Hickenlooper’s advice to marijuana businesses

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper was recently interviewed on Meet The Press with Chuck Todd. Though nearly lost amidst all of the buzz surrounding Trump’s one-page tax plan, there are some interesting takeaways that Colorado marijuana businesses especially should note.

The full nearly-10 minute interview covers several topics, but the early focus is Hickenlooper’s summary of a meeting he had with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. At the 2:40 mark, Todd asks Hickenlooper what a marijuana business owner should do in this environment of legal uncertainty.

Todd: There’s still a fog here over the federal government’s role in this. How do you operate a business if you’re not if sure the federal government’s going to crack down on you? I think I’m operating a legal business, right, if you’re in the state of Colorado, but you’re not 100% sure.

Hickenlooper: Well I think certainly, one thing a normal business person would take away, that if they’re going to run their [marijuana] business they’d better be absolutely clean.

When Hickenlooper says, “be absolutely clean,” he’s clearly advising marijuana business owners to make sure they are operating in a way that is fully compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. In Colorado, the regulations are robust and relatively well defined, making it easier for us to do our part to prevent a federal crackdown by self-policing. If the marijuana industry demonstrates an ability to police itself – through robust regulations that are rigorously enforced at the state level – the federal government will feel less of a need to impose and enforce a separate set of regulations the federal level.


Other marijuana-related takeaways

  • According to Hickenlooper, Attorney General Sessions’ basic stance is that more people doing more drugs of any kind is unhealthy for the country.
  • At the same time, Hickenlooper also relayed that AG Sessions has his hands full with more significant drug law enforcement priorities such as heroin, methamphetamines, and cocaine.

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