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Two new laws restrict marijuana black market

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Colorado is ramping up efforts to try and prevent marijuana from being diverted to the black market. Gov. John Hickenlooper signed two bi-partisan bills into law Thursday.

  The goal is to crack down on large-scale, non-commercial marijuana grows. State law had allowed medical marijuana patients to grow up to 99 plants if a physician agreed. Recreational users could also have other people grow their plants for them. Under the new law, people are limited to 12 plants per residence, unless a local government approves double that for a medical patient. Gov. Hickenlooper praised the legislation.

“We are no longer the wild west,” he said. “I don’t think it’s good for Colorado to have the loosest set of laws around part of the regulatory framework around marijuana.”

And another new law says only caregivers can grow plants for other people. It also sets up a $6 million grant program to reimburse police for enforcing and prosecuting people for growing and diverting marijuana to the black market. Law enforcement in rural areas will get priority for receiving those grants.

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