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18-18-406

Offenses Relating to Marijuana and Marijuana Concentrate – Definitions

The state’s cannabis legislation is found in Colorado Revised Statute 18-18-406 CRS. This section discusses the conditions under which it is unlawful to possess, cultivate, or sell marijuana, as well as the associated punishments. It outlines the punishments for all marijuana-related offenses in the state.

Let’s face it. Life happens.

No one wants to get in trouble, but when it happens, what do you do?

If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, the best decision you can make is to
hire a good criminal defense attorney. With the right defense lawyer in your corner, you
will be advised and guided towards the best outcome for your case.

Penalties for Offenses Relating to Marijuana and Marijuana Concentrate

Charge Classification Penalty
Simple possession

More than 6 ounces of marijuana, or more than 3 ounces of marijuana concentrate

Level 1 drug misdemeanor
  • Probation of up to 2 years
  • Possible 180 days in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
Simple possession

More than 2 ounces to 6 ounces of marijuana, or up to 3 ounces of marijuana concentrate

Level 2 drug misdemeanor
  • Probation of up to 1 year
  • Possible 120 days in jail
  • Up to $500 in fines
Cultivation of marijuana on residential property

First offense involving more than 12 plants

Level 1 drug petty offense
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
Cultivation of marijuana on residential property

Subsequent offense involving 12–24 plants

Level 1 drug misdemeanor
  • Probation of up to 2 years
  • Possible 180 days in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
Cultivation of marijuana on residential property

Subsequent offense involving more than 24 plants

Level 3 drug felony
  • 2–4 years in prison and/or
  • $2,000–$500,000 in fines
Cultivation of marijuana on land

More than 30 plants

Level 3 drug felony
  • 2–4 years in prison and/or
  • $2,000– $500,000 in fines
Cultivation of marijuana on land

7– 30 plants

Level 4 drug felony
  • 6 months–1 year in prison and/or
  • $1,000–$100,000 in fines
Cultivation of marijuana on land

Up to 6 plants

Level 1 drug misdemeanor
  • Probation of up to 2 years
  • Possible 180 days in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines

 

Dispensing, Selling, Distributing marijuana — or Possessing Marijuana With Intent to Manufacture, Dispense, Sell, or Distribute

Charge Classification Penalty
More than 50 pounds of marijuana, or more than 25 pounds of marijuana concentrate Level 1 drug felony
  • 8–32 years in prison and/or
  • $5,000–$1,000,000 in fines
5–50 pounds of marijuana, or 2.5–25 pounds of marijuana concentrate Level 2 drug felony
  • 4–8 years in prison and/or
  • $3,000–$750,000 in fines
12 ounces–5 pounds of marijuana, or 6  ounces–2.5 pounds of marijuana concentrate Level 3 drug felony
  • 2–4 years in prison and/or
  • $2,000–$500,000 in fines
4–12 oz. of marijuana, or

more than 2–6 ounces of marijuana concentrate

Level 4 drug felony
  • 6 months–1 year in prison and/or
  • $1,000–$100,000 in fines
Up to 4 ounces  of marijuana, or up to 2 ounces of marijuana concentrate Level 1 drug misdemeanor
  • Probation of up to 2 years
  • Possible 180 days in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines

Selling, Transferring, or Dispensing Marijuana to a Person Younger Than 18 if You Are at Least 18 and at Least Two Years Older Than the Minor

Charge Classification Penalty
More than 2.5 pounds of marijuana, or 1 pound of marijuana concentrate Level 1 drug felony
  • 8–32 years in prison and/or
  • $5,000–$1,000,000
More 6 ounces–2.5 pounds of marijuana, or more than 3 ounces–1 pound of marijuana concentrate Level 2 drug felony
  • 4– 8 years in prison and/or
  • $3,000–$750,000 in fines
More than 1– 6 oz. of marijuana, or over .5–3 ounces  of marijuana concentrate Level 3 drug felony
  • 2–4 years in prison and/or
  • $2,000 $500,000 in fines
Up to 1 ounce  of marijuana, or up to .5 ounces of marijuana concentrate Level 4 drug felony
  • 6 months–1 year in prison and/or
  • $1,000–$100,000 in fines
(Colo. Rev. Stat. 18-18-406)

Possible Defenses for Offenses Relating to Marijuana and Marijuana Concentrate

To prove a violation of these statutes, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had the required mental state, that is, that the defendant acted knowingly or with intent. To put it another way, you cannot be found guilty of a drug offense unless it is established that you have the necessary mens rea, or mental state, to conduct the crime.

