Gregory D. Thomas, Esq.
Despite the many positive advances recreational marijuana has made since
Amendment 64 was passed in 2012, the following represent several significant
legal and political hurdles that stand in its way, according to the Marijuana
1) While marijuana (recreational and medical) has grown exponentially into
a one billion dollar industry in Colorado, it has done so in spite of
the fact that three out of four municipalities and over 70% of the counties
in the State have banned recreational marijuana businesses altogether.
At some point, industry expansion will depend on the opening up of additional
markets throughout Colorado. And in those jurisdictions where marijuana
isn’t banned, new rules make it more and more difficult for existing
marijuana companies to grow and implement meaningful business planning.
2) A proposed statewide ballot initiative is in the works that would limit
the potency of THC in all marijuana products. Whether the measure makes
the November 2016 ballot remains to be seen, but the proposed limits could
eliminate all concentrates and drastically reduce edibles. We should know
by early August 2016 whether the initiative makes the ballot.
3) Another marijuana-limiting ballot measure is being proposed in Pueblo
County. This measure would prohibit the issuance of new recreational marijuana
licenses after November 8, 2016 and ban all recreational marijuana businesses
after October 31, 2017. In other words, there would be no recreational
marijuana operations of any kind operating in Pueblo County after October
31, 2017 if this ballot measure passes. The success of the ballot measure
could resonate to other counties where recreational marijuana is presently allowed.
At first blush, it would seem marijuana is a thriving industry in Colorado
with endless possibilities for growth. However, only a small minority
of jurisdictions in the State allow marijuana businesses within their
limits. Also, proposed ballot measures could not only further reduce the
number of locations banning marijuana, but could also affect the potency
of THC in marijuana thereby reducing the availability of certain types
of marijuana products.