Confusion over CBD in the United States continues to reign. One would think that a multi-billion-dollar industry would have a clear set of regulations, but this isn’t the case. It is happening even as states implement medical and recreational cannabis laws. As a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, the assumption is that CBD is easier to come by than THC.
In truth, this is the case across much of America. However, a handful of states have obscure laws that complicate matters, especially at the local level. At WayofLeaf, we continue to update our content relating to cannabis and CBD regulations.
Today, we look at CBD oil in Colorado. First, however, here’s a brief overview of the state’s cannabis rules.
What Are the Marijuana Laws in Colorado?
Colorado enjoys a reputation as one of the most liberal states in America regarding cannabis consumption. It was among the first states to legalize MMJ and recreational marijuana.
When Colorado joined the Union in 1876, cannabis and hemp were legal in the U.S. This remained the case for another 61 years.
However, Colorado lawmakers passed rules that made the cultivation or use of marijuana a misdemeanor in 1917. In 1929, the state made the sale, possession, or distribution of the substance a felony. The Marihuana Tax Act was passed eight years later and completely prohibited cannabis across the nation.
Colorado is considered one of the most liberal states in America for cannabis consumption.
Public opinion began to change in the 1960s. One poll of Colorado college students in 1968 revealed that 67% of them favored marijuana legalization. Bear in mind that nationally, only 12% of people wanted legal cannabis. It was the beginning of Colorado’s drive towards legalization. In 1975, the state legislature decriminalized the transportation, possession, and private use of small amounts of marijuana.
A 1979 bill allowed glaucoma and cancer patients to use MMJ in Colorado. However, it depended on federal approval, which still hasn’t happened over 40 years later!
Colorado Embraces Cannabis
Four years after California approved Proposition 215 in 1996, the historic first MMJ program in the modern era, Colorado followed suit. Amendment 20 legalized medical marijuana in Colorado, and the program began in June 2001.
MMJ patients are allowed to possess a maximum of two ounces of usable cannabis. They can also grow a maximum of six plants at home, only three of which can be mature. You can also grow up to 12 plants if there are two MMJ patients in a household.
Colorado residents voted in favor of Amendment 64 in November 2012. As a result, it is now possible to possess up to an ounce of cannabis, as long as you’re aged 21+. The cultivation laws for recreational users appear to be the same as for their MMJ counterparts.
Cannabis Penalties in Colorado
Although adult-use marijuana is now permitted in Colorado, there are still laws you must adhere to. Recreational users found with between one and two ounces of cannabis receive a fine of $100. It is a petty offense that won’t go on your criminal record.
However, if you’re caught in possession of over two ounces, you face a misdemeanor charge and possible prison time. The possession of 12+ ounces is a felony with a fine of up to $100,000 and 1-2 years in jail.
The cultivation of 7+ plants is a felony with similar penalties as the above. Growing more than 30 plants could see you spend up to six years behind bars, not to mention the $500,000 fine.
The sale of any amount is a misdemeanor, while over four ounces is a felony.
Colorado CBD Laws
Believe it or not, in some states with recreational cannabis, there are still doubts over whether CBD oil is legal! This is mainly down to the fact that few places have specific CBD laws or regulations.
However, there is little doubt that CBD in Colorado is legal when derived from hemp. Industrial hemp with a maximum THC content of 0.3% became legal to grow in December 2018. However, the federal government still hasn’t legalized CBD.
Even so, CBD oil Colorado laws are among the least restrictive in the country. When it comes to buying CBD in the state, products made from hemp and licensed by local health agencies and the Colorado Department of Health are legal. There is no official age limit either, although some stores may impose their own.
In truth, Colorado residents have had no issues buying cannabidiol since the state passed its recreational cannabis law. Add in the legalization of hemp growing, and it becomes clear that Colorado is a ‘safe’ spot for CBD users.
Technically speaking, foods and beverages infused with CBD are illegal, as per the FDA. However, this hasn’t stopped countless vendors in Colorado from selling such items! You can purchase CBD in practically any form in the state. However, it is essential to exercise caution when traveling to a different state with cannabidiol.
Now, let’s check out Colorado hemp laws relating to cultivating the crop.
Industrial Hemp in Colorado
According to the Colorado Department of Agriculture, industrial hemp relates to the Cannabis Sativa L. plant species. It includes any part of the plant which contains no more than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis. The department only regulates the growth of hemp as well as administering a certified seed program. However, it has no sway over the process, sale, or distribution of the crop.
