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New U.S. attorney general creates concern in Colorado's marijuana industry

Posted: 4:58 PM, Feb 09, 2017
Updated: 2017-02-10 02:15:24Z

DENVER -- The budtenders are busy inside the Starbuds dispensary on Evans Avenue in Denver. Colorado’s green rush is still strong.

But those on the front lines wonder if their success could soon wilt as the nation’s new attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is sworn into office.

“Colorado was one of the leading states that started the movement. That suggests that marijuana is not dangerous,” said Sessions in a 2016 hearing. “Good people don’t use marijuana,” he said.

His remarks caught the attention of dispensary owner Brian Ruden.  He owns seven Starbuds shops in metro Denver.

“Everyone in the industry, in the marijuana industry, is concerned,” he said. “He could possibly send a letter to all the state governors and say, ‘Get rid of the marijuana in your states or we’ll take action.’”

Even though pot sales are illegal under federal laws, under the Obama administration, the feds looked the other way.

Yet with Sessions now in charge, there is fear among those in the marijuana business that sales could be stopped all together.

That could impact schools in our state that benefit from millions of dollars in tax revenue. The entire economy could suffer.

“There are thousands and thousands of jobs that rely on the marijuana industry indirectly.  Electricians, plumbers, warehouse space -- all things are impacted by the industry,” Ruden said.

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