Marijuana Information for Residents, Visitors, and Business Owners

This information is for guidance only.  Please consult an attorney for legal advice.

Residents and Visitors

How old do I have to be to purchase, possess, or consume retail marijuana?

  • You must be 21 and older. It is illegal to give or sell retail marijuana to minors.

 

What is the difference between medical and retail marijuana?

  • Only licensed retail marijuana stores and licensed retail marijuana hospitality and sales establishments can sell retail marijuana to individuals 21 or older. To purchase medical marijuana, a person must obtain a medical marijuana registry identification card from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Medical marijuana patients can obtain marijuana from a licensed medical marijuana store, a primary caregiver, or a private home grow. Medical marijuana patients can purchase marijuana from licensed retail marijuana stores in the quantities allowed by state law.

Where am I allowed to consume retail marijuana?

  • In a private residence (only if allowed by the property owner), in a licensed marijuana hospitality business, or in a licensed retail marijuana hospitality and sales business. You cannot consume marijuana in a place that is observable by the public or to which the public has access without restriction. This includes, but is not limited to, indoor spaces such as the common areas of buildings and facilities, hotel rooms, businesses that are not licensed for marijuana consumption, streets and highways, transportation facilities, places of amusement, parks, and playgrounds.

How much marijuana am I allowed to possess?

  • Adults 21 and older can possess up to 2 ounces of retail marijuana. Medical marijuana patients can possess up to two ounces of medical marijuana.

How much marijuana can I purchase at one time?

  • Adults 21 and older can purchase up to 1 ounce of retail marijuana, 8 grams of retail marijuana concentrate, or marijuana products containing up to 800 milligrams of THC in a single transaction. A single transaction includes multiple sales to the same customer during a single business day.
  • Medical marijuana patients can purchase up to 2 ounces of medical marijuana, 40 grams of marijuana concentrate, or marijuana products containing up to 20,000 milligrams of THC in a single transaction. A single transaction includes multiple sales to the same customer during a single business day.

 

What are the consequences if I violate marijuana laws?

  • Penalties range from a fine to a possible jail or prison sentence depending on the type of offense. The Colorado Revised Statutes and the Denver Revised Municipal Code spell out the specific penalties for various violations. Schools, universities and employers are allowed to put in place their own disciplinary actions for marijuana-related infractions.

Can I have marijuana in my car?

  • Yes. Marijuana can be carried in cars but it cannot be in an open container and cannot cross state lines. It is illegal to use or consume marijuana in a motor vehicle. It is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana.

Is there a DUI-like equivalent for driving under the influence of marijuana?

  • Yes. Driving under the influence of marijuana can result in a DUI, just like alcohol. Anyone with 5 nanograms or more of delta 9 THC per milliliter in whole blood while driving can be arrested for DUI. Consequences for a DUI can include fines, jail time, and a revoked license.

Can I take marijuana through airport security or travel out of state with it?

  • No. It is illegal to take marijuana across state lines. Denver International Airport prohibits marijuana on its property.

Is marijuana smoking allowed in restaurants?

  • Marijuana consumption is allowed in licensed marijuana hospitality businesses and licensed retail marijuana hospitality and sales businesses, which might be co-located with a retail food establishment but cannot be co-located with a liquor-licensed establishment. Marijuana consumption is not allowed in any business that does not hold a marijuana hospitality business license or a retail marijuana hospitality and sales license.

Can I consume marijuana inside a smoke-friendly hotel room or on a hotel balcony?

  • Hotel operators cannot allow smoking inside hotel rooms pursuant to the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act. Denver law prohibits marijuana consumption on hotel balconies if visible from any public place. Always ask your hotel operator if they allow patrons to smoke marijuana on balconies.

Is delivery to a hotel allowed?

  • If the customer or patient lives at the hotel, and the hotel does not prohibit marijuana on its premises, then yes. Marijuana businesses should verify the customer or patient lives at the hotel and that the hotel does not prohibit marijuana on the premises before delivering.

Is delivery to a park, restaurant, or other public property allowed?

  • No. You can only deliver to private residences.

Do the laws of Denver apply elsewhere?

  • Denver ordinances only apply within the City and County of Denver. Contact each city and county to understand its marijuana laws.

Does Denver have additional prohibitions on use or display of marijuana?

  • It is illegal to consume or possess marijuana at any park (including Red Rocks) or other recreational facility, on any city-owned property (including streets and sidewalks) within 1,000 feet of a school, and on the 16th Street Mall (including any city street or sidewalk one block in either direction from the mall). Denver International Airport prohibits marijuana on its property.

Can I get marijuana delivered to my home?

  • Home delivery of marijuana is permitted in Denver by businesses with a delivery permit. You can have marijuana delivered in the same amounts you can purchase in store.

