Colorado’s First Year of Legal Pot: An Interview with the State’s Top Regulator

Nearly one year ago, Colorado implemented legalized recreational marijuana. As part of this policy change, the Colorado Department of Revenue was tasked with building and implementing a substantial regulatory system. In an effort to look back at the first year of legalization, I sat down with Barbara Brohl, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Revenue and the top marijuana regulator in the state.

In the interview, we discuss how the rollout has been over the course of the year—an extension on a previous report released by Brookings this summer. In addition, the interview explores the state’s efforts to enact product testing requirements and deal with shifting supply and demand. We also discuss the incentives around medical versus recreational marijuana and why the transition from the medical market to the recreational market—that the state anticipated—never came to be.

Finally, the interview discusses some of the changes to the marijuana market in Colorado, namely the entry of new producers into the system. Director Brohl explains the market and regulatory transition and what it means for the future of marijuana in the Centennial State.

Overall, Colorado has had a fairly successful year rolling out a system of legal marijuana. This interview highlights some of the successes the state has had as well as some of the challenges and problems it has faced. The above interview is part of a longer conversation with Director Brohl that will be available as a podcast in the coming days.

This post was updated on December 12 with the full audio of the interview. Listen to the recording below.