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Colorado Marijuana FAQs

Colorado Marijuana FAQs

What are the rules for buying and possessing recreational marijuana in Colorado?

To buy, have, or consume recreational marijuana in Colorado, you must be 21 with a valid ID. It is a felony to give, sell, or share recreational marijuana to or with anyone under 21. Recreational marijuana must be purchased from a licensed retail store. Adults 21 and up may only buy up to 1 ounce of recreational marijuana at a time, but they may carry up to 2 ounces.


Where can Colorado visitors consume marijuana?

Colorado visitors may only consume marijuana on private properties where the owner has authorized marijuana use. Consuming marijuana in public places–indoors or out–is illegal in Colorado, and hotel owners and property owners can ban the use and possession of marijuana on their properties. Always research the places you will be visiting or staying to see if marijuana use is allowed.


Is it legal to smoke marijuana at ski resorts in Colorado?

No, it is not legal to smoke marijuana at ski resorts in Colorado. Consuming marijuana in any form in public places or on federal lands (including national parks and forests), indoors or out, is illegal. 


Can you consume marijuana anywhere in Colorado?

It is illegal to consume marijuana in public places, either indoor or outdoor, as well as on federal lands. Marijuana, whether recreational or medical, must be consumed on personal, private property.


Can I smoke marijuana in a parked car in Colorado?

You can smoke marijuana in a parked car with the following stipulations:

  • The car is turned off (not in operation).
  • The car is on private property–either yours or the property of a person who is allowing the use of marijuana.
  • You will not be driving after consuming the marijuana.
  • You are 21 or older, or in possession of a valid medical marijuana card.

It is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana, and it is illegal for either drivers or passengers to consume marijuana in a vehicle that is in operation. It is also illegal to consume marijuana in public places in Colorado–this includes parking lots as well as public roads, streets, and highways.

Neither drivers nor passengers may open marijuana packaging while in a vehicle, even if it is not moving; if there is evidence of this, such as if a product seal has been broken, you can be charged with a traffic offense.

Where can I smoke or consume marijuana in Colorado?

You can smoke or consume legally acquired marijuana on your private property or on private property where the property owner has approved its use. Property owners can ban the use and possession of marijuana at their properties, so if you rent, be sure to check with your landlord.


How do police officers test for driving under the influence of marijuana?

Colorado has an established impairment level for marijuana, even if you have taken it for medical purposes. Drivers with 5 nanograms of THC per millimeter of whole blood can be prosecuted for DUI, and you can be charged with an “open container” if there are any product packages in your vehicle with broken seals.


Can you mail marijuana from a state where it is legal to one where it is not?

No, you cannot mail marijuana between states, even to or from a state where it is legal, for several reasons. 

  1. It is against Colorado law for marijuana to cross state lines.
  2. The USPS is a federal organization, and marijuana is still illegal under federal law.
  3. Marijuana is a controlled substance, and mailing a controlled substance is prohibited by federal law.
  4. UPS and FedEX prevent the shipping of materials and items that are prohibited by federal law.


Can I take marijuana out of Colorado?

It is illegal to transport medical or recreational marijuana outside of Colorado.


Is it dangerous to drive while under the influence of marijuana?

Like alcohol, marijuana affects your cognitive abilities, including your reaction time, depth perception, and judgment, all of which are important for driving. This is why it is dangerous–and illegal–to operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana.

By law in Colorado, drivers with 5 nanograms of THC per millimeter of whole blood are considered impaired and can be arrested for DUI, even if the marijuana was consumed for medical purposes.


Can you mail CBD out of Colorado?

CBD and CBD products can be mailed out of Colorado provided:

  • The product contains no more than 0.3% THC and has been derived from hemp plants, not marijuana plants.
  • The mailer follows detailed guidance from the USPS, including adherence to all applicable federal, state, and local laws regarding hemp production, processing, distribution, and sales.
  • The mailer can provide records proving compliance for no less than 2 years after the mailing date.
  • The products are properly labeled and prepared for shipment with all of the necessary legal documentation.
  • The product and shipment adhere to the laws and regulations of the destination country or state.


