U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, for whom a prominent marijuana protection legislative amendment is named, has won the Democratic gubernatorial primary in Colorado. He will face State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, a Republican, in November’s general election.
“President Donald Trump, marijuana and big money are expected to dominate November election,” as the Denver Post put it, teasing a volatile campaign trail between now and November.
For the state’s growing cannabis industry, Polis’s win is a positive sign. He has been a vocal supporter of the legal, regulated cannabis space, and his campaign canvassed dispensaries in the run-up to the primary.
Polis recently co-sponsored the STATES Act, which would legitimize state-legal marijuana laws in the eyes of the federal government. The McClintock-Polis amendment, which has yet to earn formal approval in Congress, would achieve the same ends.
“It’s an honor to be the Democratic nominee for Governor of Colorado,” Polis wrote on Facebook following the election. “This would not have been possible without all of your help. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us to transform our bold, positive, inclusive vision for our future into reality—and it starts with bringing home another victory for the people of Colorado this November. We will need your help in the days ahead, but know that tonight I couldn’t be prouder to be in this fight with you. Let’s get to work.”
Stapleton won the Republican gubernatorial primary. He has been less clear on the matter of Colorado’s legal marijuana market. “I don’t think a repeal is a realistic option, so as governor, I will work with the industry and stakeholder groups to make this work,” he told Westword in April. “We need to have better guardrails in place to keep it out of the hands of children and to address some of the unintended consequences we have seen develop.”
Gov. John Hickenlooper is term-limited and ineligible to run for reelection this year.
Top photo courtesy of Adobe Stock