Bill extending some recreational pot rules to medical marijuana industry heads to Hickenlooper

DENVER – A bill headed to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk would extend several of the rules for Colorado retail marijuana operators on to medical marijuana licensees and manufacturers in what is seen as an expansion of the state’s medical marijuana rules.

The Senate voted unanimously, 35-0, Monday to pass House Bill 1034 on to the governor’s desk. It passed the House by a 63-1 vote on Feb. 2.

The bill would affect several changes aimed at helping medical marijuana licensees should it be signed by the governor.

First, it would create a license for medical marijuana business operators who receive profits from the industry but are not owners of a property, something already required for recreational marijuana business operators.

The bill would also change state rules that currently allow medical marijuana licensees only to move their business within the city or county, and allow them to move anywhere in the state, as long as it is approved by the state and the local jurisdiction the licensee is moving to.

The change would put medical licensees on the same plane as retail licensees.

Another facet of the bill would allow medical marijuana licensees to try and “remediate” any product that tested positive for substances “injurious to health,” such as pesticides, before having to destroy it. However, this rule would apply only to products that test positive for microbials.

That rule currently also applies to recreational retail marijuana licensees, but not to medical licensees, and could help them save product that would otherwise be considered a total loss.

A final change the bill would make would be to allow manufacturers of medical marijuana-infused products, like edibles, to buy and sell medical marijuana to or from one another.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, and Sen. Randy Baumgardner, a Republican from the Western Slope.

The original bill did not include the remediation or transfer of medical marijuana between manufacturers, but the language was added by the House ahead of its passage.

The Legislative Council found the bill would have minimal state and local fiscal impacts.

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