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Gov. Hickenlooper signs bill to stop illegal marijuana advertise - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Gov. Hickenlooper signs bill to stop illegal marijuana advertisements

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Colorado John Hickenlooper has signed into law a bill making it illegal to advertise marijuana sales unless to you are licensed to do so as a medical marijuana or retail marijuana provider.

The law covers advertising in newspapers, magazines, handbills, other printed publications and on the internet. It covers marijuana, marijuana concentrate, and marijuana-infused products.

Violators face a level 2 drug misdemeanor charge. The law goes into effect in September.

In November, News 5 first told you about an increase in ads on sites like Craigslist and how it's illegal to 'donate' marijuana in exchange for money.

Back in August, a presentation by the Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce to the state's interim legalized marijuana committee showed hundreds of illegal advertisements asking for donations in return for weed. 

That sparked the move to write Senate bill 15 banning such advertisements, and Governor Hickenlooper made a point to fight what's called the 'gray market.'

"Anything that the state legislators can do to clear up and eliminate the gray market is definitely beneficial for us," said Sean Mandel, Commander of Metro Vice, Narcotics & Intelligence Division.

"The gray market basically are people who are not license to sell marijuana," said Sen. Irene Aguilar (D) Denver.

The gray market, not to be confused with the black market, is made up of people who try to find loopholes in legalization and take advantage. It's seen most in online ads on sites like Craigslist, where sellers say they'll provide weed for a suggested 'donation.'

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