Colorado medical marijuana now can be redesignated as adult use

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Marijuana grown under a Colorado medical cultivation permit can now be reclassified as retail and sold in adult-use stores, one of a bevy of new rules that went into effect in the state Thursday.

Among the other tweaks to state law announced by the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) are new safety protections for employees engaged in cannabis manufacturing and an extended eligibility period for would-be social equity licensees.

Workers engaged in “certain” manufacturing tasks are now required to wear respirators as well as masks and goggles.

And equity applicants now have two years to navigate the licensing process after a finding of eligibility, up from one year.

Also, a report on “intoxicating hemp products,” such as hemp-derived delta-9 THC, is due to the Colorado Legislature on Jan. 1, the MED announced in a news release.

That report could recommend changes to state law.

The ability to shift cannabis from one license type to another is expected to simplify certain businesses’ operations.

There are 431 licensed medical cultivators and 789 licensed retail cultivators in Colorado, according to state data, but some businesses hold both license types.

As for retail outlets, Colorado has 399 licensed medical stores and 669 licensed adult-use shops.

Industry observers estimate the total number of physical brick-and-mortar dispensaries in the state is in the mid-700 range.

Licensees that hold both medical and adult-use cultivation permits will now be able to transfer medical marijuana to retail as long as both permits have at least one owner in common, according to a bill recently signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis.

And beginning Jan. 1, 2024, pre-rolls and cannabis flower sold in Colorado must be labeled with a “use-by date” as well as proper storage instructions, the MED announced.

Licensees are instructed to conduct “shelf-stability testing” to determine an appropriate sell-by date.

If no testing is done, the cannabis will have a nine-month shelf life.

Cannabis can still be sold after the use-by date if the buyer is informed, according to the MED.