The Colorado Department of Revenue Monday released temporary rules for the operation of legal marijuana commerce, providing more details on what the nascent industry will look like, but still leaving many complicated matters unresolved.
The department had only about a month to come up with the rules after Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) signed off on the legislature's starting framework in late May. Officials hope to have complete rules in place before marijuana stores are supposed to open in January. The interim rules expire in October, and state officials have said they will engage in a more detailed rule-making process to spell out just what is and is not allowed.
While the temporary rules take up 64 pages, some of the highlights include requiring medical marijuana dispensaries to bar minors if they want to sell recreational marijuana, requiring child-proof packing for marijuana and marijuana-infused products (edibles), and requiring that marijuana be labeled with the license numbers of the producer and retailer, as well as an as yet undetermined "universal symbol, indicating that the container holds marijuana."
The rules, though, are ultimately placeholders that state officials hope to have rewritten by the time any recreational marijuana stores actually open in January 2014. The first-draft "emergency rules" were released Monday to comply with a deadline set in Amendment 64, the measure voters approved in November that legalized marijuana retail sales to people over 21.
The temporary rules note that more regulatory detail will be coming in areas such as advertising, health and safety protections, labeling, testing, and inventory control. They contain little detail on key aspects, particularly the "seed-to-sale" tracking system which has been the bedrock of the state's efforts to prevent diversion.
"The State Licensing Authority intends to engage in additional rulemaking to establish additional inventory tracking system requirements," the department said in the rules.