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Marijuana regulation bills introduced in Colorado House

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April 20, 2013


By Alex Murray

DENVER, Colorado: As marijuana enthusiasts gather today in Denver to celebrate the unofficial holiday of 4/20,[1] the Colorado General Assembly may finally be ready to pass regulations on the drug, which voters legalized last November.

The first of three expected pieces, House Bill 13-1317, sponsored by Rep. Dan Pabon (D), would give form to marijuana retail and its regulation. It notably rejects a recommendation by the Amendment 64 Task Force; rather than the suggested vertical integration, the bill would allow producers and sellers to fall under different ownership, though stores may still grow their own product. The bill would also convert the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division into the Marijuana Enforcement Division.[2][3]

House Bill 13-1318, sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Singer (D), would impose a 15 percent sales tax, as well as a 15 percent excise tax on distribution from producers to sellers. If passed, the taxes would become questions on the November ballot.[2][4]

A third bill yet to be introduced would contain issues largely agreed upon by Pabon's committee dealing with the implementation of the task force's recommendations, and is thus not expected to cause much division.[2][4]

The two bills already submitted could be heard in the House as early as Monday.[3] The General Assembly adjourns May 8, and could return for a special session should it not pass regulations. Marijuana sales for recreation use will begin on January 1, 2014.[4]

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