COLORADO: Between the hotel room antics of Maureen Dowd and a tragic pot-related tourist death and a fatal earlier this year, marijuana’s national image has taken some heavy hits recently. All of those incidents involved edibles — and like members of any industry, marijuana salespeople (medical and adult-use alike) are concerned about the effect this could have on the potential future viability of their businesses.
But unlike other industries, the marijuana businesspeople in Colorado are hyper-aware that their fortunes could turn on a legal or political dime at any moment. And judging from some of the new products and in-depth discussion at the ongoing Cannabis Business Summit at the Colorado Convention Center, some thoughtful and serious steps are being taken to mitigate the damage done to pot’s reputation.
During a morning panel about successes and challenges here and in Washington, Andrew Freedman, the director of marijuana coordination for Governor John Hickenlooper‘s office, noted that an edibles task force (and a solution to the banking issues that dispensaries face) are priorities for his office. And in a question-and-answer session after the discussion, more than one authority on stage acknowledged that if the nationwide trend toward marijuana legalization can be reversed at this point, the turning point could hinge on edibles. After all, on top of being associated with such high-profile incidents as Dowd’s edible nightmare and two deaths, they’re also perceived to be inherently appealing to children.