Colorado has officially embraced online sales of marijuana starting this week, introducing a fresh channel for consumers to purchase cannabis more than ten years after the state's legalization efforts took effect.
This development follows the endorsement of online sales legislation by Governor Jared Polis (D) a couple of months ago. The bill, championed by Representatives William Lindstedt (D), Said Sharbini (D), and Robert Rodriguez (D), has now become law.
The legislation effectively removes the language from state statutes that had explicitly prohibited the internet-based sale of cannabis. In its place, the law introduces a regulatory framework to facilitate online commerce in this domain.
Individuals aged 21 and above will still be required to physically collect their chosen marijuana products from authorized retailers. However, they can now conveniently browse and digitally purchase cannabis online before making their in-store visit.
The updated law mandates that retailers validate the customer's name and age during the online purchase process. This information must match the identification provided when they arrive to pick up their products. Moreover, retailers must furnish customers with digital copies of all necessary warning and educational materials, which the retail marijuana store is obligated to display and share on its licensed premises. Prior to completing their purchase, customers must confirm their receipt of these materials.
Sen. Kevin Van Winkle (R) explained the primary objective of the legislation as a means to decrease the circulation of cash in the marijuana sector. This move is seen as vital due to the potential risks associated with high levels of cash transactions, such as susceptibility to theft and other security issues.
In addition to this development, state lawmakers are optimistic about the prospect of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act gaining traction in Congress. This bipartisan initiative aims to address the unique financial and safety challenges posed by the marijuana industry. However, progress on this front during the summer legislative session encountered obstacles in the Senate, mainly centered around certain sections of the bill relating to broader banking regulations.