Colorado legislators have been busy passing new laws to control the growing marijuana black market in their state. When Colorado legalized recreational weed in 2012, they allowed each individual to grow up to 99 cannabis plants, or to assist someone else in growing them, a freedom that some have exploited to grow extra pot for the black market. This week, two new bills have been passed by the state legislature that will restrict Coloradan home-grows.
The state Senate unanimously passed a bill that will make it a crime for individuals to cultivate pot for other people, which would effectively ban co-op grow operations. The state does not have an exact estimate of how many such co-ops exist in the state, but collectives have become a popular way for growers to share the costs of electricity, water, and fertilizer.
The bill also directs $6 million in marijuana tax revenue to law enforcement, to assist them in investigating illegal marijuana growers. The bill has now been passed by both the House and the Senate. Governor John Hickenlooper has not signed the bill yet, but has shown full support for the measure.
The state legislature also passed another bill reducing the limit of home-grown plants from 99 down to 12. Medical growers with authorization to grow more than 12 plants must now grow their plants in agricultural or commercial locations, or buy them from a dispensary. Gov. Hickenlooper intends to sign this bill into law this week.