CO Eases Marijuana Rules for Small Businesses

Opens the door for entrepreneurs


DENVER— A full five months after Coloradans voted to treat marijuana like alcohol, it looks as if legislators might consider following through with it.

On April 8, the House-Senate Joint Select Committee on Amendment 64 voted to abolish the current, state-enforced "vertical integration" business model. While Colorado pot distributors now have to grow at least 70 percent of their own product, the joint committee will propose a bill allowing those in the recreational marijuana industry to focus on one side of the industry or the other, as they choose.

This new proposal comes after a long push from Colorado voters to do just that. The Amendment 64 campaign hinged on the idea that recreational marijuana should be taxed and regulated like alcohol, and voters approved it. It was even called the "Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act." Yet the state-enforced recreational marijuana industry policy shares little current similarity with the liquor industry.