Colorado Cannabis Regulators Move on New Framework Around Intoxicating Cannabinoids

Colorado cannabis regulators scheduled a pair of meetings for March 1 and March 8 to seek input from industry stakeholders on a report revolving around product safety profiles and potential for intoxication that they must submit to state lawmakers.

The state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) has also contracted a research team at the University of Colorado—Boulder to help develop this report, which will analyze the feasibility of establishing a standing committee to evaluate cannabinoids and cannabis- and hemp-derived products.

The report is mandated by legislation Democratic Gov. Jared Polis signed into law last year “concerning the regulation of compounds that are related to cannabinoids.”

Specifically, the law creates a new framework for the Colorado Department of Revenue, which oversees MED, to regulate and register hemp products as well as for MED to regulate intoxicating products “or potentially intoxicating compounds” that are or may be cannabinoids.

Under the legislation, the state must classify hemp- and cannabis-derived compounds and cannabinoids into one of three categories: nonintoxicating cannabinoids; potentially intoxicating cannabinoids; and intoxicating cannabinoids.

As outlined in the act, the MED’s regulatory authority includes:

  • The power to promulgate rules authorizing or prohibiting chemical modification, conversion, or synthetic derivation to create certain types of intoxicating cannabinoids;
  • Classifying and reclassifying cannabinoids as intoxicating, potentially intoxicating, or nonintoxicating;
  • Labeling and advertising requirements;
  • Production and testing requirements;
  • Inspection, record-keeping, surveillance, and inventory tracking requirements;
  • Prohibiting the export of a safe harbor hemp product that is a synthetic cannabinoid or that is being exported to a state where it is illegal; and
  • Issuing a cease-and-desist order or clean-up order.

While nonintoxicating cannabinoids may be produced, distributed or sold as a hemp product—as federally legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill—products containing potentially intoxicating compounds or intoxicating cannabinoids can only be produced, distributed or sold by a MED licensee, according to the legislation.

The legislation also requires the executive director of the Revenue Department to submit the aforementioned report to the General Assembly.

The two meetings seeking public input from industry stakeholders will be hybrid with both in-person and virtual options. Meeting agendas, which will include targeted questions for consideration, will be made public one week prior to each meeting.

Below are details for each meeting:

First Meeting: March 1, 2024 (2-4 p.m.)

In-person: 

  • Red Rocks Conference Room
  • 1700 Cole Blvd., Ste. 300
  • Lakewood, CO 80401

Zoom Option:

Second Meeting: March 8, 2024 (2-4 p.m.)

In-person: 

  • Red Rocks Conference Room
  • 1700 Cole Blvd., Ste. 300
  • Lakewood, CO 80401

Zoom Option:

 

 

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