Colorado went green – again.
Although medical and recreational marijuana have been legal in Colorado for years, voters once again proved that they’d like to see more strides in the marijuana industry. Here’s the run down of what went down in the 2018 mid-term election:
Colorado Elected a Pro-Pot Governor
Democrat, Jared Polis won the gubernatorial election by a margin of nearly 10% – which is good news for the cannabis industry.
The Colorado Governor appoints the head of the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) and its parent agency the Department of Revenue. In addition, the Governor has final say on bills passed by the Legislature. ¹
Polis has been clear about his marijuana policies from the get-go. In fact, he was one of the early supporters who endorsed marijuana legalization and helped Amendment 64 pass in 2012. Having a governor in office who supports the development of the cannabis industry will help it grow here in Colorado, and serve as an example for other states. Not only has he publicly spoken out about his support, but Polis also has a track record of supporting the decriminalization of marijuana.
He has been a staunch supporter of regulating marijuana like alcohol and wrote a bill to end federal marijuana prohibition. He also helped enact an amendment in 2014 which blocks the DEA from interfering in states’ medical marijuana law enforcement. In the last two years, Polis has worked with Ed Perlmutter to introduce the SAFE Banking Act, which would give Colorado marijuana businesses access to much-needed banking services. Polis has also been integral in fighting for the hemp industry.
Amendment X Revitalizes Colorado Industrial Hemp
Amendment X, which takes Colorado’s definition of hemp out of the state constitution, firmly passed with 60% of the vote. This change will allow the Colorado Legislature to increase the .3% THC limit on hemp. ¹
This definition change to the Colorado constitution, while seemingly small, has a big impact on the hemp industry. It allows Colorado hemp businesses to remain competitive, especially as more states legalize industrial hemp. Hemp has a long history of use in textiles, but we’ve discovered thousands of uses for this versatile plant, from household items to beauty products and construction materials to food.
With so many uses for hemp, of course the industry is booming! With a supportive governor in office and a way to keep the definition of hemp in step with the federal government and other states, we’re one step closer to fully and federally legalizing industrial hemp and its derivatives like CBD.
2018 Marijuana Legalizations Nationwide
Colorado wasn’t the only state that went green. While several parts of the U.S. voted in pro-cannabis representatives, senators, and governors, this election also brought in new legalizations as well.
The passing of Proposal 1 in Michigan legalizes recreational use and possession of marijuana for adults aged 21 years and over. This stride comes exactly one decade after legalizing medical marijuana use, becoming the 11th state to go recreational.
A 66% majority passed Amendment 2, which legalizes the medical use of marijuana. On the ballot were several amendments to determine the sales tax of marijuana ranging from 2-15%; voters settled on taxing its sales at 4 percent.
It was a close vote, but Utah passed Proposition 2, effectively legalizing the medical use of marijuana for individuals with qualifying medical illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, chronic pain, and multiple sclerosis. Curious how these changes will affect your marijuana business? Schedule a consultation now to find out before they go into effect.