(Andy Cross, Denver Post file)

2017 Colorado legislation: See which marijuana laws and hemp laws passed (list updated 6/9/17)

Colorado was the first U.S. state to initiate legal, regulated sales of recreational marijuana, starting in 2014. The first-of-its-kind effort has been a fluid process, as the state has worked to adopt new laws to account for first-of-their-kind issues.

Here’s a look at what happened in the 2017 legislative session that ended May 10, including the bills that passed — and those that died — related to medical marijuana, recreational marijuana and hemp.

This list is fully updated with the bills that have been signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper, vetoed by the governor or allowed to become law without his signature. That process was completed June 9:

*Signed by the governor

NOTE: Hickenlooper vetoed SB 17-111 and sent HB 17-1367 to the Secretary of State without his signature.

Home grow plant limits

HB17-1220, “Prevent Marijuana Diversion To Illegal Market”
Sponsored by Rep. KC Becker, D; Rep. Cole Wist, R; Sen. Rhonda Fields, D; Sen. Bob Gardner, R

(Note: This summary has been altered from what appears on the General Assembly’s online listing to reflect plant numbers on the passed legislation)
Summary: The bill places a cap on the number of plants that can be possessed or grown on a residential property at 12 plants unless a local jurisdiction permits possessing or growing more than 12 plants. A medical marijuana patient or primary caregiver may seek an exception to grow up to 24 plants, in compliance with applicable city, county, or city and county law and must comply with all local laws, regulations, and zoning requirements.
The criminal penalties for violating the cultivation limit are:
–A level 1 drug petty offense for a first offense if the offense involves more than 12 plants, punishable by a fine of up to one thousand dollars;
–A level 4 drug felony for a second or subsequent offense if the offense involves more than 12 but not more than 30 plants; or
–A level 3 drug felony for a second or subsequent offense if the offense involves more than 30 plants.
Status: Passed General Assembly on March 31; signed by governor June 8
Effective date: Jan. 1, 2018
Track the progress of House Bill 1220

Catch up on previous coverage

Marijuana enforcement grant program

HB17-1221, “Grey And Black Market Marijuana Enforcement Efforts”
Sponsored by Rep. Yeulin Willett, R; Rep. Dan Pabon, D; Sen. Irene Aguilar, D

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second chambe.)
Summary: Committee on Cost-benefit Analysis of Legalized Marijuana in Colorado. The state constitution grants a person the authority to assist another person in cultivating medical and recreational marijuana plants. The bill states that a person is not in compliance with the authority to assist another individual and is subject to marijuana cultivation criminal offenses and penalties if the person possesses any marijuana plant that he or she is growing on behalf of another individual, unless he or she is the primary caregiver for the individual and is in compliance with the requirements of section 25-1.5-106.

The bill creates the gray and black market marijuana enforcement grant program (grant program) in the division of local government in the department of local affairs (division). The grant program awards grants to local governments to reimburse the local governments, in part or in full, for law enforcement and prosecution costs associated with gray and black marijuana markets. A rural local government has priority in receiving grants. The general assembly may appropriate money from the marijuana tax cash fund or the proposition AA refund account to the division for the grant program. The bill appropriates $5,945,392 from the marijuana tax cash fund to the division to fund the grant program. The division shall adopt policies and procedures for the administration of the grant program, including rules related to the application process and the grant award criteria. The division shall include information regarding the effectiveness of the grant program in its SMART presentation beginning in November 2019.
Status: Passed General Assembly on April 10; signed by governor June 8
Effective date: July 1, 2017
Track the progress of House Bill 1221

Catch up on previous coverage

*Licenses for clinical research

HB17-1367, “Authorize Marijuana Clinical Research”
Sponsored by Rep. Dan Pabon, D; Rep. Jeni James Arndt, D; Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R; Sen. Cheri Jahn, D

Summary: The bill creates a marijuana research and development license or endorsement to an existing license that allows the production and processing of marijuana for research purposes. An applicant must submit with the license application a description of the research to be conducted, and if the research involves a public entity or public money, then the scientific advisory commission shall review and assess the research project. A marijuana research and development licensee may only sell marijuana it grows to other marijuana research and development licensees. A marijuana research and development licensee may contract with a public research institution of higher education or another marijuana research and development licensee. The state licensing authority may promulgate rules related to marijuana research and development licenses. The bill requires the state licensing authority to create a registration for researchers that authorizes a registered researcher to use a retail marijuana testing facility licensee to test marijuana or marijuana products for research purposes.
Status: Passed General Assembly on May 10; bill sent to Secretary of State on June 7 without governor’s signature
Effective date: Aug. 9, 2017
Track the progress of House Bill 1367

