Most Colorado citizens are well aware of the legalization of marijuana in their state. With the implementation of legalization came general public service information regarding the use of recreational marijuana. However, the knowledge often stops there. There remains ample confusion regarding cultivation regulation. Here is everything you need to know relating to Colorado marijuana cultivation laws.
Passed by ballot initiative in 2012, Amendment 64 legalized the private consumption of marijuana in Colorado, and the state officially added it to the state’s constitution on December 10, 2012. Following the passing of this Amendment came regulations regarding many things, including marijuana cultivation. Here is where some of these laws stand now.
Home Grown Marijuana Cultivation in Colorado
Coloradans can grow marijuana in their homes for personal use. The Colorado government provides some relatively clear information regarding colorado marijuana cultivation laws for those growing at home. The specifics citizens should keep in mind include that:
- Coloradans can grow marijuana in their homes for personal use;
- Up to six plants are allowed per Colorado resident over age 21, with as many as three plants flowering at one time;
- All residences are limited to a maximum of 12 plants unless certain requirements are met (local laws can vary); and
- Marijuana plants must be kept in an enclosed, locked area that can’t be viewed openly—this means the plants can’t be outside.
The above is a good starting point to grasp home growing cultivation basics. However, counties and municipalities can pass stricter laws. Also, the rules are different for medical marijuana users.
If a person is concerned about where they stand regarding existing or future compliance with cultivation regulations, they should contact a Colorado attorney with experience in marijuana cultivation crimes. When law enforcement charges a person with a violation of homegrown Colorado marijuana cultivation laws, they should urgently reach out to a cultivation defense firm.
Facility Marijuana Cultivation in Colorado
Colorado marijuana cultivation laws for facilities have additional considerations. These laws involve:
- An application to be a facility,
- The government granting the applicant a license, and
- Fees for both the application and license.
Based on the number of marijuana plants the facility intends to cultivate, the government will assign the Colorado recreational marijuana cultivation facility a tier of licensure. These tiers are as follows:
- Tier 1 (1-1,800 plants),
- Tier 2 (1,801-3,600 plants),
- Tier 3 (3,601-6,000 plants),
- Tier 4 (6,001-10,200 plants), and
- Tier 5 (10,201-13,800 plants).
Costs for the application and licensure in total can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. The license application fee for growers, processors, and dispensaries is per facility and per license type. To stay compliant with the law, facilities must remain current with yearly renewals.
As with home growing situations, the rules are different for medical marijuana facility cultivation.
Colorado Government’s General Stance on Cultivation
The standard rules from OSHA and state laws that regulate businesses apply to marijuana cultivation facilities. In many ways, people consider Colorado a reasonably progressive state regarding marijuana cultivation laws. For home growers, the Colorado government actively suggests that people grow with care. Some of their advice includes that home growers:
- Only use carbon dioxide generators that are safe for indoor use;
- Wear personal protective equipment when using pesticides; and
- Make sure a licensed electrician installs all lights and other equipment to prevent fire hazards.
However, do not take these helpful hints to indicate that Colorado is lenient regarding the violations of marijuana cultivation laws. Just how serious are they in this regard? Those who are growing marijuana in their home or at a facility, especially if they fear being in trouble with the law, have a reason for concern.
Consequences of Violating Colorado Marijuana Cultivation Laws
There is no penalty in Colorado for persons who privately cultivate marijuana within the legal limits. But if one violates those limits, tough laws regarding drug felony penalties may address the consequences. Based on the amount one has above the legal limit and other factors (such as whether the person has prior convictions), one may face:
- A mandatory court appearance,
- Punishment of up to 2 years of imprisonment, and
- A fine of up to $100,000,
For cultivation in a facility, there are additional considerations. These include that:
- Marijuana sales by unlicensed entities are broadly subject to criminal penalties;
- The state regulates retail sales of cannabis by state-licensed entities to those over the age of 21;
- The Department of Revenue also regulates the retail marijuana industry; and
- Criminal statutes provide punishments for those who violate facility cultivation laws.
Therefore, when facilities violate Colorado marijuana cultivation laws, the penalties may well surpass those of home growers and may come from various agencies and judicial jurisdictions.
Some Colorado criminal lawyers may have an idea of penalties for violations and how to defend against charges. However, given the complexity of Colorado marijuana cultivation laws, Coloradans who believe they need legal help in this arena need to reach out to a top-notch law firm with experience.
A Word of Caution: Minors and Colorado Marijuana Cultivation Laws
As with all states, Colorado has numerous laws to protect juveniles from abuse and neglect and lead them away from delinquency. Those cultivating marijuana need to understand that there are special considerations regarding minors and cultivating marijuana in homes and facilities. Specifically:
- At homes with residents under 21, any marijuana grow area must be enclosed and locked in a separate space that minors can’t access;
- At homes without residents under 21, home growers must take extra precautions to make sure any visiting youth don’t have access to marijuana plants; and
- The sale, transfer, or dispensing of marijuana to a minor carries hefty penalties.
The law also drives the point home by adding that those working in a facility cultivating marijuana must be age 21 or older. The endpoint is this: If you are cultivating marijuana in the home or a facility, make sure there is no connection to or access available for minors under the age of 21.
When you believe that you may be in violation of Colorado marijuana cultivation laws, the time to act is immediate. You should reach out for legal representation. You will want someone to answer your questions, prepare your case if needed, and remove the legal burden.
The Lux Law Firm: Protecting Families, Freedoms, and Futures
The Lux Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Lead attorney Austin Lux transitioned from his work as a prosecutor into criminal defense private practice. He has also held roles training local law enforcement agencies and working with the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). As a result, he now uses his massive understanding of the criminal justice system and skills as a trial attorney to represent his firm’s clients.
Austin is professional, approachable, and highly skilled in criminal defense. He has an outstanding ability to negotiate with district attorneys and law enforcement members, handle everyday and explosive cases in the courtroom, and always stand up for clients. Legal troubles can impact every aspect of your life. If you fear you may be in trouble with the law, the first call should be to The Lux Law Firm at 719-377-8967. The Lux Law Firm is also available online. We are ready to defend you 24/7.