Colorado Marijuana Regulatory Division and its Epic Failure

pot task force Colorado Marijuana Regulatory Division and its Epic FailureThe Voters of Colorado spoke loud and clear in November 2012 that they want cannabis legal for everyone, not just the ill. However there was a specific division formed in 2011 that would regulate and create the “rules of the game” to tax and enforce these new laws. But with 1,440 Marijuana related business in Colorado and with their application fees and registries something “mysteriously” happened to the money earned. Over the past few days the division claimed that they would need to create “new taxes” to fund and regulate the medical and recreational marijuana due to “lack of funds”. A recent Audit however, revealed just what these “Regulators” were doing with the revenue generated from these cannabis related businesses. Below I’ll post a summarized list of things these Auditors found;
  • The Medical Marijuana Regulatory Division was established in 2010 and was in charge of regulating, taxing and enforcing all cannabis related business from products to cultivation.
  • The Division took 23 months to issue its final licensing decision on new marijuana businesses however 41% of the original license applications were still pending by October when the deadline was August.
  • Some of the applications didn’t “meet standards” and could have been warranted “disqualified” according to the auditors
  • The Division wasted $1.1 Million USD to develop a marijuana plant tracking software but fell short some $400k USD. The Software still isn’t implemented.
  • The division suffered 19 months of Net losses based on poor administration including purchasing furniture, computers for the software and so forth.
  • The Division didn’t follow their own rules of enforcement and didn’t “destroy the cannabis appropriately” (Personally I wouldn’t destroy Cannabis and would rather donate it to caregiver collectives, but hey I don’t make the rules)
  • Some of the Furniture Purchases included; $28k for seven desk extenders, $16k for three cubicles, $4.2K for four office chairs. (Seems like they are “living it large” on Cannabis money)
  • They FAILED TO REPORT $760k of Tax Revenue to the Department of Revenue
  • Due to “Financial difficulties” they laid off most of their workers weakening their infrastructure for Fee collection, administration and enforcement
This audit reveals the incompetence of the Marijuana Regulatory Division of the Medical Marijuana industry and led some legislatures to “question their ability” to regulate the recreational market. To me, it seems that we have crony capitalists trying to milk a fresh new industry dry from all resources mainly due to greed but also undermining the legalization effort as a whole. Accountability should reign supreme and as of now these “ex-prohibitionists” have been having a jolly good time spending money made from this wonderful cash crop. The question that remains; How will this affect the legitimacy of the legal marijuana market when the people who are supposed to “enforce the law” is skimming from the top and pocketing thousands of dollars. $28,000 for seven desk extenders…are you kidding me?
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