Can You Possess Too Many Marijuana Plants in Colorado?
On January 1, 2013, Colorado became the first place anywhere in the world to allow legal marijuana sales to anybody over 21 for any purpose, including recreational use. Residents of Colorado are also allowed to grow Marijuana privately, but under very strict guidelines and regulations. This article offers some useful insight on who can grow marijuana in Colorado, what the regulations are and what consequences you can expect if you breach the law.
Who can grow marijuana in Colorado?
Any adult who is licensed can grow marijuana for personal use in Colorado. However, there are strict regulations that need to be followed.
Is there a minimum age requirement to grow Marijuana in Colorado?
First, for you to be allowed to grow marijuana in Colorado, you must be above the minimum age of 21 years. Before attaining the age of 21, you will be liable for a misdemeanor being in illegal possession of marijuana plants (regardless of the amount) and you may pay a fine of $500-$5,000 or face 6-18 months imprisonment.
Is there a limit to the number of plants I can privately grow in Colorado?
If you are over the age of 21 and want to grow Marijuana without a cannabis business, the number of marijuana plants under your care must not exceed 6 as outlined in the Constitution of Colorado, Article XVIII section 16 (3). In case you exceed the limit and you are found to be in illegal possession of marijuana plants, you will have committed a drug felony, hence punishable by 6-18 months imprisonment and a fine not exceeding $100,000.
Can I grow Marijuana plants anywhere on my property?
The law requires that all marijuana must be grown in an enclosed area that is not available for public scrutiny. You are not allowed to grow marijuana in open places. The rationale behind this is to make sure that minors do not access and be in illegal possession of marijuana plants. This is one of the bigger risks involved with growing marijuana at home. You are therefore advised to take necessary precautions to ensure that any person who is below the age of 21 in your home does not gain access to marijuana plants. Otherwise you will be in contravening the law.
What if I am caught with illegal possession of excess marijuana in public?
The law of Colorado is very clear as to the amount of marijuana one can carry in public. There is no penalty if you are found to be in possession of marijuana and you have met the minimum age requirements of being 21 or older.
- However, if you are found to possess more than 1 and up to 2 ounces, you will have committed a petty offence that attracts a fine of $100.
- If you are found to be in illegal possession of marijuana between 2 to 6 ounces, you will have committed a level 2 misdemeanor and can be sentenced to up to 1 year imprisonment and a fine that does not exceed $700.
- Illegal possession of 6 to 12 ounces of marijuana attracts imprisonment of up to 18 months and a fine ranging between $500-$5000.
- If you are caught in possession of more than 12 ounces, you will have committed a felony and will be incarcerated for 1 to 2 years in prison and will have to pay a fine of up to $100,000.
- If you are caught selling marijuana illegally, you will be sentenced to a minimum of 6 months in prison and have to pay a minimum of $5,000 fine. Depending on the amount you are caught with while selling, imprisonment time can go up to 32 years and the fine can go up to 1 million U.S. dollars.
In conclusion, even though the personal cultivation of marijuana has been legalized in Colorado, there are strict guidelines that need to be followed. Illegal possession of marijuana plants is a criminal offence and is punishable by law in Colorado. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Pollart Miller LLC to consult on your specific case.
5700 South Quebec St. Suite 200 Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Can You Possess Too Many Marijuana Plants in Colorado? On January 1, 2013, Colorado became the first place anywhere in the world to allow legal marijuana sales to anybody over 21 for any purpose,
Marijuana Laws in Colorado
With the passing of Amendment 64, adults 21 or older in Colorado can legally possess one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana or THC.
If you are an adult 21 years of age or older, you can now legally possess 1 ounce of marijuana in Colorado. The way the amendment is worded actually allows for possession of 1 ounce of THC. This is great news because in addition to flower (bud), you can also enjoy many types of concentrates, edibles, topicals, etc. during your visit. Cannabis seeds are also available for sale in Colorado.
As long as you are 21 years or older, you have a constitutional right to possess and consume marijuana in Colorado. You will need a government-issued identification to prove you are 21 years or older, so a drivers license or passport would be sufficient enough. Note that you don’t need to be a Colorado resident to possess recreational cannabis and there isn’t any type of registration system. Only residents who apply for medical marijuana cards need to register with the state. Medical patients may possess up to 2 ounces, 40 grams of concentrate, or a total of 20,000 mg of infused cannabis product (in the case of edibles or similar preparations).
Previously, tourists in Colorado were restricted to purchasing 7 grams or less, while Colorado residents could purchase up to 28 grams. This law changed in June 2016, and now both tourists and residents can purchase 28 grams in a single transaction. Medical patients may purchase up to 2 ounces of medical marijuana or its equivalent as a standard, though higher amounts may be granted by the recommending physician.
The law has some grey areas regarding what constitutes a ‘single transaction,’ so most recreational stores err on the side of caution and will only serve you once a day. In the past, circumventing purchasing limits has been punishable by fines or even jail.
