The Colorado House voted 55-10 in favor of House Bill 1220, a bill that seeks to eradicate the state’s black market. The bill strives to subdue drug trafficking in Colorado and reduce the state’s current 99-plant limit for medical marijuana patients with extended plant counts.
To quiet the black market, Colorado’s home-growers and medical marijuana caregivers will now be allowed to grow up to 16 plants per home. Should these growers wish to grow over 16 plants, they must live in “areas zoned for large-scale, commercial grows.”
House Majority Leader KC Becker, the bill’s sponsor, told The Cannabist that,
“I can think of no quicker way to jeopardize Colorado’s billion dollar industry than to allow our state to become a significant source of marijuana in other states where it isn’t legal.”
Citing concerns with federal enforcement on recreational marijuana, the bill’s proponents believe these efforts will prevent any federal intervention.
Thus, in a related effort to subdue the state’s illegal cannabis market, House Bill 1221 also passed a House vote; this bill would give the state a grant of $6 million per year to aid local police officers in tightening the clamps on non-compliant grow houses.
Meanwhile, medical marijuana patients throughout Colorado have reportedly been vocally protesting this law with the belief that this new law will raise the price of their medicine.
House Bill 1220 was introduced on March 2 and approved by a House committee on March 6. The bill now heads to a Senate vote and then the governor’s desk before becoming law.