Rocky Mountain High (2013): Last November, Colorado became the first US state to legalise cannabis. As other states look set to follow suit business may be booming, but there’s a dark side to the ‘silver bullet’ of legalisation.
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Ginger mango dew drops, rice crispy and chocolate truffle may all sound more like children’s sweets than cannabis treats, but they’re the entrepreneurial inspirations of Tripp Keber, a man unashamedly looking to cash in on cannabis legalisation. “I’m not here wearing a Bob Marley T-shirt. I do not have dreadlocks in my hair. I’m business.” With everything from marijuana medical centres to cosmetics, food and drinks, it’s easy to see why other states like DC and Illinois are keen to follow Colorado’s suit. According to lobbyist Matt Brown, the city of Aurora in Colorado, “has missed out on hundreds of millions of dollars of investment”, because it didn’t follow Denver’s suit in legalising the drug. But that’s only one side of the story. Aaron Huey, who runs a rehab centre for addicted teens, is fiercely critical of the legalisation. “I never had this number and never at this time of year. This is the first time I’m experiencing this. So is it getting worse? Our numbers say so.” With big alcohol and tobacco companies said to be watching closely and some predicting federal legalisation within ten years, is dope America’s newest big business opportunity?
SBS Australia – Ref. 5933
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