Parents, Guardians & Neighbors

What is the penalty for someone under the age of 21 who is caught possessing or consuming marijuana? 
  • Answer - Penalties can range from a fine to a possible jail or prison sentence. Additionally, K-12 schools, universities and school districts may have disciplinary and expulsion policies for students caught with retail marijuana on school property.  In Denver, those 18-21 caught possessing marijuana will face a civil penalty and not a criminal citation.  
Can I legally give or sell marijuana to someone under the age of 21?
  • Answer - No. You must be 21 and older to have or use retail marijuana. It is illegal to give or sell retail marijuana to minors.
Are there limitations on the proximity of retail marijuana businesses to schools?
  • Answer - There is a 1,000-foot spacing requirement between retail marijuana stores and schools. 
What should I do if I suspect or know my child has consumed marijuana? 
  • Answer - Call 9-1-1 if you are worried about the health and safety of your child. You must be 21 and older to have or use retail marijuana and children should be kept away from retail marijuana at all times.
What should I do if I suspect or know my pet has consumed marijuana? 
  • Answer - Call a veterinarian. Pets should be kept away from marijuana at all times. 
Can I legally grow marijuana at home?
  • Answer - Yes. Adult residents can grow up to 6 marijuana plants per person. No more than 12 total plants are allowed per residence regardless of the number of adults living there.

    Marijuana plants must be kept in an enclosed, locked area, and growers should take extra precautions to ensure that only authorized adults have access to the marijuana plants. 

    You must be 21 and older to have or use retail marijuana. Children and pets should be kept away from plants at all times. 

How can Denver residents and visitors avoid exposure to public marijuana use?
  • Answer - It is illegal to consume marijuana in public in Colorado. If you see a violation in Denver, call the police non-emergency line at 720-913-2000.
How is marijuana smoke treated differently from tobacco smoke in terms of where it is permitted?
  • Answer - Both marijuana and tobacco smoke are subject to the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, which prohibits smoking in most indoor places accessible to the public. 

    It is illegal to consume marijuana in public.

What can I do if I live near a marijuana cultivation center (grow facility) and the odor is bothersome? 
  • Answer - If marijuana odor is perceived to be excessive, residents can file a nuisance odor complaint with the Denver Department of Environmental Health by calling 3-1-1.
What should Denver residents or visitors do if they see a violation of marijuana laws?
  • Answer - Call the police non-emergency line at 720-913-2000.
How can a Denver resident or neighborhood association weigh in on whether a new marijuana retail store can open in their neighborhood?
  • Answer - Only existing medical marijuana centers that are eligible to convert to retail stores can change their license before 2016. Centers that are eligible must participate in a public hearing process in which relevant registered neighborhood organizations are notified of the license request and allowed an opportunity to provide testimony. Cick here to access the public hearing calendar.
What should I do if I suspect or know my child has consumed marijuana?
  • Answer - Call 9-1-1 if you are worried about the health and safety of your child. You must be 21 and older to have or use retail marijuana, and children should be kept away from retail marijuana at all times.

For more information about the health impacts of marijuana use, please visit Denver Health’s resource page on this topic or download their fact sheet.

What are the health effects of using retail marijuana?