Is it legal to smoke marijuana in or outside of your own house in Colorado?

It is legal to smoke marijuana in your own house if it is your private property or if your property owner has approved the use of marijuana on the premises. If you are renting, be sure to check with your landlord regarding their rules for marijuana use and/or possession on their property.


Can I grow my own marijuana in Colorado?

Colorado residents age 21 or older can grow marijuana in their homes for personal use, provided they adhere to the following guidelines and restrictions:

  • Plants must be kept in an enclosed, locked area out of open view and inaccessible by minors or residents under 21.
  • Up to six plants are allowed, with as many as 3 flowering at any one time.
  • Plants or products may not be sold to anyone.

Counties and municipalities can have different laws regarding growing marijuana for personal use, so be sure to check your local laws for details.

Can you walk into a dispensary without a card in Colorado?

If you are 21 or older with a valid ID, you can walk into a dispensary in Colorado without a marijuana card. However, no one under 21 is allowed in the restricted portion of a retail store. 


What are the rules regarding marijuana and my job in Colorado?

While both medical and recreational marijuana are legal in Colorado, employers do not have to allow its use on their property or make accommodations for it. Business and property owners can ban the use and possession of marijuana on their property, and they can make employment decisions based on drug test results.


How do you get your medical marijuana card in Colorado?

Colorado’s medical marijuana cards are referred to as a state red card. To obtain a medical marijuana card in Colorado, you must:

  • Be a Colorado resident
  • Have a qualifying condition
  • Request a referral from a board-certified physician licensed in the state of Colorado
  • Complete and notarize a registry application
  • Submit your application to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment within 6 months of the date of provider certification

First-time applicants 18-20 years old will need to submit two certifications from two different providers from two different medical practices. For homebound patients, providers do not need to be from different practices.


How much does it cost to get a medical marijuana card in Colorado?

The application processing fee for a medical marijuana card in Colorado is $29.50. It is non-refundable and required for every application submission. Individuals with a household income 185% of the Federal Poverty Level or less may qualify for a fee waiver.


Can I get a medical marijuana card for glaucoma in Colorado?

According to the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, a person suffering from glaucoma can get a medical marijuana card.

The department’s regulation also lists among conditions that can benefit from medical marijuana:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic or debilitating diseases or medical conditions other than glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, and cancer
  • Conditions that produce symptoms such as cachexia, severe pain, seizures, severe nausea, or persistent muscle spasms.

Other qualifying medical conditions include disabling medical conditions like:

  • An Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Any condition for which a physician would prescribe an opioid


Is recreational marijuana legal in Colorado?

Yes, recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado, but it can only be sold and purchased at licensed retail marijuana stores to individuals 21 years or older with a valid ID. However, it cannot be consumed in public places.


Can I get marijuana in Colorado without a medical marijuana card?

Yes. If you are an adult 21 or older with a valid government-issued ID, you can purchase up to 1 ounce of recreational marijuana from a licensed retail marijuana store.


Who is not allowed to consume marijuana in Colorado?

It is illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to purchase, use, or possess marijuana in Colorado (with the exception of minors who have a state-issued medical marijuana card). Additionally, marijuana may not be consumed on any public property or federal lands, and there may be additional restrictions on use imposed by employers, property owners, and local city or county governing bodies.


What is the difference between adult-use and recreational marijuana?

“Adult-use” and “recreational” marijuana are interchangeable terms that refer to marijuana used for leisure or recreational purposes by adults 21 years or older within legal jurisdictions. The terms may differ by state legislatures, but cannabis or marijuana products labeled for either use will be exactly the same. 


How did Colorado legalize cannabis?

Amendment 64 passed in November 2012, legalizing the possession, consumption, and retail sale of marijuana.


How much does legal marijuana cost in Colorado?

The price for marijuana in Colorado varies regularly by everything from the city and the strain to the season and the supply. Other costs to factor in include shipping costs, state and municipal laws, government tax rates, local market competition, and the quality of the product. On average, most customers pay between $100 and $160 per ounce and about $12 per gram. Prices tend to be higher in larger cities like Denver. You can shop around and check with your favorite local dispensary for exact pricing, deals, and specials.