DENVER (CBS4) – As the 2015 session of the Colorado Legislature dawns on Wednesday, politicians will once again hone in on marijuana regulations.
Legislators say Coloradans could see up to more than two dozen bills about marijuana in this session alone.
The state is now in its second year of recreational sales, and this year the state’s medical pot regulations are due for renewal.
That means nearly everything regarding it is up for debate.
Lawmakers and producers both say the industry needs more regulation.
“The state has left open some loopholes for people to operate outside of the tax system,” Andy Williams of Medicine Man Dispensary in east Denver said Tuesday.
Currently, the marijuana’s tax system has medical-card carriers paying about one-tenth the taxes of recreational users.
“Quite honestly, some of that tax rate is keeping people either in the black market or in the caregiver model, in which no taxes are paid,” Williams said.
State Rep. Jonathan Singer of Boulder County is behind a bill this session that would force caregivers, who grow pot for others’ medical use, to register with the state to attempt to limit how much they grow.
“We are looking to regulate them more closely,” Singer said. “We want to make sure that marijuana is not escaping out the back door and going into the black market.”
It’s one of dozens of bills he expects to see this session, ranging from hash oil regulation to edibles to how exactly the millions of dollars the state has earned will be spent.
“You could literally be here every day, talking about marijuana and it would be a new subject,” Singer said.
He expects changes this year will unlikely overhaul the system, but will be about improving an industry that in some areas is a little green.
“I think the most important thing is we start dealing with marijuana like the drug that it is and not the drug that some fear it to be,” Singer said.
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