We are now 6 years in from the passing of Amendment 64.

Here are 10 facts from the last 6 year:

  1. Increase in potency: from 2015-2017, average potencies increased 20% for flower to 19.6% and 21% for concentrates to 68.6%.
  2. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reports the safety of edibles and concentrates is unknown. 
  3. Public not provided enough information. CO dispensaries recommend marijuana for morning sickness. No public or regulatory inventory of products. No mandatory vendor training (yet). No standardized messaging for responsible use for social consumption.
  4. Colorado market plateaued in 4 years. Rate of sales growth decreased by 84% between 2017-2018. 
  5. Marijuana industry goal is to “paint the town green” with constant pressure on state to expand commercialization. Funds spent on state-level lobbying tripled between 2013 and 2018. Dozens of bills introduced annually result in hundreds of pages of legislation. 2018 bills include: foreign investing, delivery, social consumption, new medical conditions (PTSD, Autism)
  6. Profit in processed products, expect more market share to shift to concentrates and edibles.
  7. Products continue to hide marijuana. Hiding from whom? Example: inhalers.
  8. Regulators can’t keep up. Colorado’s system of unlimited potency, unrestricted products and ex-post facto regulations is like “chasing cheetahs with butterfly nets” according to a state health official.
  9. Scare tactics by industry that marijuana regulations will be gateway to harder drugs. If access isn’t easy, consumers will move on to opiates.
  10. Regulating the entire plant, instead of its active ingredients, causes problems. Federal legalization of hemp-derived CBD clouds the issues. THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, is where regulators should focus. 

Consequences

  • More accidental exposure in children 8 years old or younger, edibles account for ⅔ of reports
  • More high school students using concentrates: statistically significant increases in dabbing and edibles
  • More marijuana-related ED visits for adolescents (13-21), 71% were also diagnosed with mental illness (depression, anxiety, mood disorder)
  • More Colorado road fatalities involving drivers testing positive for marijuana

Actions You Can Take

Get educated on the Colorado experience:

Sign up and share with your contacts Smart Colorado newsletters/follow us on social media: 

Identify private and family foundations in your state as funding sources. This allows for public messaging independent of political action.

Invite Smart Colorado to meet with policy makers, youth serving organizations, health officials, schools in your state.

Pay attention to local, state and federal legislation. Get to know your elected officials to open conversations in advance of policy change. 

Smart Colorado, a non-profit, non-partisan organization, formed in 2013 after Colorado voters approved recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over. Smart’s mission is to protect the public health and safety of Colorado youth as marijuana is commercialized and increasingly available. Smart advocates for Colorado youth, raises awareness about health impacts and acts as a “go-to” source for the media both local, nationally and internationally.

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