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Colorado: Recreational & Medical Marijuana Laws

What's the real breakdown on Colorado marijuana laws & regulations?

Many people wonder about the status of marijuana laws in the state they live in. This page contains information on recreational marijuana law, medical marijuana law and the penalties for breaking them in Colorado. We also talk about the legality of CBD within Colorado and if you should be concerned as a resident of Colorado. Here are other ways you may have found this page on Colorado marijuana and CBD laws:
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Colorado marijuana laws

Colorado updated the marijuana laws, legalizing the possession and sale of the marijuana on December 10, 2012, by passing Amendment 64. This made Colorado one of the two places in the world where an adult over 21 can legally purchase, own, and consume Recreational marijuana.

Colorado medical marijuana law

Medical marijuana users and primary care providers may collectively possess only as much marijuana as is medically necessary for the patient’s debilitating medical condition. This can only be an ounce of marijuana or one plant. However, by law, the following limits are automatically legal: Up to 2 oz.  Usable form of marijuana: and the Grow up to 6 s marijuana plants, with no more than three mature and flowering plants producing a usable form of marijuana.

You may have more if this amount is not enough for your legitimate medical needs. If you are arrested for violating marijuana laws in Colorado, the onus will be on you to prove that the amounts over the above were necessary. Note that possession of a Colorado Medical Marijuana ID does not allow you to use or possess any synthetic cannabis (fake marijuana).


Colorado law on recreational use

Colorado began allowing the sale of the recreational marijuana on January 1 to anyone age 21 or older. Residents can now buy marijuana as alcohol — except that cannabis purchases are limited to one ounce, which is large enough to cost about $200 or more.

It’s a big moment: Colorado became the first state in the country to open recreational pot stores and became the first place in the world to regulate marijuana from seed to sale. Incidentally, pot is the third most popular recreational drug in America, after alcohol and tobacco, according to marijuana reform group NORML. If you are 21 or older, you can buy up to 1 ounce from a licensed store, as long as you have a Colorado ID. People outside of Colorado can buy a quarter of an ounce. However, only 36 or so stores opened on January 1, and Denver was home to 18 of them. As a result, there were concerns that supplies would sell out on day one, with very few stores going through the lengthy licensing process thus far. About 160 retailers are still seeking licenses statewide.

Colorado law on the use of CBD oils

Like marijuana, you can legally buy CBD oil and other CBD products infused with hemp in Colorado. However, since not all CBD oils are the same, you should always check the source of CBD content. By law, it is legal to possess and use CBD in Colorado. However, CBD is also partially legal at the federal level. This means that full-spectrum CBD, or CBD containing up to 0.3% THC, is federally legal, but anything above that limit is considered a controlled substance.

Colorado marijuana penalties

The possession of more than one ounce but no more than an ounce is a petty drug offense. The offender could face a fine of up to $100. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-18-406 (5)(a) (I) (2019).) A person who gives no more than an ounce to another person, without charge, commits a minor drug offense. It is a mere possession, and the possible penalty is a $100 fine. (Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18-18-406 (5)(c) (2019).) If the conversion includes no more than one ounce of marijuana or no more than one half an ounce of concentrate, the offense is Level 4 of a drug felony. A conviction can result in six months, one year in prison, a fine of between $1,000 and $100,000, or both.


Colorado Marijuana Laws in relation to the US Federal Government

As stated before, the US federal government still considers marijuana use illegal for United States citizens, immigrants and tourists. While the federal government still calls marijuana an illegal drug, they have left most enforcement of marijuana law to the US States, partly because the federal government has more important things to deal with on a daily basis. This gives Colorado the power to mostly set and enforce its own marijuana laws regarding recreational and medical marijuana usage, possession and distribution.

Colorado Law and other US States

Colorado's marijuana and CBD laws and penalties are unique to Colorado. Every U.S. State has a different legal stance involving medical marijuana, recreational marijuana and CBD products. The states that prohibit certain aspects of marijuana also have varying penalties for violation of their laws.

The best thing to do is to be informed and visit our United States marijuana law pages and our individual US state profile pages regarding marijuana and CBD.

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