Article by Kristen Wyatt, The Associated Press
Hoping to preserve its marijuana law under the next president, Colorado is planning a slate of legislation designed to crack down on pot that is grown legally but then sold on the black market.
The goal is to cut down on complaints that Colorado’s liberal allowances for growing pot without a license has created a thriving network of illegal growers. Colorado allows medical pot patients to grow up to 99 plants, far beyond other marijuana states, and it also allows recreational users to group their allotted six plants into massive co-ops, entire greenhouses of pot that aren’t tracked or taxed.
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 a several new laws to crack down. Proposals include a ban on group recreational pot grows and new paperwork requirements for people who grow medical pot.
With uncertainty looming about how the next president will approach marijuana, Colorado regulators say it’s time to ramp up efforts to crush the black market and show the feds that Colorado isn’t letting weed seep into other states.
“We do need to clean up this system and make sure we’re beyond reproach for how well we’re regulating marijuana,” said Andrew Freedman, the governor’s marijuana coordinator.