Colorado found itself in the marijuana spotlight multiple times last week, with several announcements and developments having a bearing on the state’s medical cannabis industry:
– On Thursday, Gov. John Hickenlooper officially came out against Amendment 64, the ballot proposal calling for the legalization of marijuana for adults 21 and older. The University of Colorado Board of Regents also voted to oppose the initiative.
While the measure deals with the general use of cannabis, this is an important issue for the medical marijuana industry as well. Supporters say it will open up the market and create a much bigger market for all. But it’s unclear how it will all play out if the bill actually passes. Some MMJ professionals think it could destroy the medical cannabis industry in Colorado, saying it will give the federal government justification to shut down every marijuana business. Either way, opposition is mounting as the November election nears.
– Speaking of Amendment 64, the legalization measure was at the center of controversy last week when marijuana advocates filed a lawsuit over the language used to describe the proposal in a ballot guide released by the state. Lawmakers deleted several sentences that put marijuana legalization in a positive light. The judge overseeing the case, however, quickly dismissed the lawsuit a few days later.
– A slew of studies and reports about medical marijuana – and cannabis in general – were released last week, including three tied to Colorado. Two of them reflect well on the MMJ industry: One found that teenagers in the state smoke less marijuana today than they did several years ago – indicating that MMJ laws have not led to an increase in youth cannabis use, as often claimed – and another details the positive financial impact of marijuana businesses in 10 Colorado cities.
Expect to hear much more out of Colorado over the next two months as both sides in the marijuana and MMJ debate look to influence voters.
Also last week, MMJ Business Daily launched its 2012 patient survey, which aims to figure out exactly what consumers want from medical marijuana dispensaries. The survey asks a variety of questions about the preferences and buying habits of patients, including what sets one dispensary apart from another and what attributes they value the most (such as price, selection, location, etc.). MMJ Business Daily will analyze the results to provide dispensaries with valuable – and unique – customer data to help them grow revenues and better serve patients. The report will be released this fall, with highlights revealed during the upcoming National Marijuana Business Conference.
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