Time is up for Colorado’s Amendment 64 Task Force, which set out to make a set of recommendations as to how the state’s legal marijuana program should run. They had until the end of February to compile their recommendations, which will now be read by Governor John Hickenlooper and Colorado Legislators. Lawmakers will then base the program’s rules and guidelines on these recommendations.
Some of the recommendations made by the task force are below:
- Enact two taxes – a 15% excise tax paid by shops where marijuana is sold, and an unspecified sales tax on customers. Both taxes would require voter approval.
- Restrict access to marijuana by minors.
- Train law enforcement officials to recognize and deal with drivers who are under the influence of marijuana.
- Allow marijuana to be sold to visitors from out of state.
- Require marijuana have child-proof packaging.
- Prohibit outdoor marijuana growing.
- Update the state’s Clean Air Act to include the effects of marijuana smoke.
- Limit marijuana advertising.
- Make off-the-job marijuana use by employees a fireable offense for employers.
- Require that marijuana products have potency labels.
- Require marijuana shops to have local and state approval to operate.
- Make marijuana part of the bar and restaurant smoking bans already in place in the state. This would possibly target “smoking clubs,” which are similar to bars except cannabis is consumed rather than alcohol.
- Create a regulatory system similar to that in medical marijuana dispensaries that follows marijuana from seed to sale.
The task force did not come to a consensus on where and how recreational marijuana users can legally purchase it. Recommendations seem to suggest the start of a totally new system, separate from the already established medical marijuana system in the state.
State Senate President John Morse recently discussed what he expects to happen next after the governor received the task force recommendations.
“The (House) Speaker and I have talked about the possibility of trying to put together a joint committee, to then take (the) recommendations and try to craft that into a bill, because that’s going to be step one from the legislative process, and then we’ll see how that bill winds its way through the Legislature,” said Morse.