I can confidently report that no one was murder, tortured, kidnapped or mutilated to send a message at the Cannabis Business Summit in Denver. Also I didn’t witness anyone being given the choice of the “silver or the lead” to take a bribe or face death. It was mostly middle-aged businessmen in khakis networking and talking about equipment specifications.
Business rivals were able to peaceful attend the same panels and share pleasantries. To the extent any of the conference attendees were trying to “eliminate” their competition, it was through the legal market-based means of better price, marketing and customer service. If you didn’t know better you might mistake it for a convention of craft brewers.
It is almost like the violence and corruption that has been linked to the illegal marijuana trade is the result of it being forced onto the black market and has nothing to do with the inherent properties of the plant. As soon as the plant was legalized, the new legal industry for it behaves just all the other regulated industries. The problem was clearly the prohibition, not the flower.
You would think learning this lesson once already with alcohol would be enough, but apparently just one big historic example wasn’t sufficient for many so we need to repeat it.
Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy