Colorado, Washington relaxing marijuana oversight

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The states continue to warm up to marijuana

In a standard reaction to a highly controversial subject, both Washington State and Colorado took an overhanded approach to marijuana governance when the states legalized consumption. The idea behind the stance was to ensure that the Department of Justice wouldn’t need to get involved and, to date, it hasn’t. Now, what was seen as overregulation on the part of lawmakers is being backtracked and both states are easing up on marijuana laws.

In Colorado, for example, local licensed businesses can now have up to 15 out-of-state owners and there is a push to allow ownership by publicly traded companies. Additionally, background checks could be decreased, helping to open up the industry more.

Washington lawmakers want to ease financial restrictions and lighten up on rules violations. Soon, the possibility of losing a license due to poor record keeping could be a thing of the past. As in Colorado, there is the possibility that out-of-state ownership could be allowed, but there’s a catch – workforces would have the legal right to unionize if they so choose.

Greg James, the publisher of Marijuana Venture in Washington, states, “There’s a saying in the business world: ‘Pioneers get slaughtered, and settlers get fat.’ These rules have made the entire industry very inefficient. We’re going to get left in the dust unless we change some things pretty quickly.”

Now that marijuana is becoming more acceptable, local governments can take a different approach toward legalization. Just like the Wild West days saw overhanded law enforcement, as different industries evolve and mature, it becomes possible to relax oversight. Fortunately, this is now happening with the marijuana industry, but there is still a long way to go.