School technology grants

HB17-1082, “BEST Building Excellent Schools Today Act Techology Grant Funding”
Sponsored by Rep. Dan Pabon, D

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)
Summary: Concerning clarification that financial assistance under the ‘Building Excellent Schools Today Act’ includes technology grants. Section 1 of the bill amends the definition of ‘capital construction’ used for purposes of the ‘Building Excellent Schools Today Act’ (BEST) to include ‘technology’, as defined in Section 3. Section 3 defines the term ‘technology’ for purposes of BEST to include hardware, devices, or equipment necessary for individual student learning and classroom instruction, including access to electronic instructional materials, or necessary for professional use by a classroom teacher. Section 2 incorporates the new definition of ‘technology’ into the existing requirement that the BEST board’s public school facility capital construction guidelines address technology. Section 3 also clarifies that the public school capital construction assistance board (BEST board) may provide financial assistance to public schools in the form of technology grants and requires the BEST board to annually notify potential applicants for financial assistance that it will accept applications for technology grants. Section 4 requires the project lists in the BEST board’s annual report to include sublists of technology projects for which financial assistance has been awarded or applied for and denied.
Status: Passed General Assembly on May 2; signed by governor June 6
Effective date: June 6, 2017; applies to 2018-19 fiscal year and subsequent fiscal years
Track the progress of House Bill 1082

Sealing misdemeanor pot conviction records

HB17-1266, “Seal Misdemeanor Marijuana Conviction Records”
Sponsored by Rep. Edie Hooton, D; Rep. Jovan Melton, D; Sen. Stephen Fenberg, D

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)
Summary: The bill allows persons who were convicted of misdemeanors for the use or possession of marijuana to petition for the sealing of criminal records relating to such convictions if their behavior would not have been a criminal offense if the behavior had occurred on or after December 10, 2012. The court shall order the record sealed after the filing fees are paid, the petitioner establishes the offense is eligible for sealing, and the petition is posted on the website of the state court administrator for 30 days.
Status: Passed General Assembly on May 10; signed by governor June 6
Effective date: Aug. 9, 2017
Track the progress of House Bill 1266

MMJ for PTSD

SB17-017, “Allow Medical Marijuana Use For Stress Disorders”
Sponsored by Sen. Irene Aguilar, D; Rep. Jonathan Singer, D

Summary: The bill creates a statutory right to use medical marijuana for a patient with acute stress disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder. The bill creates the same rights, limitations, and criminal defenses and exceptions as the constitutional right to use medical marijuana.
Status: Passed General Assembly on April 25; signed by governor June 5
Effective date: June 5, 2017
Track the progress of Senate Bill 17

Catch up on previous coverage

Occupational license for out-of-staters

SB17-187, “Residency Exemption Marijuana Education-based Occupational License”
Sponsored by Sen. Larry Crowder, R; Rep. Joann Ginal, D

Summary: Under current law, when an employee or manager of a retail business applies for an occupational license, the person must be a Colorado resident on the date of his or her application. The bill gives the state licensing authority the ability to create an exemption to the residency requirement for a person applying for an occupational license for participation in a marijuana-based workforce development or education program.
Status: Passed General Assembly on April 19; signed by governor June 5
Effective date: Aug. 9, 2017
Track the progress of Senate Bill 187

School resources: marijuana curricula

SB17-025, “Marijuana Education Materials Resource Bank”
Sponsored by Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R; Sen. Chris Holbert, R; Rep. Jonathan Singer, D
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)
Summary: By July 1, 2017, to create and maintain a resource bank, to be known as the ‘Jack Splitt Memorial Resource Bank’ (resource bank), for public schools to use without charge, that consists of materials and curricula pertaining to marijuana use; and upon request of a public school, to provide technical assistance in designing age-appropriate curricula on marijuana use. The bill authorizes the department to contract for the maintenance of the resource bank and the development of the curricula and directs the department to solicit input from persons within and outside of the marijuana industry. After the resource bank and curricula are available, school districts, charter schools, and boards of cooperative services are encouraged to report to the department the effectiveness of them and recommendations for changes. The bill authorizes resource bank expenses to be paid from the marijuana tax cash fund.
Status: Passed General Assembly on May 9; signed by governor June 2
Effective date: July 1, 2017
Track the progress of Senate Bill 25

