Colorado Drug Manufacturing Laws

Drug manufacturing and cultivation laws are quite severe in most states, mainly because such operations typically feed black market retailers of illicit drugs. But most states differentiate among different types of drugs and consider other factors such as intent to distribute and possession of "precursors" used to make certain substances (for instance, the sinus medication pseudoephedrine can be used to make methamphetamine). But these laws are even more nuanced in states like Colorado that have legalized the possession and recreational use of marijuana.

Legal Cultivation of Marijuana for Personal Use

If you live in Colorado, you may legally cultivate up to six marijuana plants (up to three plants in the flowering stage) on your property. However, the state requires plants to be grown indoors and, if minors are present, in a secure location that minors cannot access. Also, keep in mind that there are different rules for those authorized to use marijuana medicinally. As you can see from the information listed above, failure to comply with these rules can result in criminal charges.

Colorado Drug Manufacturing Laws: The Basics

Details about Colorado's drug manufacturing laws are listed below, including information about the legal cultivation of marijuana.

Statutes

Colorado Revised Statutes ยง 18-18-405 , et seq.

Statutory Definition of Offense

It is unlawful for any person knowingly to manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute, or to possess with intent to manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute, a controlled substance; or induce, attempt to induce, or conspire with one or more other persons, to manufacture, dispense, sell, distribute, or possess with intent to manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute, a controlled substance; or possess one or more chemicals or supplies or equipment with intent to manufacture a controlled substance.

Marijuana Cultivation and Marijuana Concentrate Manufacturing

It is unlawful for a person to knowingly process or manufacture any marijuana or marijuana concentrate or knowingly allow to be processed or manufactured on land owned, occupied, or controlled by him or her any marijuana or marijuana concentrate.

It is unlawful for a person to knowingly dispense, sell, distribute, or possess with intent to manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute marijuana or marijuana concentrate; or attempt, induce, attempt to induce, or conspire with one or more other persons, to dispense, sell, distribute, or possess with intent to manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute marijuana or marijuana concentrate.

It is unlawful for a person to knowingly cultivate, grow, or produce a marijuana plant or knowingly allow a marijuana plant to be cultivated, grown, or produced on land that the person owns, occupies, or controls.

*Those in compliance with Colorado's marijuana cultivation / manufacturing laws and licensing restrictions will not be charged.

Drug Manufacturing Charges (Excluding Marijuana)

Level 1 drug felony - Any material, compound, mixture, or preparation that weighs:

  • >225g and contains a schedule I or II drug;
  • >112g and contains methamphetamine, heroin, katamine, or cathinones;
  • >50mg and contains flunitrazepam; or
  • Transfer of any amount to a minor.

Level 2 drug felony - Any material, compound, mixture, or preparation that weighs:

  • 14-225g and contains a schedule I or II drug;
  • 7-112g and contains methamphetamine, heroin, katamine, or cathinones;
  • 10-50g and contains flunitrazepam; or
  • Transfer of any amount to a minor.

Level 3 drug felony - Any material, compound, mixture, or preparation that weighs:

  • Up to 14g and contains a schedule I or II drug;
  • Up to 7g and contains methamphetamine, heroin, katamine, or cathinones;
  • Up to 10g and contains flunitrazepam; or
  • >4g and contains a schedule III or IV drug.

Level 1 drug misdemeanor

  • A schedule V drug; or
  • Transfer (without an actual sale) of 4g or less of a schedule III or IV drug.
Marijuana Cultivation and Marijuana Concentrate Manufacturing Charges

Manufacture of Marijuana Concentrate on One's Property

  • Level 3 drug felony (any amount more than 1 oz.)

Possession with Intent to Manufacture and/or Sell Marijuana or Marijuana Concentrate

  • Level 1 drug felony: >50 lbs. marijuana or >25 lbs. concentrate
  • Level 2 drug felony: 5-50 lbs. marijuana or 2.5-25 lbs. concentrate
  • Level 3 drug felony: 12 oz.-5 lbs. marijuana or 6 oz.-2.5 lbs. concentrate
  • Level 4 drug felony: 4-12 oz. marijuana or 2-6 oz. concentrate
  • Level 1 drug misdemeanor: <4 oz. marijuana or <2 oz. concentrate

Cultivation of Marijuana

  • Level 3 drug felony: >30 plants
  • Level 4 drug felony: 6-30 plants*
  • Level 1 misdemeanor: <6 plants*

*Those in compliance with Colorado's rules for home cultivation will not be charged.

Penalties
  • Level 1 drug felony: 8-32 yrs. in prison, $5,000-$1 million in fines
  • Level 2 drug felony: 4-16 yrs. in prison, $3,000-$750,000 in fines
  • Level 3 drug felony: 2-6 yrs. in prison, $2,000-$500,000 in fines
  • Level 4 drug felony: 6 mos.-2 yrs. in prison, $1,000-$100,000 in fines
  • Level 1 drug misdemeanor: 6-18 mos. in jail, $500-$5,000 in fines

Note: State laws are always subject to change. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult a Colorado criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Related Resources

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