Pueblo, Colo. (March 31, 2017) —In response to recent anti-cannabis moves by ProPuebloCO, The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) has released a statement:

Kevin Gallagher, Board Member, Cannabis Business Alliance stated: “Efforts against the legal marijuana industry in Pueblo are incredibly misguided. Pueblo’s best days are ahead, not behind. Pueblo has seen a significant economic boost since the legalization of cannabis, accounting for 60 percent of new construction permits and $3 million a year in taxes. In November 2016, Pueblo voters rejected two repeal initiatives, and local dignitaries and officials should respect the will of the citizens of Pueblo. To group the legal cannabis industry with illegal grows and increase in heroin use is misguided and simply lacks legitimate evidence. As misinformation swirls around the increased rates of homelessness in Pueblo, the Cannabis Business Alliance would like to extend an invitation for a meeting with Pueblo officials and stakeholders to address the issues at hand and discuss how the legal cannabis industry can contribute to a better future for Pueblo. We hear the concerns of Pueblo officials and are interested in possibly bringing forth state legislation next session that allocates either a percentage or a specific monetary amount from the marijuana tax cash fund to these areas of concern, especially to the cities that are investing in the cannabis industry. We completely agree that marijuana money should be allocated to public health to improve overall community welfare.”

The group attempting to rally opposition consists of key sectors who are seeing theirs profits cut by the legalization of marijuana. Pueblo is safer with legal cannabis, which is regulated and which licenses business owners and employees who must have clean background checks and submit fingerprints to state and FBI to participate in the industry. Pueblo has become an agricultural powerhouse in Colorado, supplying 30-40 percent of the state’s cannabis product utilizing up to 6 million sq. ft. of cultivation. The legal cannabis industry has meant economic successes for Pueblo by way of jobs. There is no evidence that commercial marijuana pushes away other types of businesses and, indeed, cities with commercial marijuana are seeing property values increase, a large influx of out of state visitors, and new residents pouring money into these communities and attracting all kinds of additional employers and industries. The regulated cannabis industry also provides economic opportunities to non-industry citizens, such as contractors, ultimately putting funds into hands of working class citizens who are not directly employed within the industry.

Each day more confusion spreads about the trends in homelessness. People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness are empowered to live full lives of their choosing, everyone deserves a home and access to needed services. The Cannabis Business Alliance is open to working with policymakers and practitioners in Pueblo to discuss the issues related to homelessness and to help transform the lives of people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

The new cannabis industry has helped revitalize Pueblo, an area that has long struggled economically; thus, improving the overall reputation of Pueblo as a place to do business. There are more than 1,300 Pueblo County jobs in the industry and almost $4 million in annual tax revenue has gone to college scholarships, 4H and Future Farmers of America efforts, and medical marijuana research at Colorado State University Pueblo. These advances in spurring forward a new, international industry create a future for Pueblo and a reputation that is recognized for its innovation, ingenuity, and industrialism.

For more debunking the myths about Pueblo and cannabis, visit http://cannabisalliance.org/news/2016/10/18/debunking-the-myths-around-pueblo-ballot-measure-200.

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