Here’s a rundown of do’s and don’ts for retail marijuana purchases

Who can purchase recreational marijuana?

Anyone 21 and older, with a valid government ID, is allowed to purchase, smoke and possess marijuana in Colorado. Much like in a liquor store, individuals will need to show an ID in order to make purchases. You can share with a friend, as long as you aren’t getting paid in the process.

Coloradans 18 and older can get a medical marijuana card. Medical marijuana was legalized in 2000 in Colorado, and the annual registration fee will now be reduced to $15.

Where can people purchase marijuana?

Licensed retail shops began selling marijuana Jan. 1. The Sweet Leaf Pioneer is the first licensed retail shop in the Eagle Valley.

Statewide several operations were previously medical marijuana dispensaries, and could choose to continue to sell medical products in addition to retail products. The earliest brand-new retail shops can open is Oct. 1, 2014. Shops have hours mandated by the state, much like liquor stores, so no purchases can be made before 8 a.m.

How much can individuals buy?

In a single transaction, Colorado residents can purchase up to 1 ounce, while out-of-state visitors will be able to purchase 1/4 ounce. All adults 21 and older will be able to possess up to 1 ounce on their person.

Researchers have concluded the average joint has slightly less than a half gram of marijuana. An ounce is slightly more than 28 grams, so 1 ounce will equal approximately 60 joints.

How much will it cost?

In the medical-marijuana market, ounces run from $150 to close to $300. But the more common purchase amount is an eighth of an ounce, which costs around $25 to $45 for medical marijuana. Stores will set their own prices for retail product, but customers will have to pay high state and local taxes for the pot — 25 percent for the state and a fee of up to $5 per transaction occupation tax has been approved by Eagle voters on retail marijuana sales.

Most stores including Sweet Leaf Pioneer, will only accept cash. Federal banking regulations mean that marijuana stores commonly don’t have access to banking services. People can make multiple purchases in the same day, as long as they do not exceed the 1 ounce limit.

Where can people legally smoke or consume marijuana?

The only place it’s 100 percent OK to consume marijuana is in a private residence, with permission from the owner. Most ski slopes are on federal land, where marijuana use and possession is still illegal. Same with national parks, national forests and national monuments. Hotels and resorts can institute their own smoking policies. Under Colorado’s Clean Indoor Air Act, pot smoking isn’t allowed anywhere that cigarette smoking is also banned. Consumption is specifically banned in any state-licensed marijuana facility.

What about safety concerns?

Many shops must be located at least 1,000 feet away from schools, and the state has mandated any marijuana products must be sold in child-proof packaging. Certain marketing has also been banned, in hopes of limiting exposure to children. Sharing or giving marijuana to minors is a crime, which carries similar penalties as providing alcohol to minors.

Can employers still fire people from jobs for smoking marijuana?

Yes, employers still can fire workers for using it, on or off duty. State law gives employers total authority to impose any drug regulations they wish.

Are people allowed to drive after consuming marijuana?

A state law creates a preset limit for drivers, similar to alcohol. Drivers with a reading of 5 nanograms of active THC in their systems will be considered impaired and will be cited. It is illegal to smoke or eat marijuana in a moving vehicle, but it may be carried as long as it is in a closed container.

Will people be able to take marijuana out of Colorado?

Definitely not. Every city and county in Colorado has its own marijuana regulations, so even transporting from place to place in state can be tricky. It is still illegal to transport marijuana across state lines, even if it was purchased legally in Colorado. Denver International Airport recently announced it will be against the law to take marijuana into the airport, as well.

Will anyone know who is purchasing marijuana?

Amendment 64 prohibits a list of marijuana purchasers, but customers will be on camera. The state’s rules require shops have a security cameras pointed at the cash register, the entrances and the exits.

Information compiled by the Summit Daily News, the Denver Post and the Eagle Valley Enterprise/Free Enterprise


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The VailDaily Updated Apr 9, 2014 11:51AM Published Apr 9, 2014 11:51AM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.