Additionally, with regard to the cultivation of plants, there are some provisions that allow you to possess more plants than are allowed by this statute. Another possible defense is to show that your Fourth Amendment rights were violated by an unlawful search and seizure, which turned up cannabis.

Colorado Revised Statutes, 18-18-406:

(1) (a) The sale, transfer, or dispensing of more than two and one-half pounds of marijuana or more than one pound of marijuana concentrate to a minor if the person is an adult and two years older than the minor is a level 1 drug felony subject to the mandatory sentencing provision in section 18-1.3-401.5 (7).

(b) The sale, transfer, or dispensing of more than six ounces, but not more than two and one-half pounds of marijuana or more than three ounces, but not more than one pound of marijuana concentrate to a minor if the person is an adult and two years older than the minor is a level 2 drug felony.

(c) The sale, transfer, or dispensing of more than one ounce, but not more than six ounces of marijuana or more than one-half ounce, but not more than three ounces, of marijuana concentrate to a minor if the person is an adult and two years older than the minor is a level 3 drug felony.

(d) The sale, transfer, or dispensing of not more than one ounce of marijuana or not more than one-half ounce of marijuana concentrate to a minor if the person is an adult and two years older than the minor is a level 4 drug felony.

(2) (a) (I) 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 except as authorized pursuant to part 1 of article 42.5 of title 12, C.R.S., or part 2 of article 80 of title 27, C.R.S.

(II) A person who violates the provisions of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a) commits a level 3 drug felony.

(b) (I) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (7) of this section and except as authorized by part 1 of article 42.5 of title 12, C.R.S., part 2 of article 80 of title 27, C.R.S., or part 2 or 3 of this article, 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.

(II) As used in subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b), “dispense” does not include labeling, as defined in section 12-42.5-102 (18), C.R.S.

(III) A person who violates any of the provisions of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b) commits:

(A) A level 1 drug felony and is subject to the mandatory sentencing provision in section 18-1.3-401.5 (7) if the amount of marijuana is more than fifty pounds or the amount of marijuana concentrate is more than twenty-five pounds;

(B) A level 2 drug felony if the amount of marijuana is more than five pounds but not more than fifty pounds or the amount of marijuana concentrate is more than two and one-half pounds but not more than twenty-five pounds;

(C) A level 3 drug felony if the amount is more than twelve ounces but not more than five pounds of marijuana or more than six ounces but not more than two and one-half pounds of marijuana concentrate;

(D) A level 4 drug felony if the amount is more than four ounces, but not more than twelve ounces of marijuana or more than two ounces but not more than six ounces of marijuana concentrate; or

(E) A level 1 drug misdemeanor if the amount is not more than four ounces of marijuana or not more than two ounces of marijuana concentrate.

(3) (a) 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. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection (3) commits:

(I) A level 3 drug felony if the offense involves more than thirty plants;

(II) A level 4 drug felony if the offense involves more than six but not more than thirty plants; or

(III) A level 1 drug misdemeanor if the offense involves not more than six plants.

(b) It is not a violation of this subsection (3) if:

(I) The person is lawfully cultivating medical marijuana pursuant to the authority granted in section 14 of article XVIII of the state constitution in an enclosed and locked space.

(II) The person is lawfully cultivating marijuana in an enclosed and locked space pursuant to the authority granted in section 16 of article XVIII of the state constitution; except that, if the cultivation area is located in a residence and:

(A) A person under twenty-one years of age lives at the residence, the cultivation area itself must be enclosed and locked; and

(B) If no person under twenty-one years of age lives at the residence, the external locks of the residence constitutes an enclosed and locked space. If a person under twenty-one years of age enters the residence, the person must ensure that access to the cultivation site is reasonably restricted for the duration of that person’s presence in the residence.

