Revised rules for recreational marijuana in Colorado up for debate at the capitol Wednesday

DENVER - Colorado lawmakers are beginning debate on how to handle marijuana laws including establishing a limit for driving while under the influence of marijuana.

Lawmakers worked late Tuesday night making changes to House Bill 13-1317, after lobbyists for the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police voiced concerns.

On Wednesday, the bill's sponsor and the Executive Director for the Department of Revenue spent more than two hours answering questions from the House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee members.

Sponsor Dan Padon (D) said creating the regulations has been a long process.

Padon also said the amendment creating a THC driving limit that died Monday in committee will be reintroduced.

The bill would also limit out-of-state visitors over 21 to buying a quarter-ounce of pot in a single transaction, though they could possess up to an ounce. There would be no purchasing limits below an ounce for Coloradans eligible to buy pot.

The bill requires people to live in Colorado for two or more years before working in the marijuana industry. That includes owners, growers and people working behind the counter at pot shops.

Some of the other recommendations include:

- The application fee for current medical marijuana licensees would be $500. After a three month period of exclusivity for current medical marijuana licensees, new applications would be accepted with a $5,000 fee.

- Under the bill, half of each license fee would be transferred to the local government of the place where the business is being established.

- Retail stores, retail product manufacturers, retail cultivation facilities and testing facilities would all be required to have a license.

- Licenses would also be subject to the approval of a local government.

- The legislation also prohibits marijuana retail stores from dealing in products containing nicotine or alcohol.

A separate bill up for committee review Thursday would ask voters to tax recreational marijuana 30 percent.

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