Cannabis Information by State: Colorado

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Licensing

In Colorado, the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) provides information about three types of licenses: employee, business owner, regulated business license. Licenses are also broken down into two categories, medical marijuana licenses and retail marijuana licenses.

Applicants must ensure that their local authority allows medical or retail marijuana operations. The state will not issue a license for an applicant who is operating within a local jurisdiction that prohibits commercial cannabis activity.

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Regulations and Compliance

The MED requires all licensees to use Metrc’s inventory tracking system to ensure that all cannabis and cannabis products are safely tracked and monitored prior to sale.

Licensees who grow, process, or dispense medical or adult-use cannabis must use Metrc to report a list of the products they offer for distribution during each quarter.

Because remaining compliant includes tracking and reporting everything down to the gram, automation is essential for saving time and cutting costs. Implementing an ERP system designed for the regulations and supply chain of the cannabis industry will help your business survive and thrive.

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Packaging and Labeling

Colorado requires all packaging of medical or retail marijuana to include the universal symbol, which is an exclamation point and the letters THC within a triangle.

All products must include the symbol in red and white on the front of the container. It must be at lease ½” by ½” and include the warning “Contains Marijuana, keep away from children.”

Edibles must include the logo on at least one side of each standardized serving. The logo which must be at least ¼” by ¼” but does not need to be in color. 

By law, cannabis companies must abide by all packaging and labelling laws. Here is just a few of the requirements for packaging:

  • Must child-resistant prior to transfer to a medical or retail marijuana a store
  • Must be labeled with the growing facility and manufacturing facility’s license numbers, the production batch number, the net content, and potency test results prior to transfer to any business other than a marijuana store
  • Does not include any misleading health claims
  • Includes an ingredient list and expiration date (for edible products)
  • Includes any other information or warnings defined by the state of Colorado.

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Business and Advertising

Businesses must be aware of restrictions on advertising and marketing. At this time, several factors limit the marketing and advertising of cannabis products.

Age

Any advertising or marketing of medical marijuana must be broadcasted or distributed where at least 71.6 percent of the audience is over the age of 18.
Any advertising or marketing of retail marijuana must be broadcasted or distributed where at least 71.6 percent of the audience is over the age of 21.
Marketing and advertising may not include designs or images that make it appealing to children.​

Message

Advertising of cannabis products may never be false or misleading.

Claims

No marijuana business can claim in marketing, advertising, or signage that their product is safe because it is regulated by the State Licensing Authority or tested by a State Regulated Testing Facility.

Compliance

Advertising must comply with local ordinances

Location

Regulated Marijuana businesses cannot advertise within 500 feet of a school, public playground, or place of worship.

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*Disclaimer: Cannabis laws vary by state and are subject to frequent changes. This article is intended to provide general information and is not a substitute for legal counsel or binding business advice. Please consider consulting a Colorado lawyer for more information. 

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