(4) (a) A person who possesses more than twelve ounces of marijuana or more than three ounces of marijuana concentrate commits a level 4 drug felony.

(b) A person who possesses more than six ounces of marijuana but not more than twelve ounces of marijuana or not more than three ounces of marijuana concentrate commits a level 1 drug misdemeanor.

(c) A person who possesses more than two ounces of marijuana but not more than six ounces of marijuana commits a level 2 drug misdemeanor.

(5) (a) (I) Except as described in section 18-1-711, a person who possesses not more than two ounces of marijuana commits a drug petty offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars.

(II) Whenever a person is arrested or detained for a violation of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a), the arresting or detaining officer shall prepare a written notice or summons for the person to appear in court. The written notice or summons must contain the name and address of the arrested or detained person, the date, time, and place where such person shall appear, and a place for the signature of the person indicating the person’s written promise to appear on the date and at the time and place indicated on the notice or summons. One copy of the notice or summons must be given to the person arrested or detained, one copy must be sent to the court where the arrested or detained person is to appear, and such other copies as may be required by the law enforcement agency employing the arresting or detaining officer must be sent to the places designated by such law enforcement agency. The date specified in the notice or summons to appear must be at least seven days after the arrest or detention unless the person arrested or detained demands an earlier hearing. The place specified in the notice or summons to appear must be before a judge having jurisdiction of the drug petty offense within the county in which the drug petty offense charged is alleged to have been committed. The arrested or detained person, in order to secure release from arrest or detention, must promise in writing to appear in court by signing the notice or summons prepared by the arresting or detaining officer. Any person who does not honor the written promise to appear commits a class 3 misdemeanor.

(b) (I) Except as described in section 18-1-711, a person who openly and publicly displays, consumes, or uses two ounces or less of marijuana commits a drug petty offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of up to one hundred dollars and up to twenty-four hours of community service.

(II) Open and public display, consumption, or use of more than two ounces of marijuana or any amount of marijuana concentrate is deemed possession thereof, and violations shall be punished as provided for in subsection (4) of this section.

(III) Except as otherwise provided for in subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b), consumption or use of marijuana or marijuana concentrate is deemed possession thereof, and violations must be punished as provided for in paragraph (a) of this subsection (5) and subsection (4) of this section.

(c) Transferring or dispensing not more than two ounces of marijuana from one person to another for no consideration is a drug petty offense and is not deemed dispensing or sale thereof.

(5.5) (a) It is unlawful for a person to transfer marijuana or marijuana concentrate at no cost to a person if the transfer is in any way related to remuneration for any other service or product.

(b) A violation of this subsection (5.5) is a level 1 drug misdemeanor.

(6) The provisions of this section do not apply to any person who possesses, uses, prescribes, dispenses, or administers any drug classified under group C guidelines of the national cancer institute, as amended, approved by the federal food and drug administration.

(7) The provisions of this section do not apply to any person who possesses, uses, prescribes, dispenses, or administers dronabinol (synthetic) in sesame oil and encapsulated in a soft gelatin capsule in a federal food and drug administration approved drug product, pursuant to part 1 of article 42.5 of title 12, C.R.S., or part 2 of article 80 of title 27, C.R.S.

Have You Been Charged or Arrested for Offenses Relating to Marijuana and Marijuana Concentrate in Colorado Springs or El Paso County?

It’s important to understand that having charges related to marijuana or marijuana concentrate can impact your future opportunities.

A conviction of this infraction requires that the prosecution convince a jury to find you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. To defend yourself against charges related to marijuana or marijuana concentrate, you must understand how the law applies to your case and what the El Paso County District Attorney must prove.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I implicated if my tenants' process or manufacture marijuana on my land?

A Level 3 drug offense is committed when marijuana is intentionally processed, manufactured, or transported on property that is under your control. This involves a two- to a four-year jail sentence and/or a fine of $2,000 to $500,000.

Will I go to jail if I smoke marijuana in public?

Marijuana use in public is punishable by up to 24 hours of community service and up to $100 in fines. .

What if I’m bringing cannabis to a friend and don’t intend to sell it?

Instances where you give someone up to two ounces of marijuana (i.e. not selling it), are considered petty drug offenses. The fine can run up to $100.