Colorado Drug Manufacturing Laws

Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

Drug manufacturing and cultivation laws are quite strict 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 are unable to 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

While statutes are a great source of information, they're usually a written in complicated legal jargon. That's why reading a summary of statute can be very useful to better understand the law. Below you can find an overview of Colorado's drug manufacturing laws as well as links to applicable statutes.

Statute(s)

Colorado Revised Statutes Title 18. Article 18, Part 4, Section 18-18-405, et seq. (Unlawful Distribution, Manufacturing, Dispensing, or Sale)

Statutory Definition of Offense

It's unlawful for any person to knowingly:

  • manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute, or to possess with intent to manufacture, dispense, sell, or distribute, a controlled substance;
  • 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's unlawful for a person to knowingly:

  • process or manufacture any marijuana or marijuana concentrate or allow to be processed or manufactured on land owned, occupied, or controlled by him or her any marijuana or marijuana concentrate;
  • 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.
  • 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.
Drug Manufacturing Charges (Excluding Marijuana)

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

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

Level 2 drug felony: Any material, compound, mixture which 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
  • The transfer of any such 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
  • Over 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: Over 50 lbs. marijuana or over 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: Under 4 oz. marijuana or under 2 oz. concentrate

Cultivation of Marijuana:

  • Level 3 drug felony: Over 30 plants
  • Level 4 drug felony: 6-30 plants*
  • Level 1 misdemeanor: Under 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 through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Colorado Drug Manufacturing Laws: Related Resources

Get Professional Legal Help with Your Colorado Drug Case

If you've been charged with the manufacturing or cultivation of illicit drugs in Colorado, you most likely will be facing some amount of incarceration. This means you'll want to put together the best legal defense possible, preferably with the help of a skilled defense attorney. Learn more about your next steps by speaking with a Colorado drug crime attorney.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.