Cannabis legalization in Colorado
Colorado was the very first U.S. state to legalize adult-use cannabis after voters approved the state’s cannabis legalization initiative in 2012. Colorado became the first fully legal cannabis market in early 2014 — in fact, many people consider Colorado to be ground zero for cannabis freedom. It was the first state to enact its legalization language and has demonstrated from the start a successful model for regulating the cannabis industry. Additionally, many politicians from around the U.S. and the world have traveled to witness Colorado’s cannabis industry in action and to take inspiration for enacting their own reforms.
Colorado’s cannabis industry is not the largest in the country but it is the oldest, and the state has generated well over $1 billion in tax revenue since its market launched in 2014. Over the years, Colorado has also expanded its cannabis industry with regulatory updates allowing for additional business elements including statewide delivery options and the licensing of cannabis lounges and consumption clubs (although many municipalities have been slow to embrace these changes).
- Under state law, Colorado retail cannabis purchases are subject to a 15% sales tax.
- Additionally, Colorado operators pay a 15% excise tax on the transfer of product from cultivators/producers to retailers.
- Medical cannabis sales are subject to the state’s standard 2.9% sales tax.
Colorado cannabis possession & purchasing rules
- Colorado adults aged 21+ can possess up to two ounces of cannabis flower and up to two ounces of cannabis concentrates.
- Adults can purchase up to one ounce of cannabis per day.
- Residents over age 21 can grow up to six cannabis plants at home (up to three flowering plants at once), with a max of 12 plants per household.
- Public cannabis consumption is not allowed.
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Ganjapreneur is an online resource dedicated to keeping cannabis entrepreneurs, professionals, and investors informed about the space. As a B2B-focused platform, we also host the industry’s most comprehensive business index to help facilitate necessary partnerships between cannabis brands and the ancillary firms who work with them.
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