Pot-policy party: International delegation tours dispensaries, talks regulations

Denver, now a leading location in the legal pot trade, is promoting its expertise to a 50-person international delegation this week.

Marijuana is becoming a booming business here, and with a majority of U.S. citizens finally embracing legalization, international collaboration will help cement this high-plains city as the place to look when more states and nations decide they need help writing pot-trade rules that work.

Officials from Colorado and Washington have already met with legislators and policymakers from Uruguay, Mexico, Brazil and Canada. The delegation was co-hosted by the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the Drug Policy Alliance.

The group toured some of Denver’s dispensaries and cultivation facilities, trucked from place to place by a bus. According to organizers, the delegation toured Medicine Man, River Rock, and Livwell dispensaries, among others. They also met with the Marijuana Enforcement Division at the Department of Revenue.

“This comes on the back of a couple of weeks ago a trip to Montevideo by Colorado state officials,” said Hannah Hetzer of the Drug Policy Alliance. “After the Coloradans were down in Montevideo, they invited the Uruguayans to Colorado.”

Three Coloradans made the trip to Uruguay in September: Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Revenue Barbara Brohl, state Representative Dan Pabon and marijuana lawyer Christian Sedeberg. Officials from Washington were invited to Montevideo, but because they were drafting legislation, they were unable to attend.

A press conference about the delegation’s visit in Colorado will be held at RiverRock dispensary at 3 pm this afternoon. The international speakers from the delegation are major marijuana policymakers in their countries. They include Congressman Julio Bango, who has been instrumental in crafting Uruguay’s legalization laws, Congressman René Fujiwara Montelongo of Mexico’s New Alliance Party, and Canada’s House of Commons member Libby Davies. They’ll talk with Brohl and Jack Finlaw, chief legal counsel to Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The press conference will end as the Drug Policy Alliance’s International Drug Policy Reform Conference begins. The conference anticipates over 1000 worldwide attendees will converge in Denver to talk about the changing face of global drug policies.

[ Image via bergerbot ]