Update: Hash limits and new pot edibles requirements pass, heading to governor's desk
Update: Both House Bill 1361, which limits hash sales, and House Bill 1366, which further regulates edibles sales, were approved by the state Senate on third reading yesterday and now head to the governor's desk for signing.
A gram of hash from Colorado Pain Management.
For more on what the bills will do, see our previous coverage below.
Original post, 12:50 p.m. May 6: A bill limiting how much marijuana concentrate can be sold to in-state and out-of-state residents who are age 21 and older, as well as legislation placing new rules on marijuana edibles, appear on-track to become state law as lawmakers try to wrap up a 2014 session loaded with weed bills by Wednesday afternoon.
House Bill 1361 would charge the Department of Revenue with establishing how much hash or concentrates equate to an ounce of marijuana. The measure has already been green-lit by the state House, and it passed on a second reading in the state Senate yesterday without any amendments. As a result, the bill could have its third reading as early as today. As we pointed out last month, the bill's wording doesn't seem to make it clear whether the DOR is meant to measure the total THC in an ounce or the total amount of hash or concentrate that can be produced from an ounce. Neither does the legislation address the potency of the flowers to be tested.
Whatever the final interpretation, the net effect adds up to the same thing: Consumers will no longer be able to walk out of a shop with 28 grams of hash. Far fewer than that, probably. Out-of-state customers, who are already limited to a quarter-ounce of herb at a time, will be limited to a quarter-ounce of herb's equivalent in hash.
Representative Frank McNulty co-sponsored HB 1361.
It's likely that the DOR will create a working group later this year to iron out details, as the department has done with marijuana-centric legislation in the past.
A related measure, House Bill 1366, which would ban edibles manufacturers from making pot-infused foods that a "a reasonable consumer would confuse with a trademarked food product" also looks like it will become law. In addition, the bill prohibits edibles makers from making pot foods that are "primarily marketed to children" and would require more stringent packaging and labeling from the marijuana industry. The bill's authors say the moves are needed to protect children, while advocates have said the language is so vague that it might even prevent them from making marijuana cookies. The state Marijuana Enforcement Division is also working on limiting the potency of edibles and is also discussing a labeling system.
Recent talk of limiting sales and potency stem from two Colorado deaths questionably linked to marijuana consumption. The first involved an underage college student from Wyoming who allegedly jumped to his death at a Denver hotel hours after eating a pot cookie. In the second, a husband killed his wife after reportedly eating pot candy.