Colorado rolls out recreational marijuana rules

DENVER — Exactly six months from the day when legal marijuana will become a reality across Colorado, the state released more than 60 pages of detailed rules on how the product will be licensed and regulated.

Come Jan. 1, anyone looking to purchase marijuana will have to show identification — proof they’re 21 or older — at the door of the retail outlet, before stepping inside.

If medical marijuana retailers, which now sell to anyone 18 and up, decide to sell to recreational users, they’ll be forced to abide by the stricter age standard and turn away any and all customers, medical patients or not, under 21.

In addition, perishable pot snacks will carry expiration dates; and marijuana must be distributed in child-proof packaging that’s clearly labeled with the potency of the product, the recommended serving and the amount of THC contained within.

Labels also have to list the potency of the drug and carry warnings such as “There may be health risks associated with the consumption of this product” and “Keep out of the reach of children.”

Amendment 64, adopted last November, required the Department of Revenue to release rules by July 1, filling in the blanks from the broad guidelines set forth by state lawmakers during the 2013 legislative session.

The rules also detail exact specifications for who can work in marijuana businesses and how the drug can be transported and stored.

The department’s rules indicate it plans to establish seed-to-sale tracking, making producers and sellers responsible for each plant destined for retail sale.

That project stalled due to a lack of funding; with the new fiscal year beginning Monday, the funding should be freed up to finish the project, said state Rep. Dan Pabon.

“The individual retailers are going to be responsible for complying with the Dept. of Revenue’s rules,” Pabon said. “That’s why it’s critical for voters to approve the tax rates for marijuana this fall. The sales taxes are going to the Dept. of Revenue, which is going to enforce the packaging requirement.”