How to Regulate Marijuana in Colorado

July 17, 2018

By Jacqueline Corba

Marijuana sales in Colorado in 2018 are expected to eclipse the $1.5 billion brought in last year.

And that booming market brings with it more products, a reality that the state's newly appointed Director of Marijuana Coordination, Dominique Mendiola, says presents a challenge for regulators.

"[The] industry is progressing rapidly, and with that we have to work to proactively have these discussions as we are identifying new issuesー the development of new products from beyond marijuana that is smoked or eaten," Mendiola said during an interview with Cheddar's CannaBiz. "It is a challenge, but the engagement we have with stakeholders has been really valuable in helping us navigate those issues."

Mendiola, appointed earlier this month by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, entered the state's legal marijuana industry in 2014, joining the Department of Revenue Marijuana Enforcement Division as Deputy Director. Last year, the state's cannabis-related businesses generated nearly $250 million in tax revenue.

She stressed the importance of working with stakeholdersーnot against themー in an ever-evolving market.

"The industry continues to grow, every legislative session we see the establishment of new license types," she noted.

Ultimately, Mendiola said her goal in office is to expand coordination across the nation and, more broadly, the globe.

"We want to continue to evaluate ways that we can support local law enforcement, and ensure there is coordination between state agencies and local law enforcement. We have had over time greater communication with the federal government, and we think that is really important."

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