If you told me ten years ago that I would be traveling around the state exploring hundreds of cannabis vendors, sampling dozens of different strains, and doing so legally, I would have simply called that a pipe dream. Nevertheless, here I am. While the entire situation of legalized cannabis may seem pretty cut and dry from an outside perspective, there is a lot more to the laws regulating cannabis sales than meets the eye. The Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) is constantly changing and amending the rules that govern Colorado recreational cannabis dispensaries and Colorado recreational edibles. The name of the game now is compliance, and the dispensaries who don’t adapt, and don’t stay in touch with the plethora of footnotes in the list of MED regulations, are doomed to failure. Just recently, as of October 1, 2016, a new set of laws came out mainly concerning packaging for products containing THC and equivalency between flower, concentrates, and edibles. To gain a little more insight on these changes I got in touch with The Green Solution ®, a Colorado recreational cannabis chain, to see how they keep up to date with the ever-adapting laws of legal recreational cannabis in Colorado.
New Edible Look in Colorado
The new law states that any manufactured edibles product containing the active psychoactive compound THC must now be labeled as such. Not only must the box display a new standardized THC insignia (which includes a nice big exclamation point for emphasis), but the edibles themselves must be emblazoned with the warning as well. The idea behind this being that even if a cannabis edible is removed from its packaging, people will be able to tell in an instant if the cookie sitting on the top of the pile is going to get them high or not. The Green Solution ® has already been manufacturing its edibles at the Nectar Bee™ Marijuana Infused Product (MIP) kitchen with this in mind for over a month before the new laws came into effect. Not only does this make it safer for adults who don’t want to accidentally consume cannabis, but the concept is also in place to keep cannabis-infused products easy to spot in environments they don’t belong in, such as schools and workplaces. While the MED’s ever growing list of regulations may seem nigh-draconian, there is usually a good reason behind every new regulation and the dispensaries that embrace this change, like The Green Solution ®, are the ones that are going to succeed.
New Legal Cannabis Purchase Limit
Until earlier this spring, the laws regarding out-of-state purchases were much harsher on visitors. If you were visiting Colorado for recreational cannabis before 2016, you were limited to purchasing only a quarter ounce of weed per dispensary per visit. Now the laws have changed, and if you have a valid ID proving you’re 21 or older, you can purchase up to an ounce of recreational cannabis at The Green Solution ® or any other dispensary that is compliant with new regulations. Keep in mind, however, that the law set forth by Amendment 64 states that you’re still limited to possessing only 28 grams (one ounce) of cannabis product at a time. That means that if you are in possession of an ounce and a joint, you’re hypothetically in violation of the law and could face charges for illegal possession. The built-in safety for this is purchasing from a reliable dispensary, like The Green Solution ®, that won’t inadvertently sell you more cannabis than the law allows. So, then you might ask, “if I can have 28 grams of flower, I can have 28 grams of cannabis concentrates as well, right?” While you can possess up to 28 grams of any cannabis product (including concentrates) as set forth by the law, you won’t be able to purchase that much at a time due to new equivalency regulations that went into effect October 1, 2016.
New Cannabis Equivalency Regulations
So, what’s the equation then for how much cannabis you can purchase on your next visit to The Green Solution ®? The new regulations dictate that one ounce of bud is equivalent to eight grams of concentrate or 800 milligrams of cannabis in the form of edibles. For example, if you go to The Green Solution ® to buy a half ounce of cannabis you would then be limited to purchasing only 4 grams of concentrate or 400 milligrams worth of edibles. It is noteworthy that the 28g/8g/800mg limit can be mixed and matched in any way you desire if the total of the purchase is still, collectively, bellow the limit that a dispensary is permitted to sell in one transaction. Still sounds a bit confusing? Lucky for you, it’s not your responsibility to determine selling limits at a dispensary. It is, however, your responsibility to make sure you’re never in possession of more than the legal limit of cannabis. If you’re concerned about being in possession of more than the legal limit, do yourself a favor and purchase from a trusted vendor like The Green Solution®. Their sales associates are dedicated to compliance so that you can enjoy your Colorado cannabis safely and legally.
Legally Transporting Cannabis in Colorado
If you are going to partake in cannabis, do yourself a favor and keep a lid on it while you’re transporting your cannabis products. Driving under the influence is not exclusive to alcohol, and if you’re consuming cannabis while you’re driving, not only are you endangering yourself but the people around you as well. To ensure that you are following laws concerning the transportation of cannabis keep any product you purchase sealed in its tamper-resistant container. If your product doesn’t come in a child-resistant container you will need to have a MED certified bag. These bags are available at any of The Green Solution ® locations, and in the eyes of law enforcement are considered a sealed container. Just to err on the safe side, though, if you have a trunk, put your cannabis in it for transportation. Another thing worth taking note of is to keep your receipt with your purchase. It’s not widely known, but some officers will charge you with possession of illegally purchased cannabis if you have cannabis without a receipt. While possession itself isn’t a crime, selling cannabis without proper licensing is, and if you don’t have your receipt, it’s impossible to prove that your weed was legally purchased, provided from a caregiver, or home-grown. Every purchase from The Green Solution ® will include a receipt, to make sure that you won’t get ticketed by the fuzz for trying to get a buzz.
Now that you have a better understanding of what it takes to comply with the new rules set forth by the MED, hopefully, you have a better appreciation for the difficult standards that must be met by The Green Solution ® and other dispensaries around the state of Colorado. Go with the knowledge of how much you will be able to purchase during your next visit, and the wisdom not to get busted for misinterpreting the limit on how much cannabis you can possess at a time. Don’t forget, that it’s illegal to consume cannabis in any public space, including parks, and it’s also illegal to consume cannabis in your car. If you’re visiting from out of town, make sure you find a hotel that is cannabis friendly before sparking up as well. You know the laws, you know where you can get the products, now go forth and enjoy responsibly, and don’t forget to tip your hat to your Green Solution ® sales associate for doing the math so you don’t have to!