DENVER (AP/CBS4) – Exhaustive suggestions for how marijuana should be grown, sold and taxed are finally in the hands of the elected officials who will decide how to regulate the newly legal drug.
A task force made up of pot advocates, law enforcement and government regulators released its report Wednesday. The task force looked at everything from labeling standards to recommendations for keeping the drug away from children.
The task force report is just a series of suggestions. The final marijuana regulations will be made by state lawmakers, who have created a special marijuana committee to look at nothing but pot regulation.
BotanaCare is a medical marijuana dispensary owned by two sisters just off Interstate 25 in Northglenn. The sisters got into the business because of their strong belief in the weed’s medicinal effects but now they’re taking a look at the mass market for recreational pot.
“No matter how you do the math it adds up to be quite profitable for those that established ourselves in the medical,” said BotanaCare co-owner Robin Hackett.
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The co-chairs of the Amendment 64 Task Force recommend that licensed medical marijuana dispensaries get the first crack at recreational licenses.
The dispensaries are already under regulation by the State of Colorado and they grow most of their own pot.
One of the biggest questions still up in the air is where can consumers use pot?
“Even though we couldn’t come to an agreement as to whether the front porch was a place where you could smoke marijuana it was pretty clear that a public park was not,” said State Revenue Department spokeswoman Barbara Brohl.
“You would be hard pressed to find a place other than a private residence where smoking could occur,” said Amendment 64 Task Force member Jack Finlaw.
If the general assembly approves it voters would decide on an excise and “marijuana tax” on the sale of pot.
The first $40 million will benefit school construction.
Those in the marijuana business are fully aware their product remains illegal under federal law. The U.S. Department of Justice has not said whether it will sue to block Colorado’s law.
“Sometimes we joke everyday we turn the key when we open the door we open the door to a prison term if anything goes wrong if the feds decide to come in,” said Hackett.
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