By Steve Elliott
Colorado lawmakers late on Thursday unveiled a long-awaited bill containing proposed regulations for the state's newly legal recreational marijuana industry, moving the Rocky Mountain High state closer to a legal cannabis marketplace.
The bill runs 57 pages and includes most of the ideas endorsed by a legislative committee for how marijuana businesses should operate and be structured, reports John Ingold at The Denver Post. A second bill, also introduced on Thursday, details a proposed marijuana tax structure which voters would have to approve.
Both bills must pass both the House and Senate, requiring a minimum of six different votes, by May 8, the end of the legislative session. If that doesn't happen, it's likely that lawmakers would call a special session this spring, since this is the only chance they have to regulate marijuana before legal cannabis stores open around the beginning of next year.
House Bill 1317, the main marijuana regulation bill, is sponsored by Rep. Dan Pabon (D-Denver), and details how marijuana stores are to operate and be governed. It requires that marijuana growers and sellers operate separately, opposite of the requirements for medical marijuana dispensaries.
Only Colorado residents will be allowed to own or work in recreational marijuana stores. The stores will be allowed to sell only a quarter-ounce of cannabis to people from out of state.