After 4 Years, Gov. Hickenlooper Has Learned a Lot About Marijuana Legalization
Like all politicians, Governor John Hickenlooper receives calls from other politicians to discuss policy. Unlike most politicians, however, Gov. Hickenlooper spends a fair amount of his time talking about pot. You learn a lot about the benefits and hurdles of marijuana legislation when you’re responsible for creating and implementing some of the nation’s first recreational cannabis laws. And for governors in states considering legalization, there are few– if any – more experienced individuals than Hickenlooper when it comes to creating and implementing state-level marijuana policy.
Even though the Colorado governor had opposed marijuana legalization in Colorado, he has done an admirable job implementing the new laws, leading Colorado to a budget surplus of __ and lower teen drug use.
Things Colorado Missed
Marijuana advocates are quick to point to the many successes Colorado has had in legalizing recreational weed. But, marijuana legalization hasn’t been all smooth sailing. Certain regulations the state had seemed arbitrary – like the lower limit for marijuana tourists. At the same time, there were a number of regulations that were not in place when pot was first legalized that could have made for a safer transition.
Governor Hickenlooper advises other states to regulate edibles more carefully from the start. While Colorado has worked hard to revise and improve legislation in recent years – from lowering edible purchase limits to requiring more resealable, childproof packaging – edibles have presented a unique safety challenge. Cookies, gummies, and many other THC treats look just like candy to many children, and studies showed that the year after marijuana legalization, more children were brought to the hospital or poison control for ingesting cannabis than the previous four years combined.
Taxes & Banking
Marijuana is illegal at the federal level, meaning that banks and credit card companies could feasibly be charged with money laundering if they were to do business with marijuana growers or dispensaries. This means recreational dispensaries have to operate as largely cash-only businesses (ironically increasing the chances for money laundering). Cash-only businesses are also natural targets of theft. And as a $1 billion a year business in Colorado, banking restrictions have made many store owners and budtenders feel less safe.
Governor Hickenlooper has pushed for Congress to pass legislation that would prevent financial institutions or state-chartered banks from being penalized for working with the marijuana industry. And, with the number of recreational marijuana states doubling in the past year, it is looking more and more likely that federal laws will have to change to keep up with state-level changes.
Marijuana is taxed at a 10% in the state, with local and special taxes bringing the total number to around 15% for Karing Kind and over 20% for many recreational dispensaries. This brought more than $135 million to the state in 2016. Sin taxes aren’t uncommon for products like marijuana – alcohol and cigarettes are actually taxed at a higher rate. But, Gov. Hickenlooper isn’t sure we have the numbers quite right, wanting to maximize state funds while keeping the sin tax from climbing too high (where it might encourage black market sales).
Boulder’s First Recreational Marijuana Dispensary
Karing Kind is Boulder’s first recreational marijuana dispensary. We have been a part of the growing marijuana industry in Colorado from the beginning, and we look forward to continuing to grow and serve Colorado residents and visitors. Our wide selection of organic bud, chemical-free concentrates, and edibles, including our state-low marijuana tax rate and award-winning budtenders, makes us the perfect Colorado cannabis destination.
Karing Kind is located just off of US-36, one mile north of Broadway, open daily from 10am to 10pm.
While we carry a variety of strains, concentrates, edibles, salves and tinctures, inventory and stock levels fluctuate from week to week and month to month. Check our menu and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for an up-to- date list of edibles, concentrates and buds available now.