Efficient marijuana

SB17-192, “Marijuana Business Efficiency Measures”
Sponsored by Sen. Tim Neville, R; Rep. Jonathan Singer, D; Rep. Jovan Melton, D

Under current law, the department of revenue determines the average market rate for purposes of excise tax collection on retail marijuana every 6 months. The bill gives the department the authority to calculate the average market rate on a quarterly basis. The average market rate cannot include taxes paid on sales or transfers. The bill requires a separate average market rate for unprocessed marijuana for extraction that is lower than the average market rate for unprocessed marijuana for direct sale. The bill states that the average market rate should be used to calculate the state excise tax on affiliated transactions, and the contract price should be used to calculate the excise tax on unaffiliated transactions. The bill clarifies that the average market rate will be used to calculate the excise tax on all county, municipal, or metropolitan district transactions.
The bill includes additional remediation options for testing of adulterated products.
Status: Passed General Assembly on May 9; signed by governor June 2
Effective date: Aug. 9, 2017
Track the progress of Senate Bill 192

Catch up on previous coverage

Sunsetting Office of Marijuana Coordination

HB17-1295, “Repeal Governor’s Office Of Marijuana Coordination”
Sponsored by Rep. Bob Rankin, R; Sen. Dominick Moreno, D

Summary: The General Assembly created the governor’s office of marijuana coordination in 2014 to coordinate the executive branch response to the legalization of retail marijuana as directed by the governor. The bill repeals the office of marijuana coordination, effective July 1, 2017. Retail marijuana information will continue to be aligned and integrated across state agencies.
Status: Passed General Assembly on April 28; signed by governor May 25
Effective date: July 1, 2017
Track the progress of House Bill 1295

Water rights for growing hemp

SB17-117, “Recognize Industrial Hemp Agricultural Product For Agricultural Water Right”
Sponsored by Sen. Dan Coram, R; Rep. Donald Valdez, D; Rep. Marc Catlin, R

Summary: In Colorado, water subject to a water right may be used for the purpose for which the water is decreed. The bill confirms that a person with an absolute or conditional water right decreed for agricultural use may use the water subject to the water right for the growth or cultivation of industrial hemp if the person is registered by the department of agriculture to grow industrial hemp for agriculture research purposes.
Status: Passed General Assembly on April 24; signed by governor May 21
Effective date: N/A, safety clause
Track the progress of Senate Bill 117

Local special sales tax on rec. pot

HB17-1203, “Local Government Special Sales Tax On Retail Marijuana”
Sponsored by Rep. Steve Lebsock, D; Sen. Larry Crowder, R; Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik, R

Summary: The bill authorizes counties and municipalities to levy, collect and enforce a special sales tax on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products, subject to voter approval. Any special sales tax proposed should take into account the total tax rate that would exist if the tax is adopted by voters. The imposition of a county special sales tax within a home rule municipality or statutory municipality occurs only when the municipality does not have its own special sales tax, and otherwise only after an intergovernmental agreement.
Status: Passed General Assembly on April 17; signed by governor May 4
Effective date: May 4, 2017
Track the history of House Bill 1203
Catch up on previous coverage

No ban on MMJ as bond condition

SB17-178, “Marijuana Use As A Condition Of Bond”
Sponsored by Sen. Vicki Marble, R; Rep. Jovan Melton, D

Summary: The bill prohibits a court from imposing as a bond condition a ban on marijuana use if the person possesses a valid medical marijuana registry identification card.
Status: Passed General Assembly on March 27; signed by governor April 6
Effective date: Aug. 9, 2017
Track the progress of Senate Bill 178

Hemp, not marijuana, as a farm product

HB17-1197, “Exclude Marijuana From Farm Products Definition”
Sponsored by Rep. Joann Ginal, D; Sen. Don Coram, R

