Governor Jared Polis (D-CO) signed two laws today to make it easier for cannabis-growing establishments to do business.
The first bill includes a provision that allows marijuana growers to implement an emergency plan in adverse weather conditions to minimize damage to the plants. Starting January 1, 2022, facilities can submit these contingency plans to their local licensing authorities for approval.
Bill HB21-1301 “Measures to grow cannabis outdoors” also provides for plans to set up two working groups over the next two years, both of which will meet by November this year. The first group, led by the Agriculture Commissioner, will develop recommendations on how growers can reduce cross-pollination.
Cross-pollination between cannabis and hemp is a burgeoning problem in both industries; it can raise hemp’s THC levels above the legal maximum, which usually means destroying the crop. With cannabis, cross-pollination can drastically reduce the yield.
State Representative Richard Holtorf (R-Akron)
The second group will examine the existing rules and tax laws pertaining to the Colorado marijuana industry. It will examine possible changes to the system that would allow local businesses to compete nationally if marijuana is legalized under federal law.
State Rep. Richard Holtorf (R-Akron) is a sponsor of the bill, which was passed with bipartisan support from the House and Senate.
“Hemp and cannabis are a growing industry in southern Colorado,” said Holtorf. “This law is extremely important to the southernmost counties in House District 64, where hemp and cannabis are major industries.”
The second bill allows facilities that grow medical marijuana to legally change the name of their marijuana from retail to legal. This will enable such establishments to avoid paying a retail marijuana excise tax on their products; However, taxes paid prior to this change are non-refundable.
Law HB21-1216 “Marijuana Licensees Ability To Change Designation” comes into effect on July 1, 2022, just over a year after its enactment.
Governor Jared Polis (D-CO)
During his tenure as governor, Polis made it his mission to stand up for the cannabis industry. His Governor’s Dashboard, presented in 2019, lists innovative cannabis policy as a “Wildly Important Priority”.
“The Colorado cannabis industry is thriving. We have driven most of the criminal element out of cannabis. We have created good jobs, ”Polis said in an interview with the High Times last year. “We have increased quality for consumers and generated tax revenue for our schools. It really was a huge success in Colorado, and frankly, the only thing stopping it from even greater success is that the federal government is getting out of the way. “