Colorado pot regulations taking shape, the poor need not apply
Proposed rules for growing and distributing cannabis in Colorado are starting to take shape, and the poor need not apply.
As we’ve seen again and again for this industry, new regulations have been rolled out in which only the well to do can hurdle, effectively banning many from the market.
For starters, just to apply, and there’s no guarantee of approval, a person must pay a $5,000 application fee. Then, in order to sell marijuana, depending on the size of the business a yearly fee between $3,750 and $14,000 will have to be payed. Growers will have to pay $2,750 per year.
Want to sell both medical and recreational? Double all of the costs.
A person will also have to live within the state and pass a full background check. It’s likely anyone who has ever had a run-in with the judicial system is completely kept out here as well as those too poor to break into the business. Talk about a modern day caste system.
All of the money from these fees is supposed to cover the expenses of regulating the system, which will include video surveillance of all plants while they are being grown and RFID tags on all packaging to ensure none of it leaves the state. A spectacular waste of money which will only serve to increase costs needlessly and show us that yet again draconian regulations will fail.
Advertising will be severely restricted as well, as proposals seek to limit advertising on websites unless the site verifies that a person is over 21. Marketing to people outside of the state will likely be limited as well. One thing is for sure, alcohol companies will have much more freedom in their marketing practices.
Regulations are expected to be finalized some time in October and sales will begin early next year.
Is this better than the alternative of an illegal market? Likely so, but not by much, as we trade one cartel for another. We can at the least rejoice in knowing that people will no longer be jailed over this plant. We must remember that while we recognize these as stepping stones, most are going to see them as permanent solutions. We all know all too well just how hard it is to change something once it gets set in stone when it comes to government.
Being far safer than alcohol, the cannabis community should not and cannot rest until the restrictions on both are at the very least equal.
By: Stephen Carter
Contact Stephen via email at TXCann@gmail.com