Officials respond to AG Sessions’ regulatory concerns in Colorado


Pictured: Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman

Colorado officials Gov. John Hickenlooper and Attorney General Cynthia Coffman responded to Attorney General Jeff Session’s letter which questioned the legitimacy of Colorado cannabis program.

Both officials said the state handled public safety and health very seriously in terms of the Colorado cannabis program and worked diligently to build comprehensive regulatory practices to reflect it.

The letter sent by AG Sessions was identical to the letters sent to Alaska, Oregon and Washington, which also decried the public safety of their legal cannabis programs. The governors of each state suggested the Justice and Treasury departments maintain existing cannabis enforcement guidelines and leave the enforcement up to the states.

Sessions challenged the four states with dated drug studies and claimed they failed at keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors, preventing drugged driving, and stopping cannabis from crossing state borders.

In his response, Gov. Hicklenlooper said federal cooperation with legal cannabis states are essential. Both Hickenlooper and AG Coffman used detailed data and examples of how Colorado responded to the four public health concerns Sessions raised.  They also suggested cannabis business access to the federal banking system and data collection systems.

“We stand ready to work with our federal partners to fortify what we have built,” Coffman and Hickenlooper wrote. “We are confident that if we work together, we can maintain a responsible regulatory and enforcement model that protects public safety, public health and other law enforcement interests.”