State sends down rules, regulations for marijuana retailers

Jul 2, 2013

Starting in January, recreational users in Colorado will be able to purchase marijuana from retailers.
Credit Flickr/Coleen Whitfield

Recreational pot users now know what to expect when marijuana retailers open their doors in 2014. Yesterday, Colorado state officials released details regarding the rules and regulations marijuana retailers must follow. Aspen Public Radio’s Rebecca Kruth reports.  

Right now, it’s legal to grow and possess certain amounts of pot for recreational use, but you’re not going to find it on the shelves of your corner convenience store quite yet.

However, starting in January, buyers 21 and older with a government-issued ID may purchase up to an ounce of recreational marijuana from licensed retailers.

The 64-page-report handed down by the Colorado Department of Revenue provided key regulations for product testing and proper labeling.

Like cigarettes and alcohol, marijuana products must include statements cautioning users about possible health problems. Labels also must warn users the products are not legal outside the state.

The issue of marijuana legalization was on the table this week at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

Former DEA head Asa Hutchinson argued against federal legalization.

“It’s ironic to me that if you legalize marijuana, what are you going to create? A huge government bureaucracy. That’s what’s happening in Colorado,” Hutchinson said. “You’ve got to have licensing authority, you’ve got to have tax collection authority, you’ve got to have enforcement authority.”

Hutchinson went head-to-head with Drug Policy Alliance founder Eric Nadelmann.

“Quite frankly, the cost of having some bureaucracy to regulate this in a responsible way is well worth it if we can be bringing in billions of dollars of revenue, and that revenue will, in fact, go toward school construction and other services," Nadelmann said. "That’s the trade-off that we want."

Last May, Colorado became the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

So far, Washington is the only other state to follow suit.