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Colorado First To Finalize Recreational Marijuana Rules

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DENVER — Colorado has become the first state in the country to finalize rules for recreational marijuana businesses, which are expected to open at the beginning of next year.

The Denver Post reports ( ) that the rules released late Monday by the Colorado Department of Revenue cover everything from pot shop licensing to inventory tracking to marijuana packaging and advertising. They changed little from their draft form but could add certainty for marijuana entrepreneurs. http://bit.ly/17omjmp

The rules, outlined in 136 small-type pages, require businesses to use a state-run online inventory tracking program to document their marijuana's journey from seed to sale. Marijuana also must be placed in opaque, child-resistant containers before being taken out of a store, and recreational pot stores won't be allowed to advertise to people under 21.

Ron Kammerzell, the revenue department's deputy senior director of enforcement, said the rules will provide clear guidelines for both pot shops and police.

"Good regulation not only needs to be easy to understand, it must also provide authorities the ability to enforce the regulation in a fair and transparent manner," he said.

Washington and Colorado legalized the recreational use of marijuana last fall, and the U.S. Department of Justice said last week it would not interfere as long as the states create tight rules to keep the drug away from children, criminal gangs and neighboring states.

Washington's Liquor Control Board recently tweaked its proposed rules to clarify how many pot stores will be allowed in the state, and in each county. It will hold public hearings over the next several weeks and is on track to approve the rules and begin issuing licenses for pot growers, processors and sellers around the end of the year.

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Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com

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