Several new rules and regulations for legal cannabis in Colorado have been finalized and will go into effect January 1, 2018, according to the Marijuana Enforcement Division.

The MED had been holding stakeholder meetings and accepting public feedback on many of the proposed rules since September; they include updates to packaging regulations, a new state program for medical cannabis research and more.

Many of the new rules are a result of 2017’s legislative session, with amendments to existing laws and new bills forcing updates that affect both the industry workforce and consumers. HB 1034, HB 1261, SB 187 and SB 192 will change employee training methods, business location transfers, product contaminate testing, concentrate wholesalers and packaging and labeling.

One notable update comes from HB 1367, which will create a new program administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that will register private and public medical marijuana research products. Cannabis business owners and research organizations will both be allowed to apply for the licenses.

Most of the rules were made to increase youth, consumer and employee safety, the MED says, such as new packaging and labeling requirements that are designed to decrease interaction with minors.

“These rules help to ensure that all marijuana that comes into the market is not contaminated, accurately labeled and stays out of the hands of children,” Colorado Department of Revenue executive director Mike Hartman says in an announcement of the finalized updates. “Additionally, these new licenses offer opportunities for research and development in this industry, so collectively, the state and the industry can maintain the emphasis on public health and safety.”

The MED will continue to issue industry bulletins and tips for stakeholders on how to comply with the new rules as they go into effect. To see the full list of updates, visit the MED rulemaking web page.

About the Author

Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He’s currently the cannabis editor for

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