Colorado Marijuana Laws

Jar of Marijuana

Colorado Marijuana Laws – General

If you are under 21, It is illegal to purchase, possess, or use cannabis, unless you have a Medical Marijuana Card from the state of Colorado prescribed by a doctor. You will need a government-issued identification to prove you are 21 years or older. Valid forms of identification include, a driver’s license or passport. It is illegal to: use marijuana in public spaces; to take cannabis out of the state or cross state-lines in possession of cannabis; and to share cannabis with anyone under 21 years of age.

lady holding cannabis budz

Colorado Marijuana Laws – Possession

If you are 21 years of age or older, you can legally possess 1 ounce of “THC” in Colorado. This means that in addition to marijuana flower (dry herb), you can also have other types of concentrated and edible forms of marijuana in your possession. You can also buy Cannabis seeds in Colorado, without being a Colorado resident.

man shopping at Colorado weed dispensary

Colorado Marijuana Laws – Purchasing Limits

Although any adult is allowed to possess and purchase up to 1 ounce of THC. This recently has been extended to non-residents of Colorado.

You can also mix and match what you buy (flower, edibles, concentrate, etc.) as long as the total equals 7 grams or less for a non-resident or 28 grams or less for a Colorado resident. For example, 10 100mg edibles equals 1 gram, so you could buy 5 grams of flower and twenty 100mg edibles. Additionally, 1 gram of concentrate is equivalent to 1 gram of bud, so you could buy 2 grams of flower, twenty 100mg edibles and 3 grams of wax or shatter.

marijuana leaf displayed on open sign

Colorado Marijuana Laws – Store Hours

The state allows marijuana stores to operate from 8AM to midnight. Cities can implement more restrictive hours than the state allows. Denver stores are required to close by 7PM. If you are arriving in Denver after 7PM, check out the stores in Edgewater, which are open until midnight. Another option are stores in city of Aurora, which are open until 10PM.

man smoking large joint of cannabis

Colorado Marijuana Laws – Consumption

There aren’t any coffee shops or marijuana bars like you might find in Amsterdam that legally allow on-site consumption. However, there some new ‘private’ cannabis clubs where you can buy a day membership. These clubs are relatively new and hopefully they are successful. Some allow indoor smoking since they are “private,” others just allow inside vaping and outside smoking.

If you are consuming cannabis in public in Colorado, just be considerate of others around you and use proper discretion. Denver Police have increased citations for public consumption. In fact, in the first three quarters of 2014, Denver Police issued 668 public consumption citations.This amounts to a 470% increase from the same period in 2013, when 117 citations were issued.

lady walking off cannabus

Colorado Marijuana Laws – Don’t drive under the influence

A new DUI law in Colorado has set a legal limit (5 nanograms per milliliter of blood) for the amount of active THC you can have in your system while driving. This law was fiercely debated, the main issue being that people metabolize THC at different rates and the amount of impairment varies drastically for each person. If the police do suspect you are driving stoned, they can require you take a blood test. Refusal to do so can result in similar penalties as refusing a breathalyzer test, such as loss of license.

The law does allow for a defendant charged with driving under the influence of marijuana to introduce evidence that pot did not impair their ability to drive. This is a last ditch strategy, but the best advice is to drive sober. In 2014, 354 people received marijuana only DUIDs in Colorado. If you find yourself in need of legal representation for a marijuana DUI, we recommend Jeff Gard from Gard & Bond.

person holding a jar of pot

Colorado Marijuana Laws – Transporting Cannabis

It is illegal to possess marijuana in the passenger area of a vehicle if it is in an “open container,” a container with broken seals, or if there is evidence of consumption. However, it is a bit unclear what exactly defines an “open container,” so once again, use your best judgement and don’t be careless.

stacks of marijuana displayed at dispensary

Colorado Marijuana Laws – Exporting Marijuana

Just don’t do it. The Feds are watching Colorado (and neighboring states) closely, and bringing cannabis back to your home state has the potential to give the DEA and Feds reason to crack down even more.

Mailing stuff home is also a bad idea. U.S. Postal Service inspectors seized 207 packages of marijuana being sent from Colorado through the mail in 2013. In 2014, 320 packages of marijuana were seized. Compare these numbers to 2010, when only 15 packages were intercepted. Be smart as the postal inspectors are setting up shop and keeping a close eye on packages being sent from Colorado. Read the prohibitionists report here – September 2015 – PDF

people passing marijuana joints on party bus

Colorado Marijuana Laws – Federal law and properties in Colorado

When you are visiting national parks, national forests, or monuments, or other federal properties such as courthouses, your right to possess marijuana DOES NOT apply. You should also know that many ski areas are located on federal land (mainly just the actual ski runs, not the towns or base of the mountain.)

Possession of marijuana on federal land is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $1,000 on the first offense, along with a 15-day mandatory sentence that can be extended to two years in prison for a second offense. After that, perpetrators can receive a 90-day to three-year prison term, and a $5,000 fine.

Thank you for learning about Colorado Marijuana Laws.

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