Summary: Under the ‘Farm Products Act’, the commissioner of agriculture or his or her designee licenses farm product dealers, small-volume dealers, and their agents. The bill excludes marijuana from the definition of ‘farm products’ under the act.
Status: Passed General Assembly on March 28; signed by governor April 6
Effective date: Aug. 9, 2017
Track the progress of House Bill 1197

Selling weed on Craigslist

SB17-015, “Unlawful Marijuana Advertising”
Sponsored by Sen. Irene Aguilar, D; Rep. Dan Pabon, D
Summary: The bill makes it a level 2 drug misdemeanor for a person not licensed to sell medical or retail marijuana to advertise for the sale of marijuana or marijuana concentrate. The bill excludes primary caregivers, who advertise that they are available to serve as a primary caregiver.
Status: Passed General Assembly on March 7; signed by governor April 4
Effective date: Sept. 1, 2017
Track the history of Senate Bill 15 

Catch up on previous coverage

Hemp business transparency

HB17-1148, “Registration Of Industrial Hemp Cultivators”
Sponsored by Rep. Jeni Arndt, D; Sen. John Cooke, R

Summary: Current law requires persons who wish to cultivate industrial hemp to apply to the department of agriculture for a registration. The bill adds a requirement that applicants to cultivate industrial hemp for commercial purposes provide the name and address of the applicant and the legal description, global positioning system location, and map of the land area on which the applicant plans to engage in industrial hemp cultivation or research and development growth operations. The application must identify by name each officer, director, member, partner or owner of at least 10 percent of the entity and any other person who has managing or controlling authority over the entity. Applicants for a registration may be denied registration for up to three years if any individual or entity listed in the application was previously subject to discipline, or the individual or entity was previously listed by an entity that was subject to discipline. When a registration is suspended, revoked, or relinquished, a new application for registration may be denied for up to three years after the effective date of discipline.
Status: Passed General Assembly on March 10; signed by governor March 23 
Effective date: March 23, 2017
Track the history of House Bill 1148

Hemp animal feed

SB17-109, “Industrial Hemp Animal Feed”
Sponsored by Sen. Kerry Donovan, D; Sen. Jeni James Arndt, D

Summary: The bill creates a group under the commissioner of agriculture to study the feasability of including hemp products in animal feed. The group includes a hemp producer, a hemp processor, a legal expert, a person from an institution of higher education who has studied hemp policy, a veterinarian, a livestock producer, and any other person the commissioner determines would facilitate understanding the legal, practical or business considerations. The group will make recommendations by December 31, 2017.
Status: Passed General Assembly on March 10; signed by governor March 20
Effective date: Aug. 9, 2017
Track the progress of Senate Bill 109

Catch up on previous coverage

Expanded medical dispensary relocation

HB17-1034, “Medical Marijuana License Issues”
Sponsored by Rep. Dan Pabon, D; Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R

Summary: The retail marijuana code requires a license for retail marijuana business operators. The bill creates a corresponding medical marijuana business operator license. Under current law, a medical marijuana licensee may move his or her location within the city or county where the business is licensed upon approval of the local and state licensing authority. Under the retail marijuana code, a licensee can move his or her business anywhere in Colorado upon approval of the state and local jurisdiction to conform with the retail marijuana code.

Under the retail marijuana code, if a test result indicated the presence of any substance determined to be injurious to health, the licensee has an opportunity to remediate the product if the test indicated the presence of a microbial. If the licensee is unable to remediate the product, then the licensee shall document and properly destroy the adulterated product. The bill gives a medical marijuana licensee the same opportunity to remediate its product.

The bill allows medical marijuana-infused product manufacturers to sell or buy medical marijuana from another medical marijuana-infused product manufacturer.
Status: Passed General Assembly on March 6; signed by governor March 16 
Effective date: March 16, 2017
Track the history of House Bill 1034

Testing for THC in hemp

SB17-090, “Measuring Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol In Industrial Hemp”
Sponsored by Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R; Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D

Summary: The bill requires the commissioner of agriculture to determine the level of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol in industrial hemp by measuring the combined concentration of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol and its precursor, tetrahydrocannabinolic acid.
Status: Passed General Assembly on March 3; signed by governor March 16
Effective date: Aug. 9, 2017
Track the history of Senate Bill 90

