Hickenlooper signs bill extending some recreational marijuana rules to medical pot industry

DENVER – Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper on Thursday signed a bill that will extend several of the rules for the state’s retail marijuana operators on to medical marijuana licensees and manufacturers.

House Bill 1034 passed the Senate unanimously after passing the House by a 63-1 vote in early February.

The bill affects several changes aimed at helping medical marijuana licensees.

First, it creates 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 also changes 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 puts medical licensees on the same plane as retail licensees.

Another facet of the bill allows 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 makes is it allows manufacturers of medical marijuana-infused products, like edibles, to buy and sell medical marijuana to or from one another.

The bill was 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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