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Colorado Marijuana Rulemaking Is Underway

By Genevieve Meehan

Jul 24, 2023

Marijuana rulemaking is now underway in Colorado! This process affects just about every aspect of the state’s cannabis industry, so it is critical that cannabis business owners understand how it could impact their operations.

The 2023 rulemaking process will run through the fall and address a wide range of topics, including:

  • Marijuana cultivation, manufacturing, and testing standards
  • Fee increases
  • Regulatory efficiency
  • Implementation of legislation enacted earlier this year
  • Intoxicating hemp
  • Hospitality

The Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) announced two rulemaking groups in 2023. The first will meet on August 31, focusing on cultivation, manufacturing, and testing standards. The second will meet on September 18 and focus on legislation implementation, rule efficiencies, and hospitality updates.

Legislation approved this past session that is set to be implemented includes the following:

  • HB 23-1021 – Embargo and Destroy Marijuana

    • Clarifies MED authority to issue administrative holds

    • Authorizes MED authority to embargo regulated marijuana if there are objective and reasonable grounds to believe that the health, safety, or welfare of the public imperatively requires emergency action

    • Authorizes MED to order the destruction of embargoed medical or retail marijuana after notice and opportunity for a hearing and pursuant to standards and processes that the MED establishes by rule

  • HB 23-1279 – Allow Retail Marijuana Online Sales

    • Removes the prohibition preventing a Retail Marijuana Store from accepting payment for retail marijuana over the internet

  • SB 23-199 – Marijuana License Applications and Renewals 

    • Clarifies the MED’s refund authority for licensing fees

    • Provides the MED with discretion to renew a Retail Marijuana Business License for a period of up to one year where the licensee has failed to obtain local licensure or approval within one year of the state license issuance

  • SB 23-271 – Intoxicating Cannabinoid Hemp and Marijuana

The MED offers more details about these bills in its 2023 Legislation Summary.

To learn more about rulemaking and what it means for your business, schedule a consultation with our policy and public affairs consulting affiliate, VS Strategies. VSS tracks every aspect of rulemaking in Colorado, and, in addition to helping companies navigate the process, they use their depth of knowledge and relationships with stakeholders to develop and implement successful engagement strategies.

The Vicente LLP Team is also carefully monitoring developments, and we can work closely with you and VSS to integrate rulemaking outcomes into your operational plans.

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