Colorado Cannabis Laws

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Legal status

  • Fully legal

Possession limits

  • Medical patients

    2 oz flower, 1 oz concentrate

  • Recreational users

    2 oz flower, 6 g concentrate

State taxes

  • Medical patients

    2.9%

  • Recreational users

    15%

Cultivation

  • Medical patients

    Up to 99 plantsRequire physician recommendation

  • Recreational users

    6 plantsMax 3 mature


  • Cultivation is legal
Learn more

Application process

To apply for a medical cannabis card in the state of Colorado

Get approved by a doctor, then apply to the state medical marijuana program. Receive your MMJ card and start shopping for your medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary.

Get your card

Table of contents

  1. Is cannabis legal in Colorado?
  2. What are the medical marijuana laws in Colorado?
  3. What medical conditions qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card in Colorado?
  4. How do I get certified for medical cannabis in Colorado?
  5. Is telemedicine allowed for medical cannabis consultations in Colorado?
  6. How much cannabis can I possess in Colorado with an MMJ Card?
  7. Is it legal to grow cannabis in Colorado?
  8. Does Colorado accept out-of-state cards?
  9. Will my Colorado card be accepted in other states?
  10. Are there employment laws protecting medical cannabis card holders in Colorado?
  11. What are the medical cannabis product testing requirements in Colorado?
  12. Where is it safe to purchase cannabis in Colorado?
  13. Where is it safe to consume marijuana in Colorado?

Both medical marijuana and adult use cannabis is legal in Colorado.


What are the medical marijuana laws in Colorado?

2000 – Initiative 20

  • 54% of Colorado voters approved Amendment 20, which amended the State Constitution to allow the use of marijuana in the state for approved patients with written medical consent.
  • Patients may possess up to 2 ounces (57 g) of medical marijuana and may cultivate no more than six marijuana plants (no more than three of these mature flowering plants at a time).
  • Patients who are caught with more than this in their possession may argue “affirmative defense of medical necessity” but are not protected under state law with the rights of those who stay within the guidelines set forth by the state
  • Colorao legalized recreational cannabis in 2012 with the passing of the Colorado Marijuana Legalization Initiative, Amendment 64 (2012). Colorado patients can possess more concentrate, save tax on their purchases, can cultivate a greater number of plants with a license, and have reciprocity with other state medical marijuana/cannabis programs.

What medical conditions qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card in Colorado?

The Colorado law lists the following medical conditions as qualifiers for a medical cannabis card:


How do I get certified for medical cannabis in Colorado?

To become a medical cannabis patient in Colorado, you’ll need to:

  1. Attend an in-person consultation
  2. Get approved – your physician will submit your certificate to the Colorado state
  3. You can then complete your application online with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and pay the $25 processing fee
  4. Your application will be reviewed and either approved or denied
  5. Once approved, you can download a digital version of your card online
  6. Caregivers may register here.

Is telemedicine allowed for medical cannabis consultations in Colorado?

No, at the moment, telemedicine is not allowed in Colorado. At this time, you will need to meet a physician in person to get certified.


How much cannabis can I possess in Colorado with an MMJ Card?

For medical card holders = 2 oz. flower, 1 oz. concentrate;

For recreational users (if applicable) = 2 oz. flower, 8 g concentrate


For both medical card holders and recreational users = 6 plants, with only 3 being mature at any one time.

However, a CO medical marijuana patient may get an extended plant count to grow up to 99 plants on a non-residential property.


Does Colorado accept out-of-state cards?

Colorado does not have medical marijuana reciprocity, and does not recognize other states’ medical marijuana cards.


Will my Colorado card be accepted in other states?

Yes, your Colorado medical marijuana card is recognized by some other states with a medical marijuana program and medical cannabis reciprocity.

The following states accept or recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards:

  • Arizona
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • US Virgin Islands
  • Utah
  • Washington, D.C.

However, this does not always mean you can purchase cannabis at a medical marijuana dispensary (non-medical adult use is fine) – just that you are protected by the state’s medical marijuana laws to some extent. It is wise to call the dispensary ahead if you are a medical cannabis patient from another state and you intend on purchasing medical marijuana.

The qualifying condition usually has to match between states, so if your qualifying condition is accepted in one state and not your visiting state, your recommendation is not necessarily valid. You are also beholden to the visiting state’s medical marijuana laws, not the state that issued your card.

The following states accept out-of-state applications, allowing a visiting patient application to use medical cannabis for the duration of their stay:

  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • West Virginia (cancer patients only)

Are there employment laws protecting medical cannabis card holders in Colorado?

There are no specific laws in Colorado about possessing a firearm and possessing marijuana. However, it is federally illegal to consume cannabis and possess or use a firearm. Even if you are not under the influence of cannabis at the time, THC metabolites can stay in the body for quite some time, and this may be used to restrict your firearm possession and may invalidate your medical marijuana recommendation.

Those who have any non-violent convictions may apply for the medical marijuana program as both a patient or as a caregiver. However, those with a felony record may be prevented from working in the cannabis industry, depending on the type of crime and whether the conviction is over 7 years-old.


What are the medical cannabis product testing requirements in Colorado?

Colorado began requiring cannabis cultivators in 2018 to submit their flower and trim batches—recreational as well as medical—for testing for mycotoxins, heavy metals and other pesticides. Vitamin E Acetate, polyethylene glycol (PEG) and medium chain triglycerides (MCT oil) are all also tested for when it comes to inhalable products.


Where is it safe to purchase cannabis in Colorado?

In all states with a medical marijuana program, the only way to purchase medicinal cannabis products is via a legally-licensed dispensary or pharmacy, or another legally designated space to purchase cannabis. Only those with a legal license to sell cannabis can actually do so.


Where is it safe to consume marijuana in Colorado?

All states with a medical marijuana program have some restrictions on where a person can legally use cannabis. Near schools, nurseries, parks or other places where children are expected to be, using cannabis is illegal. Use of cannabis on or in federal land or buildings, hospitals or any other such healthcare space is also illegal. Private members club and landowners may also prohibit cannabis use on their property or restrict it at their discretion.

The safest place to use medical cannabis is in the safety of your own home. It is wise to use common sense and generally keep consumption out of public view, and utilize discreet consumption methods wherever possible.