Justin Hartfield

CEO & Founder of Weedmaps.com


Taking Marijuana Out of the Black Market: Why the Business Community Needs to Lead

The future of marijuana legalization hangs perilously in the balance. While some may view decriminalization as a fait accompli, the reality is that the results of initial implementation efforts in Colorado, Washington, and the other pioneering states of legalization will significantly impact the direction and momentum for subsequent efforts. The stakes could not be greater.

In their current form, the proposed regulations for granting retail licenses in both Colorado and Washington will result in insufficient supply to meet the increased demand of an adult-use regime. This is more than an economic problem. Market shortages in the legal market enable underground suppliers to gain increased market access, thus eviscerating one of the major public policy rationales for legalization reforms. In fact, it is possible to legalize badly.

The easiest way for states to remedy this

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