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New Colorado Laws in 2019

January 17, 2019

With the New Year, the Colorado General Assembly enacted new laws that will govern everything from the strength of beer on grocery store shelves to how much money people should make per hour. These laws will have a significant impact on what Colorado residents can purchase, earn, and apply for. Our Denver personal injury attorneys want you to stay informed about the upcoming changes to Colorado’s state laws and learn more about what they mean by reading below.

Minimum Wage Increase

The Colorado General Assembly approved Amendment 70 for incremental wage increases between 2017 and 2020. Beginning on January 1st, 2019, Colorado’s minimum wage will increase by $.90. The new minimum wage will be $11.10 per hour. By 2020, the state minimum wage will reach $12 per hour, after which the state will increase the wage annually based on the cost of living in Colorado.

Increase in Marijuana Market Rate

The Colorado General Assembly is implementing an increase in the average market rates for cannabis sales in the state. This increase will help raise tax revenue from marijuana. This change comes as a response to a report by the Colorado Department of Revenue.

  • The average price per pound of marijuana bud rose from $759 per pound to $781 per pound
  • The average price per pound of marijuana trim rose from $325 to $396
  • The average price per marijuana plant increased from $100 to $151
  • The average price per marijuana seed rose from $4 to $5

As a result, the Colorado Department of Revenue will increase the excise tax rate, which is currently 15%. When the agency increases the tax rate, growers will increase their consumer prices.

Drivers’ Licenses for Immigrants

Colorado residents who cannot provide proof of status in the United States can still apply for and receive a Colorado state driver’s license. Currently, these individuals must use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to receive a license, which causes backups at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

With the new law, immigrants can use a Social Security Number to receive a license. In addition, undocumented Colorado residents can now make an appointment to renew their licenses online.

Colorado Park Fees

If visitors take a trip to a Colorado State Park after January 1st, 2019, they will have to pay extra fees. The state will increase daily vehicle passes, individual passes, and off-leash dog passes by $1. The cost of an annual State Park pass will increase to $10.

These fee changes also apply to certain licenses. Annual fishing license fees will increase from $25 to $33. Large game license fees will increase from $250 to $300. In addition, Colorado boaters will have to pay a new $25 fee for an Aquatic Nuisance Species stamp.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife will also increase and add many other fees to its roster.

  • Annual dog off-leash passes will increase from $20 to $25.
  • The state will offer a new State Parks Annual Hang Tag Pass that will cost $120.
  • A new fee for State Parks Annual Tag Replacement Passes will cost Colorado residents and visitors $60.
  • The Aspen Leaf Annual Pass for senior citizens will increase from $60 to $70.
  • The Aspen Leaf Annual Multiple Pass for senior citizens will increase from $30 per vehicle to $35 per vehicle.

Not all Colorado State Parks fees will increase in 2019 – the Annual Affixed Vehicle Replacement Pass will remain at $5.

Greater Beer Strength

A new bill will allow for Colorado grocery and convenience stores to sell full-strength beer. Beer over a 3.2% alcohol content can now be sold through these outlets. However, any store that wants to sell full-strength beer must be at least 500 feet away from any school. In addition, the law lowers the age that employees need to be to sell beer from 21 years old to 18 years old. However, wine and liquor are still only available at licensed liquor stores.