(Andy Cross, Denver Post file)

2017 Colorado legislation, see what’s new in marijuana and hemp bills (list updated 4/25/17)

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.

Three years into recreational sales and more than 15 years into medical marijuana sales, those legislative efforts have not slowed.

Here’s a look at the 2017 legislation introduced by Colorado’s 71st General Assembly related to medical marijuana, recreational marijuana and hemp. We’ll keep this list updated.

UPDATED APRIL 25: The Senate re-passed SB17-17, which adds PTSD to the state list of medical marijuana qualifying conditions, sending the measure to the governor.

Other recent updates:

• The legislature cleared HB17-1203, the bill to allow counties and municipalities to authorize a special sales tax on retail marijuana, and SB17-187, allowing for an education-based occupational license.

• Lawmakers removed a provision in SB17-192 allowing home delivery.

• SB17-184 was amended to remove statewide regulations for pot clubs.

• Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed SB17-178 “Marijuana Use as a Condition of a Bond” and SB17-015 “Unlawful Marijuana Advertising.”

• The legislature has cleared HB17-1221 “Grey And Black Market Marijuana Enforcement Efforts”; HB17-1197 “Exclude Marijuana From Farm Products Definition”; and HB17-1220, “Prevent Marijuana Diversion To Illegal Market.”

• Lawmakers introduced HB17-1295 “Repeal Governor’s Office of Marijuana Coordination” and SB17-275 “Marijuana Pesticides Test Medical Effectiveness.”


Jump to: Home-grow limits || Pot for PTSD || Social-use clubs (SB 184) || One-time transfer of recreational products || Home delivery || Bills still under consideration || Dead legislation


Bills that have cleared the legislature

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: Senate re-passed bill with House amendments on April 25; headed to the governor’s desk
Track the progress of Senate Bill 17
Catch up on previous coverage

Local special sales tax on rec. pot

HB17-1203, “Local Government Special Sales Tax On Retail Marijuana”
Sponsored by Rep. Steve Lebsock,D

Summary: The Colorado court of appeals has held that current law does not authorize counties to levy and collect a sales tax on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products in addition to any sales tax imposed by the state and the standard sales tax imposed by the county (special sales tax). Current law is also silent regarding the authority of a statutory municipality (municipality) to collect a special sales tax on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products. The bill authorizes counties and municipalities to levy, collect, and enforce a special sales tax on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products; except that a county may levy, collect, and enforce a special sales tax on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products only under certain circumstances.
Status: House re-passed bill with Senate amendments on April 17; headed to the governor’s desk
Track the progress of House Bill 1203

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 the House on April 17; headed to the governor’s desk
Track the progress of Senate Bill 187

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; awaiting signatures of leaders of the two chambers.
Track the progress of House Bill 1221

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: Signed by governor on April 6.
Track the progress of Senate Bill 178

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 from the crime primary caregivers, medical marijuana-infused product manufacturers, retail marijuana product manufacturers, and retail marijuana testing facilities.
Status: Signed by governor on April 4.
Track the progress of Senate Bill 15

Catch up on previous coverage

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, sent to the governor on April 4.
Track the progress of House Bill 1197

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 applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)
Summary: The bill places a cap on the number of plants that can be possessed or grown on a residential property at 16 plants unless a local jurisdiction permits possessing or growing more than 16 plants. 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.
A medical marijuana patient or primary caregiver who cultivates more than 16 plants must cultivate the plants in compliance with applicable city, county, or city and county law. The bill requires a patient or primary caregiver cultivating medical marijuana to comply with all local laws, regulations, and zoning requirements.
Status: Passed General Assembly on March 31; awaiting signatures of leaders of the two chambers.
Track the progress of House Bill 1220
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 names of each officer, director, member, partner, or owner of 10% or more in the entity applying for registration and any person managing or controlling the entity. Applicants for a registration may be denied registration for up to 3 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 3 years after the effective date of discipline.
Status: Signed by governor on March 23.
Track the progress 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: Signed by governor on March 20.
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. The bill allows a medical marijuana licensee to 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: Signed by governor on March 16.
Track the progress 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: Signed by governor on March 16.
Track the progress of Senate Bill 90



Marijuana bills under consideration

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

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.
Track the progress of Senate Bill 25

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

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 changes the 30% limit to 50%. 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 50% limit.
Track the progress of Senate Bill 111

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

Summary: 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. The bill prohibits the open and public consumption of marijuana and defines the terms “open and public,” “openly” and “publicly.”
Track the progress of Senate Bill 184
Catch up on previous coverage

“Safety valve” for one-time retail transfer in case of enforcement change (bill formerly included home delivery provision)

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

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

The bill allows the state licensing authority to authorize single-instance transfers of retail marijuana or retail marijuana products from a retail marijuana licensee to a medical marijuana licensee. If granted, the transfer must be completed within 30 days of the date the transfer was approved. A retail marijuana license that is subject to suspension is not eligible for the transfer and any retail marijuana or retail marijuana product that is subject to an administrative hold is not eligible for transfer.

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.
Track the progress of Senate Bill 192
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

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.
Track the progress of Senate Bill 275

School technology grants

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

Summary: Concerning financial assistance under the ‘Building Excellent Schools Today Act’, and, in connection therewith, requiring a specified amount of retail marijuana excise tax revenue to be used to provide such financial assistance in the form of technology grants to public schools.
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

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 and the petitioner establishes the offense is eligible for sealing.
Track the progress of House Bill 1266

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.
Track the progress of House Bill 1295



Hemp bills under consideration

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 commercial or research and development purposes.
Track the progress of Senate Bill 117



Dead legislation

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.
Track the progress of Senate Bill 63

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