As of October 1st, 2016 the laws have changed.
The Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) in Colorado performed studies to determine what the THC equivalent of concentrates and edibles are in relation to marijuana in flower form. They argue that since products such as concentrates have a much higher level of THC, then you shouldn’t be able to purchase the same amount of concentrates as you can flower. As a result, the MED has issued ‘Marijuana Equivalency’ guidelines.
As of October 1 st , 2016 the following rules took effect in regards to recreational sales (medical sales remain unchanged):
- 1oz Flower = 8g of Concentrate (Shatter, Wax, etc)
- 1oz Flower = 800mg of Edibles
You can still mix and match, but it gets confusing. For example, you can purchase 2 grams of concentrate, but then you will be limited to buying an additional 3/4 oz of flower (as 2 grams of concentrate is now equivalent to 1/4oz of flower). These laws will be a big challenge for budtenders as they attempt to sell combinations of products while ensuring that the buyer is within the legal limits.
One important thing to note is these restrictions only apply to retail sales, not possession. You can legally possess up to 28 grams of concentrates or THC as defined in the Colorado Constitution. Where to Buy
Read more about Colorado’s recreational cannabis equivalency laws here.
Currently, the state allows marijuana stores to operate from 8am until Midnight. Having said this, cities are allowed to establish their own rules within the allocated timeframe. For example, Denver stores must close by 10pm. If you’re looking to purchase marijuana in Denver after 10pm, head to Edgewater and Glendale (two cities bordering Denver), which both allow stores to stay open until 12am. Another great option is Aurora, which allows stores to stay open until 10pm as well.
So you made it to Colorado and bought yourself a big bag of green. Great job! Now the question is: “Where can I smoke my weed?” This is a highly debated topic at the moment, so here’s some helpful insight into what’s legal and what’s practical.
First and foremost, you will find the following statement to be true during your visit:
Discretion is appreciated, and usually required.
Amendment 64 does NOT permit the consumption of marijuana “openly and publicly.” So before you start blazing those blunts while walking down the street, remember that you can still get a ticket for doing so, similar to open container laws for drinking in public.
In general, there aren’t any coffee shops or marijuana bars where you can purchase cannabis products like you might find in Amsterdam. However, thanks to Initiative 300, bring-your-own-cannabis lounges are beginning to open their doors to consumers.
In addition to the new social consumption lounges, several ‘private’ cannabis clubs are open to adults as well. These clubs are a great place for tourists and locals alike to come together and consume marijuana products safely and legally. Some even allow indoor smoking since they are ‘private,’ while others just allow inside vaping and outside smoking.
Remember, public consumption is illegal and can result in tickets and fines. Denver Police have also increased citations for public consumption over the years. In the first three quarters of 2014, Denver Police issued 668 public consumption citations. This amounts to a 470% increase from the same period in 2013, when 117 citations were issued. On 4/20 in 2018, police issued 72 citations, almost twice as many as the previous year.
Even though concert venues and bars are considered ‘private,’ prohibitionists argue that they are ‘publicly accessible private venues’, and therefore consumption of marijuana is prohibited. From our experience, it depends upon the place and the crowd. Most down to earth venues will usually turn a blind eye to things unless they are getting complaints or police visits.
To be discreet, edibles or a portable vaporizer can be your best friend. These have become very popular in Colorado, as they don’t really leave any odor and can be consumed almost anywhere. Social Lounges
Driving Under the Influence
A new DUI law is in effect in Colorado which sets a legal limit for the amount of active THC in your system while driving. The legal limit is 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood. This law was fiercely debated with the main issue being that people metabolize THC at different rates and as a result, the amount of impairment varies drastically from person to person. Unlike alcohol, where if you are over 0.08 you are impaired, it’s hard to determine if a person is impaired or not based upon THC levels alone.
The bottom line is be smart and don’t drive under the influence. If your car doesn’t smell like you ran over a pack of skunks and your eyes aren’t bloodshot, it is unlikely that you will be singled out. If the police do suspect you are driving stoned, they can require you take a blood test. Refusal to do so can result in similar penalties as refusing a breathalyzer test, such as loss of license.
The possibility of being involved in a serious car accident, even through no fault of your own, always exists, so it’s best to sleep off the high. The law does allow for a defendant charged with driving under the influence of marijuana to introduce evidence that pot did not impair their ability to drive. This is a last ditch strategy, the best advice is to simply drive sober.
In 2014, 354 people received marijuana only DUIs in Colorado. If you find yourself in need of legal representation for a marijuana DUI, we recommend Jeff Gard from Gard & Bond.
Colorado legalized recreational marijuana for in 2012 but legal cannabis sales did not start until 2014. We offer practical information about marijuana laws, regulations, and statutes for residents and those planning a trip or vacation to Colorado.