 

Parents, Guardians and Neighbors

What is the penalty for someone younger than 21 who is caught possessing or consuming marijuana?

  • Penalties vary based on the facts of the offense. Schools, universities, and school districts can have disciplinary and expulsion policies for students caught with marijuana on school property.  In Denver, those 18-20 caught possessing marijuana will face a civil penalty and not a criminal citation.

Can I legally give or sell marijuana to someone younger than 21?

  • No. You must be 21 and older to have or use retail marijuana. It is illegal to give or sell retail marijuana to minors.

Are there limitations on the proximity of retail marijuana businesses to schools?

  • Marijuana stores, marijuana hospitality businesses, retail marijuana hospitality and sales businesses, and marijuana cultivation facilities cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a school.

What should I do if I suspect or know my child has consumed marijuana?

  • Marijuana can make children very sick. Look for problems walking or sitting up, sleepiness, or difficulty breathing. If you are worried, call the poison control hotline: at 1-800-222-1222. It is free to call and you will receive help. If symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to an emergency room.

What should I do if I suspect or know my pet has consumed marijuana?

  • Call a veterinarian. Marijuana should be kept away from pets at all times.

How can I store marijuana safely?

  • Store all marijuana products in a locked area. Make sure children cannot see or reach the locked area. Keep marijuana in the resealable child-resistant packaging from the store. How you store marijuana should change as children get older. Safe storage around young children miht not stop older children or teens.

How can Denver residents and visitors avoid exposure to public marijuana use?

  • It is illegal to consume marijuana openly and publicly in Colorado. In Denver, adults can only consume marijuana in private or at licensed marijuana hospitality businesses and licensed retail marijuana hospitality and sales businesses.

How is marijuana smoke treated differently from tobacco smoke in terms of where it is permitted?

  • Marijuana and tobacco smoke are subject to the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, which prohibits smoking in most indoor places accessible to the public. Marijuana smoking is permitted in licensed marijuana hospitality businesses and licensed retail marijuana hospitality and sales businesses.

What can I do if I live near a marijuana facility and the odor is bothersome?

What should Denver residents of visitors do if they see a violation of marijuana laws?

  • Call the police non-emergency line at 720-913-2000.

How can a Denver resident or neighborhood association weigh in on whether a new marijuana store, marijuana hospitality business, or retail marijuana hospitality and sales business can open in their neighborhood?

Applicants for a new marijuana store, marijuana hospitality business, or retail marijuana hospitality and sales business must have a public needs and desires hearing where residents and neighborhood associations in the surrounding community weigh in on the need and desire for one of these businesses. The applicant must post notice of the hearing date on the proposed licensed premises. The Department will send notice of the hearing to relevant City Council members and all registered neighborhood organizations surrounding the proposed licensed premises. Access the public hearings schedule here.

 

How can a Denver resident or neighborhood association weigh in on whether a marijuana business license should be renewed?

  • A party in interest can petition for a renewal hearing for a marijuana business license. A party in interest includes an adult resident of the neighborhood under consideration; the owner or manager of a business located in the neighborhood under consideration; an authorized representative of a registered neighborhood organization that encompasses all or part of the neighborhood under consideration; or any member of city council elected from a district that encompasses all or any part of the neighborhood under consideration. For more information, visit the Renew a Marijuana Business License webpage.

What are the health effects of using marijuana?

  • Visit Colorado’s marijuana information website for more information.

 

Business and Property Owners

Can individual property owners restrict or prohibit marijuana use or possession on their property?

  • Yes. Any property owner can limit marijuana use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growth of marijuana on their property.

Can employers restrict or prohibit marijuana use or possession by employees?

  • Yes. Employers are allowed to regulate or prohibit the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growing of marijuana in the workplace. Employers can also enact policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees.

 

Home Growers

Can I legally grow marijuana at home?

  • Yes. Adult residents 21 and older can grow up to 6 marijuana plants per person, with no more than 3 in the mature/flowering stage at any time. No more than 12 total plants are allowed per residence regardless of the number of adults living there. Marijuana plants must be kept in an enclosed, locked area. Take extra precautions to ensure that only authorized adults have access to the marijuana plants. Children and pets should be kept away from plants at all times.

Can I sell homegrown marijuana to others?

  • No. Homegrown marijuana, no matter the form, cannot be sold to others.

Is it legal to grow plants outside?

  • No. Marijuana cannot be grown outdoors in the City and County of Denver. Marijuana plants must be kept in an enclosed, locked structure with a permanent roof and solid exterior walls.

Is there a limit to the number of plants that I can grow in a non-residential property?

  • Yes. You cannot grow more than 36 plants on non-residential property unless you have marijuana cultivation licenses issued by both the state and the city. Caregivers and medical patients with extended plant counts are not exempt.