DENVER — Colorado marijuana operations are serving as a cannabis classroom for lawmakers across the country.
This week, a delegation of Democrats and Republicans from the New Jersey legislature are spending time in Colorado hoping to learn the successes and challenges facing the industry. Medical marijuana sales are currently legal in the Garden State. Lawmakers are considering pushing legislation allowing for recreational sales.
Democratic state Senator Nicholas Scutari helped organize the trip.
“It looks to be the new gold rush,” said Scutari. “To come here, put boots on the ground, and take a look around and see how it’s going and talk to the people on the front lines of this emerging market is something you can’t replace,” he said.
It’s easy to understand the out of state interest. Colorado’s dispensaries have seen a record setting summer.
In August – medical and recreational sales raked in $126-million dollars. In July, $122.7 million.
Carrie Roberts of Medicine Man Technologies has hosted similar tours of the Denver facility.
“We get to help people in emerging markets be able to replicate that same kind of technology and deployment without having to make those mistakes,” said Roberts.
New Jersey already has medical marijuana.
It’s looking to avoid some of the snarls including how to package edibles and how many plants you can grow at home.
“We’ve learned a lot based on the Colorado experiment which I like to call it. And I want to replicate to some degree and then improve upon it in certain areas,” said Scutari.
As New Jersey ponders what to do next, several western states will decide on recreational sales on election day.