COLORADO- Some changes are on the way in the new year for the State of Colorado. Here is a look at some of the new laws and policies that will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.
Full-strength beer will be on grocery and convenience store shelves starting Tuesday.
Senate Bill 197, which passed in 2016, essentially changed the definition of what’s called a fermented malt beverage, or what’s commonly called “3.2 beer.” That distinction is going away.
Under the new law, store employees will have to be at least 18 years old to sell beer, and any store that wants to sell beer must be at least 500 feet from any school.
Liquor and wine will still only be available at liquor stores.
Minimum wage increase
The state’s minimum wage will go up to $11.10 on Jan. 1.
Right now, the minimum wage is $10.20.
In November 2016, Colorado voters approved Amendment 70, a plan to raise the wage for any non-tipped worker in the state from $8.31 per hour to $12 an hour in steps by 2020. This is the third time year of the minimum wage increases as part of the amendment.
Immigrant drivers’ licenses
Starting Jan. 1, Colorado residents who can’t prove they’re in the country legally can use a Social Security number to get a driver’s license.
Right now, those people have to use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number to get their license.
That process has led to massive backups at the DMV.
The new law should help by giving undocumented people an option to renew licenses online instead of having to fight for limited appointments
Colorado Parks and Wildlife fees
On January 1, 2019 Coloradans will be shelling out more money for hunting, fishing, camping, boating, and visiting state parks.
Colorado Parks & Wildlife said license fees haven’t gone up since 2005 and state park fees haven’t gone up since 2010. The agency also shared the cost of doing business has increased as inflation has caught up with them. The option came down to either cutting programs or increasing fees.
The annual fee for a fishing license will increase from $25 to $33. For big game like a moose, a license will go from $250 to $300.
For boaters, there will be a new $25 fee for an ANS (Aquatic Nuisance Species) stamp.
For the full list of park and license fee changes CLICK HERE.
Marijuana tax revenue
Beginning next year, Colorado will bring in more tax revenue from wholesale deals involving marijuana intended to be sold to consumers after the average prices of those wholesale products rose in the latter part of this year.
The Denver Post reports the Colorado Department of Revenue on Thursday released updated average market rates for marijuana being sold or transferred from retail cultivation centers to recreational pot shops or facilities that make retail products like hash oil and edibles. Those sales and transfers are subject to a 15-percent excise tax.
The rates were calculated based on transactions tracked by the state’s marijuana enforcement division between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31. During that time frame, the average price of a pound of marijuana bud rose to $781, up from $759 during the previous reporting period.
Links to other Colorado laws in 2019: