A Guide to Colorado Marijuana Laws [Updated 2019]


iStock / AndrewSoundarajan

In 2012, Colorado became 1 of the initially two states to legalize private-use cannabis. Right here is all the things you need to have to know about Colorado’s marijuana laws.

Possession and Getting Limits

Private-use cannabis is legally offered for buy, sale, possession, and use by adults aged 21 and older. A licensed cannabis retail retailer is the only legal spot from which to buy weed. To make a buy, you need to present a valid government-issued ID proving your age.

Adults 21 and more than are authorized to possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis on them at a time. Legally aged adults are also permitted to give up to 1 ounce of cannabis away, but they can’t sell pot (such as homegrown marijuana) unless they are licensed with the state to do so and are complying with all state and county cannabis retail regulations.


The public consumption of pot is illegal regardless of its kind. Cannabis can’t be inhaled or ingested in any public spot such as

  • apartment and condominium frequent locations
  • restaurants, cafes, or bars
  • sidewalks
  • ski slopes
  • public parks
  • amusement parks
  • concert venues
  • federal land

Cannabis can be consumed on private home, nonetheless there may well be some exceptions. Renters need to adhere to their home owners’ lease agreements which are permitted to ban the consumption of marijuana.

The consumption of pot in a hospitality home such as a hotel, inn, or rental is only permitted if the owners of the home let it. Home owners are authorized to ban the use of cannabis on their properties.

In early May well 2019, Colorado lawmakers passed a bill that would authorize the licensure of public consumption locations. The framework for this new allowance is nonetheless getting created.

Even though the recreational and healthcare use of cannabis are legal in Colorado, employers may well need drug tests and make employment choices primarily based on the final results.

Cannabis For the duration of Pregnancy

Even though pregnant females are not explicitly prohibited from buying or utilizing cannabis, the law makes it possible for the government to intervene. If a newborn child tests optimistic for THC at birth, Colorado’s law needs hospitals to speak to kid protective solutions. Separation from the child may well be a legal consequence.

Cannabis Transport and Delivery

Adults 21 and more than may well transport up to 1 ounce of cannabis in their automobiles if the following situations are met:

  • The cannabis item is locked away and in an unopened container. If the item seal is broken, you can be charged with a visitors offense.
  • If the item has been opened, it can’t be stored in the passenger/cabin location of the automobile. It need to be locked in the trunk.

In early May well 2019, Colorado lawmakers passed legislation that would regulate cannabis delivery. The law is most likely to be implemented sometime in 2020. 

Driving Below the Influence

Driving below the influence of marijuana is illegal in Colorado. Even though there is no roadside device for the detection of THC, Colorado law enforcement officers educated as drug recognition professionals will make arrests primarily based on observed impairment.

If a drug test detects five nanograms of active THC, you can be prosecuted for driving below the influence. If you refuse to take a blood test, you will be regarded as a higher-threat driver. This status needs two years of mandatory ignition interlock and level two alcohol and therapy classes regardless of irrespective of whether you are convicted of a crime or not. Even if utilizing cannabis to medicate an illness, getting impaired when driving can outcome in the following:

  • a charge of kid abuse if a kid is present in the automobile
  • fail time
  • a $13,500+ fine
  • driver’s license suspension

Exporting Cannabis

According to Federal and state law, it is illegal to export or import cannabis from or to Colorado. Even if you are traveling to a state that has legalized cannabis, you are not authorized to take cannabis across state lines.

If you are a Colorado resident, you need to leave your cannabis at household if traveling out of the state. If you are going to Colorado, you need to either consume or safely discard of your cannabis item ahead of arriving at the airport or crossing state lines to return household.

It is illegal to bring cannabis to an airport or federal land.

Private Cultivation

Colorado law authorizes residents aged 21 and older to develop up to 12 cannabis plants at household for private use. Up to three of these plants may well be flowering at a time. Counties and municipalities may well have stricter limits.

Homegrown cannabis need to be stored in a locked, separate space that is inaccessible by minors and obstructed from public view. It can’t be grown outdoors.

Up to 1 ounce of homegrown cannabis can be offered away, but it can’t be sold.

Healthcare Marijuana in Colorado

Even though cannabis is legal for private use, healthcare sufferers may well nonetheless seek to participate in the healthcare system. The system makes it possible for sufferers to access additional cannabis than the recreational law permits.  Furthermore, the age limits are much less prohibitive. Adults aged 18 and more than may well participate, and pediatric sufferers may well participate in the system if they and their principal guardian are Colorado residents.

Adult and pediatric sufferers with 1 or additional of the following qualifying, debilitating healthcare situations may well be eligible to participate in the Colorado Healthcare Marijuana Registry:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Cachexia
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Extreme nausea
  • Extreme discomfort
  • Post traumatic pressure disorder
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Any situation for which a doctor could prescribe an opioid

The situation need to be diagnosed by a doctor the patient has a bona fide patient-medical professional connection. The doctor need to confirm the information and facts presented on the doctor certification element of the application.

A patient or doctor may well file a petition with the Colorado Division of Public Well being and Environment’s State Board of Well being to add a debilitating healthcare situation to the existing list.

Individuals can apply for a healthcare marijuana card by mail or on the internet.  There is a non-refundable $25 application processing charge that need to be paid each and every time an application is submitted.

Cannabis Legalization in Colorado: A Timeline

2000 – Colorado legalizes the restricted use of cannabis for healthcare sufferers and their caregivers.

2010 – Colorado enacts the Colorado Healthcare Marijuana Code, the regulatory framework facilitating the distribution of healthcare cannabis

2012 – Colorado becomes the initially of two states in the planet to legalize cannabis for private use. Washington is the other state.

2019 – Colorado passes legislation that legalizes the regulation of cannabis delivery and public consumption facilities.


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