A bill signed into law Thursday by Gov. Jared Polis doubles the amount of marijuana that adults can possess from one ounce to two.
Prior to the signing of House Bill 1090, possessing between one and two ounces of marijuana was a petty offense under state law.
House Bill 1090 also allows those convicted of marijuana cultivation, a class three felony, the opportunity to petition a court to seal their criminal records. The bill also requires a court to seal a conviction record for marijuana possession if the person affirms with the court that they have not been convicted of any other criminal offense since the marijuana conviction.
Jordan Wellington of VS Strategies, which backed the bill, said in a news release Thursday that "even though cannabis is now legal for adults in Colorado, the collateral consequences of past convictions continue to haunt a lot of people. This legislation removes some of the structural impediments to efficiently sealing the records of prior cannabis convictions. Making the process less time-consuming and less expensive will make it more accessible to the people most likely to have been impacted by cannabis prohibition laws. It also encourages more effective and efficient allocation of Colorado’s sparse judicial resources.”
HB 1090 was sponsored by Rep. Alex Valdez, D-Denver, and Sen. Julie Gonzales, D-Denver.
Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order last October pardoning anyone who had been convicted of possession of one ounce of marijuana or less. That was tied to legislation adopted in the 2020 session that allowed for pardons for up to two ounces of marijuana possession.
Two marijuana-related bills are also up for action in House committees this afternoon.
House Bill 1317, which places limits on high-potency marijuana and requires individual packaging of THC concentrates, is being reviewed at this hour by the House Finance Committee. The bill won a unanimous vote from the Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services Committee Tuesday.
The second bill, House Bill 1058, would put into law a Polis executive order from March 2020. Order D 2020 011 allowed medical marijuana patients to do remote exams with physicians in order to renew or obtain a new medical marijuana license. That order has been extended every month since then, most recently renewed on May 12.
The bill would also allow for online and delivery sales for retail marijuana stores, but it has drawn strong opposition from healthcare professionals, which delayed its first hearing for almost three months after its introduction. The House Business Affairs and Labor approved the bill on an 8-5 bipartisan vote on May 13, with three Democrats and two Republicans opposed, and five Democrats and three Republicans in favor.