Pueblo County voted on Ballot Question 200, a measure that would have repealed legal marijuana ordinances for the sale, cultivation and processing of recreational Cannabis. If the measure passed, recreational marijuana facilities and retailers in the county would have been required to close within a year.
“The industry is thankful that common sense has prevailed. The legal Cannabis industry has meant economic successes for Pueblo by way of jobs. Banning legal Cannabis sales in Pueblo would have pushed the jobs and taxes it has brought into another community or worse: the black market,” Malone said. “In 2012, Pueblo County passed Amendment 64 with 62 percent support, a significant majority. Pueblo has seen a significant economic boost since the legalization of Cannabis, accounting for 60 percent of new construction permits and $3 million a year in taxes. Pueblo has become an agricultural powerhouse in Colorado, supplying 30 to 40 percent of the state’s Cannabis product utilizing up to 6 million sq. ft. of cultivation. Banning legal Cannabis would not have kept Pueblo residents from consuming; they would have purchased Cannabis illegally from the black market, or in counties where it is legally sold. Proponents of Pueblo Ballot Measure 200 were extremely misguided.”
Pueblo is safer with legal Cannabis, which can be regulated. Repealing the legal status of Cannabis would have meant pushing the Cannabis industry back into the black market, moving power back into the hands of organized crime and gangs. There have been some biased statistics shared that seem to imply that Pueblo hospitals are seeing an influx of babies born with Cannabis in their system, but the study is skewed. Because drug tests are performed only when a new mother is suspected of or admits to drug use, the percentage of positive marijuana tests has been high in Pueblo, but the absolute numbers have been low.
DENVER BALLOT INITIATIVE 300
Denver’s Neighborhood-Supported Cannabis Consumption Pilot Program, is designed to provide adults safe, supervised spaces for Cannabis consumption in traditional social environments.
Malone said: “The Cannabis Business Alliance is pleased that Denver residents have approved Denver Ballot measure 300, once again positioning Denver as a leader in Cannabis Legalization. When Colorado residents overwhelmingly approved Amendment 64, they voted to have Cannabis regulated like alcohol. Now that recreational Cannabis has been legal for two years, Denver Ballot Initiative 300 appropriately addresses the enormous need to provide safe spaces for consumers–both residents and tourists–to enjoy Cannabis outside of the home. This initiative not only creates safe and regulated spaces for consumption, it also requires establishments who want to provide public settings for Cannabis consumers to engage their community before acquiring a permit. The importance of community approval is imperative if we are going to work together to better our communities in a world of legal Cannabis. By creating safe spaces for consumption, we are effectively taking open Cannabis consumption off the streets and into social, yet private settings.”
At present, the consumption of Cannabis in public is illegal, therefore the only legally recognized place for consumption is within a private residence with owner approval. This has driven tourists, renters and others to consume in public, which could account for the uptick in tickets issued for public consumption and more exposure to non-cannabis users or minors. The Denver Cannabis Consumption Pilot Program brings businesses and members of the community together to form a solution for public consumption by creating safe and regulated consumption spaces in accordance with the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act.
NEW STATES COME ONLINE
On Election Day, five states voted on legalizing adult-use (or recreational) Cannabis (Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada), and three states put legalizing the plant for medical purposes on the ballot (Florida, Montana, North Dakota).
Malone remarked: “The overwhelming support of voters in California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine reinforces the will of the people to overturn Prohibition. Sensibly regulating Cannabis takes it out of the Black Market and turns it into an economic driver. We are pleased to see these states following Colorado’s lead, and we look forward to seeing the Cannabis industry prosper and continue to be a job creator.”
About the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA)
The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) is an advocate and a resource for business owners, employees, patients and clients of the medical and adult-use marijuana industry. CBA promotes programs that will enhance the emerging marijuana industry’s place in Colorado’s business economy, create respect for the industry in the communities we serve, and support client and patient access, education and safety. For more information, visit www.cannabisalliance.org.
DENVER (November 9, 2016) — Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) Executive Director Mark Malone has released a statement on Election Day 2016 results: