Marijuana law overhaul proposed for Colorado – The Durango Herald

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JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald file photo

JERRY McBRIDE/Durango Herald file photo

DENVER – A faction of the marijuana industry has proposed legislation that would represent the most sweeping changes to marijuana law in Colorado since it was enacted just three years ago.

Crafted with input from the Marijuana Industry Group and the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, the nearly 50-page proposal is considered by many observers to be a “wish list.”

It is titled, “concerning marijuana,” allowing for broad changes.

Stakeholders say it is unlikely that the proposal would be introduced as it is drafted. But it offers a window into the direction certain marijuana groups would like to take the industry.

The proposal also exposes a rift within the industry. Several marijuana stakeholders oppose the proposal, showing that the industry is not monolithic.

The draft legislation – obtained by The Durango Herald – would create a five-member commission appointed by the governor to enact rules and regulations governing the industry. Marijuana rules and regulations are currently promulgated by the Marijuana Enforcement Division, within the Department of Revenue.

The commission would have exclusive authority to create marijuana rules without any approval from the Department of Revenue. It also would be allowed to issue licenses.

Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, said he has serious reservations with the proposal.

“We have up to this point operated largely in a transparent, collaborative role with the industry… This particular omnibus really came out of nowhere and hasn’t gone through that process,” Hickenlooper said.

“I’ve heard a couple people argue that we knew that this was going to happen. That the profits coming from the marijuana industry would sooner or…

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