DENVER: Around 200 stakeholders in Colorado’s growing marijuana economy met with marijuana enforcement division officials and their advisors in cramped quarters here December 15.

Perhaps a dozen of the stakeholders, including a contingent from Kush Gardens in Debeque, and another from Doctors Garden in Carbondale, said they traveled from the West Slope, making it through Eisenhower tunnel just a hop, skip and jump ahead of severe winter weather. The vast majority of the people who attended the meeting operated in and around the Denver metropolitan area.

MED officials said they were surprised and gratified at the turnout. The MED’s presentation, including a question and answer session, lasted for more than two hours in a crowded conference room at the Colorado Public Health complex.

The MED’s presentation included a brief overview of changes that took effect Jan. 1, a discussion of the burden of costs on dispensary owners and food manufacturers imposed by those changes, and an unexpected announcement that labeling rules will be changed again in February.

The MED filed a notice of emergency rulemaking with the Colorado Secretary of State on Dec. 22. The notice, signed by the state licensing authority, included a comment form. Comments to DOR_medrulecomments@state.co.us must be submitted before 5 p.m. Feb. 9, the MED said.

A “redline” version of the proposed changes are on the Division’s website at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/enforcement/2017-med-rulemaking. The redline rules can also be found on the Secretary of State website, the MED said.

Several stakeholders who attended the Dec. 15 meeting asked the MED to fashion a template that could be used for labeling purposes by every business under the division’s jurisdiction.

A template would provide certainty to business owners required to comply, they said. It would also save them the cost of consulting attorneys, marketing experts, and label designers to design a new label they can only hope complies with the law.

Clarity and efficiency are both important considerations in the rulemaking process, said James Burack, MED director. Licensees, however, are ultimately responsible for their own compliance.

“We cannot provide legal advice,” Burack said.

One West Slope marijuana infused-food manufacturer said after the meeting the most recent label changes cost one company more than $1 million to implement.

The date/time/location for the permanent rulemaking hearing is:

Thursday, Feb. 9
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Colorado Division of Gaming
17301 W. Colfax Ave., #135
Golden, Colorado