Coloradans who want to grow their own marijuana will be jumping through more bureaucratic hoops.
Apparently fearing a cannabis counteroffensive from the incoming Republican administration in Washington, Colorado lawmakers are targeting home marijuana growers and co-operative greenhouses with legal measures intended to appease anti-cannabis zealots in D.C.
According to the Associated Press and the Denver Post, Centennial State officials are promoting legislation that cracks down on pot grown legally, which can ultimately be sold on the black market. Conservative critics complain that Colorado’s liberal allowances for growing pot without a license have created a thriving network of illegal growers. Per Colorado law, medical grows can have up to 99 plants, households up to 12 and individuals can band together in co-ops, with the end result sometimes being massive greenhouses of untaxed cannabis.
Revenue leakage is exactly the kind of green revolution the state can’t allow. Colorado regulators tell the AP it’s time to ramp up efforts to crush the black market and show the feds that Colorado isn’t letting cannabis seep into other states.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper says the state’s generous pot allowances make it almost impossible for cops to tell legitimate growers from black-market fronts, and he is calling for several new laws to crack down on illegal commercial growing. Proposals include a ban on group recreational pot grows and new paperwork requirements for people who grow medical pot.
“They’re trying to do the best they can to drive everyone into the taxed model,” said Jason Warf, head of the Southern Colorado Cannabis Council, which represents pot retailers, patients and caregivers who grow pot for sick people.
Read how Board of Equalization Chair Fiona Ma is trying to fix the industry’s banking problem and do the same for California.