of purchase. Local jurisdictions wouldn’t be able to prevent residents in the area from partaking in the delivery service but deliveries themselves would be restricted to residential homes. Orders would not be able to be made to public spaces, dormitories, commercial locations or hotels.
Tracking and Monitoring of Deliveries
Dispensaries would need to undergo a training procedure in order to qualify to offer the service. Colorado’s Cannabis Tracking System would also need dispensaries to adhere to closely tracking deliveries. They would need to track routes between places and log the number of deliveries per drive. Detailed manifests and carefully document inventory and retail amounts would also need to be maintained. Drivers would be allowed to carry up to $3,000 in product and it would need to be kept in the vehicle, contained in a lockbox. The Department of Revenue manages Colorado’s alcohol industry and they would also be in charge of monitoring marijuana delivery serves.
Protection from Federal Interference
The bill has embedded within the language a process for safeguarding against federal interference against the recreational marijuana industry in the future. It allows for a single instance transfer of recreational marijuana to a medical dispensary. The bill calls this a “safety valve.” It also changes the number of times the determination of average wholesale market rates are recorded from 2 times a year to 4 times a year at each quarter. There will be different market rates calculated for weed that is meant for processing and weed that isn’t. The determinations will be used to come up with states excise taxes.
Colorado has been making strides forward in marijuana legislation, especially since recreational marijuana was first legalized in 2012, with the first retail sales occurring in 2014. This latest step forward could help many patients and spare people from all the consequences of DUIs. The first hearing will happen March 1 in the Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee.