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Regulation of Marijuana in Colorado: Task Force Issues Final Report on Implementation of A64

Colorado's Task Force on Implementation of Amendment 64 has issued its final report: Regulation of Marijuana in Colorado.

Following is from the Executive Summary:

The Task Force recommends that the adult-use marijuana industry be required to have common ownership from seed to sale. This “Vertical Integration” model means that cultivation, processing and manufacturing, and retail sales must be a common enterprise under common ownership. The medical marijuana industry, law enforcement, and state and local regulators all advocated for the Vertical Integration model, to ease implementation and enforcement and to demonstrate to the federal government that Colorado is sticking with a regulatory model that has worked. In embracing the Vertical Integration model, the Task Force attempted to strike a balance between those urging state-owned and operated retail stores to sell marijuana and those endorsing a more entrepreneurial, free market model. The Task Force also recommends that for the first year of licensing, only entities with valid medical marijuana licenses, and those who applied for medical marijuana licenses before December 10, 2012 when Amendment 64 was proclaimed as law, should able to obtain licenses to grow, process and sell adult-use marijuana. The Task Force further recommends that this regulatory framework be revisited after three years to determine if it is the appropriate model for the continued regulation of adult-use marijuana.
Tax and funding recommendations are faithful to the language of Amendment 64 by endorsing a TABOR-referred measure to approve a 15% excise tax, with the first $40 million raised annually dedicated to the state’s school capital construction fund. And yet the Task Force, cognizant of Washington State’s 75% excise tax scheme and the need here in Colorado for an additional funding source to cover the costs of regulating this new industry, implementing consumer safeguards, and establishing youth prevention and treatment programs, also recommends that the Colorado General Assembly consider sending a marijuana sales tax to the ballot for voter approval. In endorsing these two taxes on adult-use marijuana, Task Force members acknowledge the need to keep taxes low enough so as not to encourage a persistent black market in marijuana.

The Task Force's work is completed, yet there is much left to be done. As the report notes:


The Task Force’s recommendations now need to be perfected and implemented by the Colorado General Assembly and the Governor through legislation, by the Attorney General giving guidance to law enforcement and state departments, by the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR), the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and the Colorado Department of Agriculture through administrative rulemakings and by Colorado’s local governments enacting time, place, and manner regulations and ordinances.

All the recommendations, and the Task Force's reasoning, are in the final report which is available at www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?c=Page&cid=1251640551979&p=1251640551979&p...