This is how Colorado is Trying to Protect its Marijuana Industry

This is how Colorado is Trying to Protect its Marijuana Industry

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions hates marijuana, causing concern among pot users and the cannabis industry that there could be a crackdown on the legal sale of the vilified herb. This is especially concerning for the people of Colorado, where marijuana sales topped $1 billion in 2016. But the state has come up with a unique way of protecting the industry, if need be. [1]

A bill pending in the Legislature would allow marijuana growers and retailers to reclassify their recreational weed as medical cannabis in the event of a change in federal law or enforcement occurs. [2]

If the bill passes, Colorado’s 500 or so licensed recreational marijuana growers and retailers would be able to reclassify their products immediately. The switch would cost the state more than $100 million a year because medical marijuana is taxed at 2.9%, whereas recreational pot is taxed at 17.9%.

The bill is designed to keep the pot industry afloat, since most marijuana businesses sell both medical and recreational cannabis. Without it, a crackdown would essentially wipe out half of a store’s inventory.

The Trump administration has indicated that it is OK with medical marijuana, but not recreational marijuana. During his campaign, President Trump said that he would leave pot regulation up to the states, but Sessions – who has voiced numerous falsehoods about the safety of pot, including medical marijuana – said this in February:

“States, they can pass the laws they choose. I would just say it does remain a violation of federal law to distribute marijuana throughout any place in the United States, whether a state legalizes it or not.” [3]

Natural Society

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has said that states that have legalized recreational marijuana will see “greater enforcement” of laws surrounding the plant.

Senator Tim Neville, a Republican representing suburban Denver, says if federal authorities start seizing recreational marijuana, Colorado’s pot entrepreneurs “need to be able to convert that product into the medical side so they can sell it.”

He adds:

“If there is a change in federal law, then I think all of our businesses want to stay in business somehow. They’ve made major investments.” [4]

The bill passed 4-1 earlier this month in a committee in the Republican Senate.


[1] The Cannabist

[2] Associated Press

[3] The Huffington Post

[4] The Christian Science Monitor