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CBD in Colorado: Official Buyers Guide

Learn vital information about the private use and possession of CBD and marijuana in the state of Colorado, including details on getting an MMJ card, retail licensing and distribution, where you can buy, and the limitations of marijuana laws.

CBD in Colorado

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Colorado was one of the first states to completely legalize CBD in the United States.

But because of the relative newness of statewide marijuana use, and the somewhat complicated and sometimes overlapping county ordinances, residents still have questions and concerns. 

Read on for a rundown of CBD legality, possession, MMJ cards, and other important issues.

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Is CBD Legal in Colorado?


CBD Legality




Yes. Cannabidiol (CBD) oil and recreational and medicinal marijuana is completely legal in Colorado. 

Colorado was the first of ten states to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana, which it did in 2001. As a further step, the state’s residents passed Amendment 64 in 2012, making it legal for adults to cultivate, sell, and possess recreational marijuana. 

The state takes a similarly progressive attitude about industrial hemp, and Colorado allows food producers to use hemp as a food additive, unlike other states. 

So it’s not just for marijuana brownies anymore. There’s cannabutter and cannaoil for cooking and flavorings, plus marijuana ice cream, milk, and even bacon. 

Colorado CBD Possession Limits

It is not legal to possess CBD in Colorado if you are under the age of 21. 

For adults 21 years or older, there is no penalty under the law for possessing up to 1 ounce of marijuana. You can privately cultivate as many as 6 marijuana plants (with three being mature plants) with no penalty.

Transferring 1 ounce of marijuana or less to a friend or family member for no monetary reimbursement is legal. 

Possessing more than 1 to 2 ounces of marijuana is a petty drug offense that incurs a fine of $100. The offender is summoned to court, and a court appearance is required.

If the offender does not appear, s/he is charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $750 and as much as 6 months in jail.

Possessing more than 2 to 6 ounces is a Level 2 drug misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $700 and as much as 1 year in prison. 

Possessing more than 6 to 12 ounces of marijuana is a Level 1 drug misdemeanor. This is punishable by a fine between $500 and $5000 and 18 months in jail.

Possessing more than 12 ounces is a Level 4 drug felony, which is punishable by a fine between $1,000 and $10,000 and jail time between 6 months and 2 years.

Anyone who openly uses, publicly displays, or consumes 2 ounces of the product or less commits a drug petty offense, which may incur a fine of not more than $100, and can obligate the offender for 24 hours of community service work. 

The state of Colorado provides the most current information.

Possession with Intent to Distribute

Possession of 8 ounces or more of marijuana in Colorado incurs the laws of the possession offenses above, except the amount is different.

Check out the state of Colorado’s legal status on possession with intent to distribute

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Colorado

Now that one can use marijuana legally in Colorado, you may ask why it is desirable to obtain a medical marijuana (MMJ) card? 

When you hold an MMJ card, the product is cheaper for you to buy because taxes are lower — you do not pay the 10% sales tax.

If you regularly use the product, the MMJ application’s cost is worth the money in the long run.

You may find, also, that the marijuana dispensary you frequent has two sides: a medical side and a recreational side. The THC content may be higher in a medical product, and you can also purchase more of the product if you hold an MMJ card. 

Patients at least 18 years old can apply, and the law includes a provision for minor patients. Applying is relatively easy.

We walk you through the process below. 

The Application Process

Qualification 1: You must have a qualifying medical condition to apply. If this is the case, you can move forward with the relatively simple process of applying for an MMJ card. 

The best method is online. While you can apply through a mail-in paper application, the online process requires only a few days for approval, while the mail-in process can take up to eight weeks. 

Applications require a valid Colorado driver’s license or state ID.

See a Licensed Physician

As a prerequisite for obtaining an MMJ card, you must see a medical doctor (M.D.) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O). She or he discusses your general health, your lifestyle, and whether or not you qualify for an MMJ.

If s/he approves you, you receive a signed certificate. 

Complete and Send the Application

You must fill in whether you will use a dispensary to obtain the product or if you will grow your own. 

After choosing where to obtain the product, you fill in your personal information and your marijuana use details.

Now you have everything required to finish the application process. 

Upload the physician’s certification and a copy of your ID, and you’re done.

Note: You have the option of notarizing your application, but it is not necessary. 

Once approved, your card is valid for 1 year. You can renew it not more than 30 days before it expires, and you must re-visit a physician to do so. (The physician needs only to give you an updated certificate.)


