Debate about marijuana in Colorado continues heading into another 4/20

April 19, 2016 Updated: April 20, 2016 at 6:57 am
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Dan Anglin, president of the edibles manufacturer AmeriCanna, holds one of his products that complies with a new state law requiring it be clearly labeled with THC in a triangle.
Dan Anglin, president of the edibles manufacturer AmeriCanna, holds one of his products that complies with a new state law requiring it be clearly labeled with THC in a triangle. 

April 20 is the official marijuana holiday, and thousands of people in Colorado celebrate by eating, smoking or vaping the drug without the fear of ticket or arrest.

But that doesn't mean pot is without conflict in the Centennial State, where voters legalized recreational marijuana grows, sales, possession and use in a 2012 amendment to the Colorado Constitution.

"This has been a nascent industry for the past three years," said state Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, before his bill banning certain shapes of marijuana edibles passed its first hearing Tuesday. "We're learning. We're evolving. We haven't had a lot of guideposts. For everyone who does use it, we want them to be safe and responsible, and for everyone else, we want them to understand we are doing the best that we can to protect our children and public safety and keep this out of the hands of criminals and cartels."

But for the industry, that evolution feels a bit more like a devolution.

"We put very rigorous, strict rules in place," said Dan Anglin, president of AmeriCanna, a company that makes marijuana-infused products. "I have a team of lawyers and compliance officers to make sure I comply with all the regulations. Why don't we just see what happens before we make new laws?"

State and local officials have been busy working on marijuana-related issues in the year since the last 4/20. Among them:

- In March, the Colorado Springs City Council banned cannabis consumption clubs from the city, giving existing clubs eight years to disassemble their businesses.

- Hash oil production in residential neighborhoods was outlawed in August. A violation is punishable by a $2,500 fine, six months in jail or both.

- Starting in October, all marijuana-infused products will have to be marked with a triangle with the letters THC inside.

- In the past year, the state Department of Agriculture gave marijuana growers an expanded list of which chemicals they can and cannot put on plants. State lawmakers have followed up by putting those rules on the books. Also, regulators will be able to destroy confiscated plants with harmful chemicals on them.

- The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a lawsuit filed by Oklahoma and Nebraska against Colorado's legalized pot industry.

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