Colorado Scrambles to Develop Marijuana Policy as First US Cannabis Cup Approaches

DENVER — Colorado lawmakers have determined that they have until April 20th, when thousands will visit Denver for the Cannabis Cup—the world’s preeminent pot-smoking festival—to hash out the details of the state’s new marijuana policy. Colorado’s Amendment 64 Task Force has completed and submitted its recommendations as to how the state should regulate legal marijuana. As the first-ever United States Cannabis Cup approaches, it is up to the legislature, high courts, and the smoke-filled rooms in which negotiators are tasked with implementing the changes.

The Cannabis Cup has been held in Amsterdam every year since 1987, and this 4/20 will be the first time that the event, which is sponsored by High Times Magazine, has been held in the US. It promises growing seminars, celebrity appearances, and hundreds of the most potent strains of weed available.

“One of the first rules I was going to suggest,” said David Blake, a member of the special task force representing the state’s attorney general, “was to outlaw massive international marijuana festivals. But I guess that’s not happening.”

Marijuana tourism is not the only question lawmakers have to decide on. Other issues concern the ideal sales tax rate; if it is too high, consumers will turn to the black market, and if it’s too low, the state can’t finance reform. Then there are questions on driving limitations—i.e., are frequent stoners less affected than occasional users?—safety packaging to keep kids away from brownies and other goodies, and questions regarding methods of tracking marijuana “from seed-to-sale,” which recently were proven insufficient by an independent investigation.

Other issues deal with whether marijuana can be smoked in public, how it must be labeled, and whether or not private companies have the right to fire workers for using a perfectly legal substance.

Finally, after these issues are settled, there is still the question the Cannabis Cup seeks to answer: What is the best, most potent strain of marijuana out there?

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper echoed what seems to be the general consensus at the various meetings and court hearings in Colorado, saying, “We really should’ve figured out the details of this before legalizing the dank.”