It costs $25 to apply for an MMJ card and $25 each time you renew. The state waives the fee if your income is 185% less than Federal Poverty Guidelines

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Finding Marijuana Dispensaries in Colorado

You can find marijuana dispensaries in every area of the state of Colorado. Check out resources like

This and similar sites divide up the state into recognizable areas. For example, in Colorado, starting with Alamosa and then proceeding through Aspen, Aurora, Boulder, Denver (downtown, East, the airport area, north, and south), Ft. Collins, Lakewood, Trinidad, and everywhere in between. 

Click on a location near you, and you see a map with various dispensaries. Click on the one of your choice, and you’ll find information such as:

  • Hours of operation
  • Phone number
  • Directions
  • Ratings
  • Medicinal or recreational
  • Amenities (handicap accessible, brand verified, etc.)

The links provide information about whether the operation is online only or if it has a storefront, too; whether they have curbside pickup and delivery; and how to order online. 

With all of this information only a click away, it’s difficult not to find a marijuana dispensary that caters to your needs and in a location convenient for you.


How old do you have to be to buy CBD in Colorado?

You must be over the age of 18 to buy CBD in Colorado. 

As noted above, it is possible for minors with a medical condition to use medicinal CBD products — if the parents of the minor apply for and obtain an MMJ card based on the child’s medical condition.

Without the card, parents are breaking the law by treating their child with CBD for a medical problem. The parent could face jail time if they are caught.

This news report highlights some of the issues Colorado parents encounter with the process.
How much cannabis can I grow at home?

You can grow up to 12 cannabis plants in your home for recreational or medical marijuana use but you cannot grow the plants outside.

You must grow them indoors in a secure, separate area so minors cannot access them. You cannot sell any marijuana plants or products that you grow at home to anyone.

Check out the state of Colorado statutes for more details about growing your own cannabis.  

Where can I use my marijuana?

Currently, you can only use marijuana in your own home and in a limited number of private venues in Denver and Colorado Springs. 

You cannot openly consume marijuana at airports; train or bus stations; sports, music, or amusement venues; playgrounds or parks; theaters, office buildings, or restaurants.

A few private membership clubs have recently sprung up in Colorado. There you can purchase a one-day membership and enjoy social interaction while smoking weed. Little information is currently available about these facilities.

Caution: Remember, you cannot sell marijuana that you bought in Colorado in another state, and you cannot legally transport it to another state. U.S. postal officials and law enforcement agencies are constantly on the lookout for violators.
How can I obtain a grow license in Colorado?

You need to apply to the state for a license to grow marijuana in Colorado. The state suggests you first go to the Department of Revenue’s Retail Marijuana Licensing Information Page, where you find basic licensing information. 

The state also recommends you cross-reference state retail marijuana licensing rules with your local municipality’s ordinances because your local laws may be more strict. 

Applicants must prove they have been a Colorado resident for a minimum of two years; they must also pass credit and criminal background checks. Licenses vary according to the type of plants you want to grow and the quantity. 

The state advises, also, that obtaining a license does not automatically mean you can operate a retail business. Both local and state jurisdictions must license a marijuana business before it can begin operating.

Here is the link to start a Marijuana License Application. The application cost is $2,500. 

For complete details, visit this State of Colorado site.
How does the state benefit from legal CBD and marijuana?

Legalizing all forms of CBD provides Colorado with huge tax earnings. In 2018 alone, taxes generated $1 billion for the state’s residents. 

Legalizing marijuana also has had other benefits for the state. It has produced jobs where they did not exist before in the production, distribution, and selling of the product.

Entrepreneurs have started businesses that did not exist before legalization. And the state has experienced a dramatic drop in marijuana-related arrests.

Next Steps

We hope we’ve provided enough information and directives to answer your questions about CBD/marijuana use in Colorado.

We’ve covered whether CBD use is legal in Colorado, the possession limits, the process of getting an MMJ card in the state, and how to find marijuana dispensaries. 

Of course, laws can change, so it’s important to be aware of what’s happening with cannabis laws in Colorado. 

Fortunately, there are tons of great resources for learning more about Colorado’s liberal marijuana policies. 

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Last Updated on December 9, 2020 by admin



About the author 

Justin Powell

Justin Powell founded Hemp For Future to give direct answers to many of the questions surrounding THC, CBD, and everything in between. He’s been at the forefront of CBD advocacy for years, and as the go-to guru for many people, he decided to pour all his knowledge into Hemp For Future. He’s here to tell you about the best CBD gummies, how to stay under the legal THC allowance, and the core differences between commercial and in-home marijuana growth.

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