On January 1, 2013, Colorado became the first place anywhere in the world to allow legal marijuana sales to anybody over 21 for any purpose, including recreational use. Residents of Colorado are also allowed to grow Marijuana privately, but under very strict guidelines and regulations. This article offers some useful insight on who can grow marijuana in Colorado, what the regulations are and what consequences you can expect if you breach the law.
Who can grow marijuana in Colorado?
Any adult who is licensed can grow marijuana for personal use in Colorado. However, there are strict regulations that need to be followed.
Is there a minimum age requirement to grow Marijuana in Colorado?
First, for you to be allowed to grow marijuana in Colorado, you must be above the minimum age of 21 years. Before attaining the age of 21, you will be liable for a misdemeanor being in illegal possession of marijuana plants (regardless of the amount) and you may pay a fine of $500-$5,000 or face 6-18 months imprisonment.
Is there a limit to the number of plants I can privately grow in Colorado?
If you are over the age of 21 and want to grow Marijuana without a cannabis business, the number of marijuana plants under your care must not exceed 6 as outlined in the Constitution of Colorado, Article XVIII section 16 (3). In case you exceed the limit and you are found to be in illegal possession of marijuana plants, you will have committed a drug felony, hence punishable by 6-18 months imprisonment and a fine not exceeding $100,000.
Can I grow Marijuana plants anywhere on my property?
The law requires that all marijuana must be grown in an enclosed area that is not available for public scrutiny. You are not allowed to grow marijuana in open places. The rationale behind this is to make sure that minors do not access and be in illegal possession of marijuana plants. This is one of the bigger risks involved with growing marijuana at home. You are therefore advised to take necessary precautions to ensure that any person who is below the age of 21 in your home does not gain access to marijuana plants. Otherwise you will be in contravening the law.
What if I am caught with illegal possession of excess marijuana in public?
The law of Colorado is very clear as to the amount of marijuana one can carry in public. There is no penalty if you are found to be in possession of marijuana and you have met the minimum age requirements of being 21 or older.
- However, if you are found to possess more than 1 and up to 2 ounces, you will have committed a petty offence that attracts a fine of $100.
- If you are found to be in illegal possession of marijuana between 2 to 6 ounces, you will have committed a level 2 misdemeanor and can be sentenced to up to 1 year imprisonment and a fine that does not exceed $700.
- Illegal possession of 6 to 12 ounces of marijuana attracts imprisonment of up to 18 months and a fine ranging between $500-$5000.
- If you are caught in possession of more than 12 ounces, you will have committed a felony and will be incarcerated for 1 to 2 years in prison and will have to pay a fine of up to $100,000.
- If you are caught selling marijuana illegally, you will be sentenced to a minimum of 6 months in prison and have to pay a minimum of $5,000 fine. Depending on the amount you are caught with while selling, imprisonment time can go up to 32 years and the fine can go up to 1 million U.S. dollars.
In conclusion, even though the personal cultivation of marijuana has been legalized in Colorado, there are strict guidelines that need to be followed. Illegal possession of marijuana plants is a criminal offence and is punishable by law in Colorado. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Pollart Miller LLC to consult on your specific case.