420 with CNW — Colorado’s Amendment 64 a Decade Later

It has been 10 years since Amendment 64, which legalized adult-use marijuana in Colorado, was passed and implemented. The proposed constitutional amendment had a number of arguments in support of legalizing marijuana, and we shine the spotlight on some of those arguments to see to what extent they have been vindicated.

One major argument was that by legalizing recreational marijuana, adults who wish to use the substance would purchase it from regulated sources that are licensed and have quality standards to adhere to, unlike marijuana sourced from underground sources that aren’t subject to any regulation. Teen use would also be curbed, proponents stated.

To some extent, results have shown that adults prefer to source their marijuana from licensed outlets since they find these products to be of a better quality than those from black market suppliers. The recent spate of lung injuries (EVALI) have since been linked to contaminate black market vape products, and most cases were reported in states that prohibit marijuana. This seems to suggest that legal markets such as Colorado have shielded users from potentially dangerous or tainted products by availing outlets where licensed producers sell products that meet set quality standards.

According to the data collected during the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey undertaken every two years, it does seem that the rates of marijuana use among teens are declining. For example, 2015 survey data indicates 21.2% of high school students admitted to using cannabis a minimum of one time within the past month, but the 2021 survey shows that the number has dropped to 13.3% of high school students.

These reductions can be attributed to the age restrictions that marijuana retail facilities enforce when selling their products, such as ID verification. In this way, teen access has been curbed and is continuing to go down, if current trends are to continue. In fact, the regulator of the marijuana industry regularly carries out enforcement checks, and their bulletin released in August this year indicates that compliance rates stand at 98% with regard to enforcing age restrictions.

However, the black market still persists, and a number of reasons could explain this. First, illicit suppliers can undercut the prices of marijuana products sold in licensed outlets, and price-sensitive buyers may still opt for those unregulated black-market products. Secondly, since Colorado has neighboring states that haven’t legalized cannabis, illicit operators may use the regulated market as cover for their illegal activities targeting the export market in the neighboring states.

All in all, while legalization has brought mixed results based on the arguments for and against as captured in Amendment 64 put before voters a decade ago, many sceptics such as Senator John Hickenlooper have since had a change of heart and admit it was a good move to end prohibition. This isn’t surprising given that statistics show that nearly 400,000 people are employed in the legal marijuana industry across the country by numerous entities, including American Cannabis Partners, that have set up shop in jurisdictions which allow marijuana to be sold, purchased and consumed by adults.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to American Cannabis Partners are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/ACP

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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