Colorado’s Cannabis Wins 2016
Nov 09, 2016 06:09PM
● By Randy Robinson
Donald Trump and a recovering GOP took control of Congress
and the White House last night. However, they assumed control of a country that
is bucking against prohibition. This is an issue they’ll have to deal with over
the next four years.
Four of the five states with recreational marijuana bills passed. Arkansas became the first Deep South state to approve medical cannabis; Florida followed suit by doing the same.
And in Colorado, where prohibitionists put up quite a fight against our fastest-growing industry, pot won.
Perhaps the most nail-biting was done over ballot initiatives proposed in Pueblo. Since 2014, this former industrial town saw its economy revitalized by cannabis. Millions of dollars poured into the city and county’s coffers after legalization. Some 40% of the area’s construction contracts are tied to the marijuana industry, something to the tune of $25 million. Marijuana created 1,300 new jobs there, which could’ve been eliminated overnight had the propositions passed.
Instead, voters shot down both propositions, meaning the city’s cannabis is safe. For now.
The Denver-area suburb had two initiatives on their local ballot: Question 302 to allow recreational cannabis businesses and Question 301 to prevent an overturning of the district’s rec ban. Question 302 won, and Question 301 lost. So we’ll be seeing pot shops spring up in Englewood sometime in the near future.
Question 300, which is still up in the air, would allow cannabis use at private venues. Pegged as a “neighborhood, social use” initiative, the law requires neighborhood organizations, business groups, and local officials to work together to issue “social-use” permits for venues. Each permit would be custom tailored to the business and neighborhood in question. If it works out, we’ll be seeing cannabis use further normalized in the Denver area.
However, as of this writing, the votes for and against 300 are too close to call. We should have confirmation by tomorrow.