New year, new restrictions: Colorado makes changes to medical marijuana program
Starting on the first day of 2022, medical marijuana laws in Colorado are positioned to become much more strict. The changes follow several months of deliberation and will be imposed in an effort to limit teenagers from accessing and abusing highly potent THC products.
One major concern are products such as wax and shatter, which are produced in a lab and have higher percentages of THC than the most potent flower.
Executive Director of Colorado’s Department of Revenue Mark Ferrandino, who also formerly served as speaker of the state’s house, had the final say in what the rules would look like, but turned to a number of involved and interested parties for input. Parents shared stories about their young and drastic effects cannabis had on them, including suicidal thoughts, psychosis, and constant, non-stop vomiting.
One drastic change to the state’s medical marijuana program will be to the daily purchase limits. The new rules will limit the amount purchased per day by patients to eight grams of concentrate and two ounces (56 grams) of flower. Medical patients under the age of 21 will be further limited to two grams of concentrate per day. Until the new rules go into effect, patients are able to purchase up to 40 grams of concentrate per day.
There will also be a “public education” proponent, which is an 8x11 pamphlet provided to both medical and recreational customers at the point of sales. Medical marijuana dispensaries will be prohibited from marketing to people under the age of 21, a change from the rules barring advertising to anyone under the age of 18.
Colorado state legislatures have pioneered marijuana legalization, becoming one of the first states in the country to legalize for recreational use in 2012. As more states followed suit and changes were made federally, more research has been able to be conducted to determine long and short-term effects of cannabis on different populations. Lawmakers argue that they are making changes to the program that are consistent with the most up-to-date research.