Colorado Gov. Warns of Business Fallout Related to Legalization

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper made a disappointing blanket statement about cannabis legalization during a conference in Dallas last week.

During a discussion on partnerships between the public and private sectors, Gov. Hickenlooper mentioned that Colorado’s millennials are expected to outnumber baby boomers by 22 million million by the year 2030. “You get all those young people who do certain things that some of us oppose and aren’t crazy about, like legalizing marijuana,” he said. “Let me tell you, if you’re trying to encourage businesses to move to your state, some of the larger businesses, think twice about legalizing marijuana.”

Denver7 reached out to Hickenlooper’s office following the statement, inquiring which specific business opportunities were lost as a result of legalization: “The governor knows marijuana is part of the conversation in recruiting companies to Colorado, but it has not had any measurable impact to the economy,” was his office’s official response.

Unfortunately — without any specific examples of businesses turning down Colorado locations due to the state’s loosened cannabis laws — the governor’s recent statements were more likely pandering to conservative political ideals than anything else.

In fact, during his State of the State address in January, a booming business economy was one of the positive developments that the governor touted — so hinting that legalization has somehow hurt business prospects seems illogical at best.

In 2015, Gov. Hickenlooper announced that he had changed his tune on legalization — that despite his original reservations, the sky had not fallen on Colorado since Amendment 64 was implemented and legal cannabis was perhaps worth the state’s regulatory and reform efforts.

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