Colorado was the poster child for legal marijuana in the United States. It took a bold stance, and decriminalized something instead of trying to clamp down harder on draconian legal punishments. The result? A glut of cases left the criminal justice system, huge amounts of tax revenue flooded into the government’s coffers, the economy rocketed up, tourism increased, and a slew of other benefits all fell right into Colorado’s lap. While several states have followed this example, and reaped benefits of their own, the marijuana business wasn’t perfect; not by a long shot.
According to the Huffington Post, though, Colorado’s governor eliminated some of the problems entrepreneurs were facing by eliminating the need for a surety bond.
More People Can Now Open Dispensaries?
If you don’t know what a surety bond is, or why it matters to Colorado’s marijuana-based businesses, here’s the break down. Before a dispensary could open its doors to do business, it had to pay a $5,000 fee to a bonding company in order to get a surety bond. That bond was essentially a guarantee that the dispensary would follow the law, and acted as a kind of red tape insurance policy.
However, dispensaries often had to pay this fee several times over depending on where they were located. Worse, there were bonding companies who wouldn’t issue surety bonds, because selling marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, and the bond companies didn’t want to risk getting caught up in criminal charges if there was a federal crackdown.
So the governor, in order to make opening dispensaries easier, eliminated the need for these bonds in his state. This legal change was meant to level the playing field, and to take down one of the barriers entrepreneurs face when trying to build a legitimate business in Colorado. How well the change works, and what its long-term consequences will be, remain to be seen. For small business owners, though, the change has come as a welcome relief.
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