In 2018, Governor Hickenlooper signed SB 18-205, which helped clarify rules on industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity. Colorado revised its laws to ensure that every part of the hemp plant can be used as a food ingredient. That is, as long as manufacturers register with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment. These companies must also demonstrate the following:
- The hemp has a maximum of 0.3% THC.
- Usage of the plant apart from seeds and their derivatives will have lab reports proving that the THC level is below 0.3%.
- That they comply with the governing laws within the state or country of origin.
- Each part of the plant utilized in food comes from a state with an established and approved hemp program. Alternatively, it comes from a country that regulates or inspects hemp under a food safety program.
Cost of Cultivating Hemp in Colorado
The state submitted its Hemp Management Plan to the USDA in June 2020. The current hemp program says that all growers must have a state-issued certificate that permits them to grow hemp on authorized lands. It costs $500 to apply, along with $5 per acre of land. If you cultivate hemp indoors, the cost is $0.33 per 1,000 square feet. All certifications are valid for a year.
Also, every farmer must submit their crop to official testing. It costs $150 to test a sample, along with $35 per hour. You must even pay $0.25 per mile for the drive time of the inspector! Finally, crops with more than 0.3% THC are destroyed.
CBD Oil Colorado – Is the State’s Hemp the Best in America?
For many cannabidiol lovers, the best CBD oil in Colorado is likely the best in the United States, if not the world. This is because many people believe the hemp grown in Colorado is better than hemp cultivated anywhere else.
Certainly, the state enjoys many advantages when it comes to cultivating hemp. The landlocked state’s climate, soil, elevation, and landscape are considered ideal for the plant. Being more specific, Colorado’s Delta County is considered the best area for hemp cultivation.
Also, the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) has worked hard to ensure the quality of hemp grown in the state remains high. It set up a framework for growing the crop in 2012, two years before the 2014 Farm Bill was signed. The CDA set up a Seed Certification Programme which has stringent criteria to guarantee premium quality hemp.
PQ: Colorado’s soil, elevation, and climate lead many to believe it’s the best-grown hemp in the world.
A Variety Review Board approves the seeds first before testing to ensure a maximum THC of 0.3% is conducted. Seed packages carry the ‘CDA Approved Certified Seed’ tag.
A so-called ‘green rush’ saw over 80,000 acres of hemp planted by 2,500 licensed farmers in a year by 2019. However, a Colorado Hemp Advancement & Management Plan (CHAMP) report in 2020 revealed that the number of registered farmers in the state declined by 40% from the previous year.
Across the United States, almost half of hemp farmers had leftover crops, totaling an average of almost 25,000 pounds of excess hemp biomass per farm. It is interesting to see if the market will grow or whether the industry will adapt to meet shrinking demand.
Where to Buy CBD Oil in Colorado
The good news is that Colorado CBD consumers are better protected than residents of many other states. State law mandates that every hemp-derived product must be clearly labeled. Products must identify hemp as an ingredient and state the amount of CBD inside. Brands are not allowed to make any health claims and must state that their products are not FDA approved.
You can find CBD in Colorado in a huge array of places. Practically every smoke shop carries CBD products, as do many health foods stores and grocery chains like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. There are CBD boutiques, coffee shops, gas stations, and liquor stores that also sell the cannabinoid.
However, many of them appear to have little idea how to advertise it due to the current laws. On the plus side, there are plenty of reputable online sellers if you have any concerns over what is available in physical stores. No matter which brand you choose, make sure their CBD products come with third-party lab reports.
Buying Colorado CBD Oil Online
Although there are plenty of physical stores to choose from, it is even easier to buy CBD in Colorado online. There are plenty of advantages to doing so, including:
- The ability to have CBD delivered to your door.
- A wider range of products than you’ll find at any physical store.
- Quick and easy payment.
- Lower prices on average.
- Access to information about the brand.
- Being able to see third-party lab reports before you buy.
- Various discounts, special offers, and loyalty programs.
Please remember that if a CBD product contains more THC than the brand claims, heavy consumption could cause you to fail a drug screening. Therefore, pay special attention to the THC content on a brand’s third-party reports.
Furthermore, make sure these reports are up to date. Too many brands feature old Certificates of Analysis that almost certainly don’t relate to the current products. The level of cannabinoids in CBD oil can change from one batch to the next.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil in Colorado
If you live in Colorado, you’re in luck! There are no issues relating to purchasing CBD oil in the state. The state was among the first to introduce a medical marijuana program. It was also a frontrunner when it came to legalizing adult-use cannabis.
These days, you can purchase CBD in countless Colorado locations, and the state has implemented rules to keep the standard of CBD high.