Vetoed by the governor

Wholesale medical marijuana transfers

SB17-111, “Medical Marijuana Inventory Shortfall Fixes”
Sponsored by Sen. Tim Neville, R; Rep. Matt Gray, D; Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, D

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)
Summary: The medical marijuana system is a vertically integrated regulatory scheme, meaning a medical marijuana center must grow the marijuana that it sells. There is one exception to the vertically integrated market: A medical marijuana center can sell to or buy from other medical marijuana licensees up to 30% of its inventory. The bill eliminates the statutory limit and requires the limit to be set in rule by the state licensing authority as long as it is not set below 30%. The bill states that a medical marijuana center may transfer medical marijuana to another medical marijuana licensee if the licensees have a common owner without the medical marijuana counting towards the limit set in rule.
Status: Passed General Assembly on May 5; vetoed by governor June 9</b>
Effective date: Aug. 9, 2017
Track the progress of Senate Bill 111



Dead legislation

Marijuana consumption (bill formerly included state regulations for pot clubs)

SB17-184, “Private Marijuana Clubs Open And Public Use”
Sponsored by Sen. Bob Gardner, R; Rep. Dan Pabon, D

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)
Summary: The bill prohibits the open and public consumption of marijuana and defines the terms “open and public,” “openly” and “publicly.” The bill authorizes the operation of a private marijuana club only if the local jurisdiction has authorized clubs. A club must meet the following qualifications: all members and employees must be 21 or older; a club owner must be a resident of Colorado for at least two years prior to owning the club; the club’s employees must be Colorado residents; the club cannot serve alcohol or food; a bluc owner shall not sell marijuana on the premises; a club owner shall not permit the sale or exchange of marijuana for renumeration on the premises.
Status: Committee report rejected by House and Senate May 10 
Track the progress of Senate Bill 184
Catch up on previous coverage

Medical marijuana and pesticides research

SB17-275, “Marijuana Pesticides Test Medical Effectiveness”
Sponsored by Sen. Cheri Jahn, D; Sen. Randy Baumgardner, R

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)
Summary: Concerning marijuana, and, in connection therewith, authorizing research regarding the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana and the safe and effective use of pesticides and establishing interim standards for the use of pesticides. Section 1 of the bill directs the department of public health and environment to use marijuana taxes to make research grants regarding the medical efficacy of Colorado-grown strains of medical marijuana. Sections 2 and 3 allow a licensed medical or retail marijuana facility to transfer marijuana to a research facility for purposes of the medical research.
Status: House Committee on Business Affairs and Labor postponed indefinitely on May 9
Track the progress of Senate Bill 275

Retail marijuana tax

HB17-1345, “Retail Marijuana Sales Tax Rate”
Sponsored by Sen. Dominick Moreno; Rep. Bob Rankin
Summary: Under current law, the retail marijuana sales tax rate is scheduled to decrease July 1, 2017, from 10 percent to 8 percent. The bill eliminates the reduction and keeps the tax rate at 10 percent.
Status: Senate Committee on Finance postponed indefinitely May 4
Track the progress of House Bill 1345

Pot clubs: Licensing plan with sales

SB17-063, “Marijuana Club License”
Sponsored by Sen. Vicki Marble, R; Rep. Jovan Melton, D

Summary: The bill creates a marijuana consumption club (club) license. The license is subject to the same licensing requirements as other retail marijuana licenses. The license may be issued to a person who operates an establishment where retail or medical marijuana may be sold and consumed. The club’s sales are limited to the same limits as a retail marijuana store or a medical marijuana center. The club may not serve food prepared on site or alcohol. Entry to the club is restricted to those persons at least 21 years of age. A club shall purchase its marijuana, marijuana concentrate, or marijuana products from a licensed marijuana business or get a cultivation license and sell its own marijuana. A club may not permit outside marijuana, marijuana concentrate, or marijuana products. All marijuana, marijuana concentrate, or marijuana products must be consumed or disposed of on site. A club and its employees shall successfully complete a responsible vendor program annually. A club has the same immunity to a lawsuit for an injury caused by a club patron that a bar enjoys.
Status: Senate Committee on Business, Labor, & Technology postponed indefinitely March 1
Track the progress of Senate Bill 63

Cannabist digital producers Polly Washburn and Aleta Labak contributed to this report.