Experiencing my first legal pot shop in Colorado in 2016 was incredibly fun, but it also required me to educate myself on the do’s and don’ts of enjoying cannabis while staying out of legal trouble. Here are just a few of the basic laws on cannabis in Colorado to get you up to speed on how to consume safely and legally:

Buying + Selling:

Customers must be 21 or over in order to purchase marijuana and must present a valid ID to enter a dispensary (think driver’s license or passport; I learned this the hard way). Recreational users and medical patients alike can only buy marijuana from a licensed retailer. Recreational customers are permitted to buy and possess only one ounce of cannabis at a time. Adults over 21 can give up to one ounce of marijuana to someone else (21 and over), but are not legally allowed to sell it.

Where Can You Consume?

Public use of pot is illegal in Colorado. This means consuming is only permitted on private property (i.e. within one’s own home, which sometimes isn’t an option if one is renting from someone who does not permit cannabis on the property). Technically speaking, walking out of your door and onto the sidewalk and lighting up is illegal. It is also illegal to consume on federal land. Finally, although cannabis is legal in Colorado, employers do still maintain the right to drug test applicants, so be aware of that little detail. Learn more about where you can/cannot consume marijuana here.

What Dispensaries Need To Do:

On the other hand, dispensaries such as RiverRock also have some responsibilities if they want to stay compliant with the state laws and remain open.

  • Cannabis retail stores must ensure they are not open outside of the previously approved, state-mandated hours of operation. The typical hours are between 8AM and midnight, however, municipalities can require stricter hours.
  • Both medical and recreational facilities are required to sell all marijuana products in packaging that’s resealable, child-resistant and not see-through. This protects those who are either not allowed to consume or do not partake from accidentally putting the plant into their system.
  • All retail marijuana products must have the “THC !” symbol on their packaging.
  • Some dispensaries, like RiverRock, ID twice; once at the door to access, and a second time at point of purchase.

So, for the newbie in Colorado, following these rules and knowing what dispensaries can/cannot do before arriving on the premises will keep you safe and out of trouble. Even if it may seem like a lot to commit to memory, the benefits of being on top of your weed knowledge in Colorado are endless. For more information on legalities on cannabis in Colorado, click here.