- On January 23, 2020
- cannabis business, cannabis laws, cannabis legislation, cannabis news, cannabis regulations, colorado cannabis, Colorado cannabis legislation, Colorado marijuana, Colorado state news, marijuana regulations, regulations
Since recreational marijuana sales began in Colorado in 2014, there’s been an influx of people moving to the state for jobs in the cannabis industry. At the time, Colorado was the only state selling marijuana for adult-use, so in order to limit out-of-state and black market activity, regulations required anyone applying for a marijuana industry badge to be a Colorado resident.
Since then, eleven states have legalized adult-use cannabis, and companies based in California, Canada, and other legal markets have expanded to Colorado, and vice versa. It’s created a challenge for multi-state cannabis companies with employees who travel to Colorado for business. The current regulations require employees who aren’t state residents to be shadowed by a badged employee and registered as a “visitor.”
Colorado and Illinois are the only states with residency requirements for cannabis workers, and cannabis companies and industry workers say that the regulation creates unnecessary obstacles. However, that could change with a bill introduced by Rep. Matt Gray (D-Broomfield) that would eliminate residency requirements for out of state cannabis employees and allow them to apply for a license to work in Colorado.
“The goal is not to diminish the standard of what it takes to get a license — it’s still the same standard — but if your company operates in Colorado and Michigan and your company wants to fly in someone from Michigan once a month, they could do that,” Gray told Westword. “A lot of businesses have regional employees that don’t have rules about access to premises. If you have restaurants in five states, you don’t need five licenses to go into a kitchen to show someone how to cook. We have tighter control on cannabis, and that makes sense, but this [rule] doesn’t make sense.”
The bill wouldn’t change residency requirements for owners of cannabis companies, who are required to have one owner who has been a resident of Colorado for at least one year.
The change to residency requirements for marijuana workers would impact a wide-range of cannabis workers.
“Plant-touching is most important, of course: budtenders, growers, marijuana-infused-product workers, packaging, production, etc. That said, it doesn’t have to be limited to that,” explains Terrapin Care Station communications manager Peter Marcus. “Government affairs directors, communications professionals, compliance directors, sales directors: They all often are badged because they enter facilities, work with quality control/assurance [and] give tours to officials. Sometimes employees are badged simply out of an abundance of caution. So, it could impact every level of the company, minus ownership.”
House Bill 1080 will have its first hearing before the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee on February 4.
Looking to break into the cannabis or hemp with a brand new business idea? Be sure to get your marketing on point with a website and design package from the experts at Colorado 420 Websites! Contact us today.