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Marijuana CEO Warns States Considering a Legal Marijuana Market to Do Their Homework

Marijuana CEO Warns States Considering a Legal Marijuana Market to Do Their Homework

DENVER, CO  October 20, 2014

As Alaska and Oregon consider joining Colorado and Washington State in the outright legalization of recreational marijuana for adults, Ryan Fox has some words of advice for pro-cannabis activists in those states and elsewhere in America: make sure your regulatory framework is in place, or prepare for chaos.

Fox is founder and CEO of The Grass Station, one of Denver’s first recreational marijuana dispensaries.

The Grass Station also gets more than 50 percent of its sales from out-of-state tourists, many who are looking for the chance to experience and enjoy marijuana without the fear of criminal prosecution. And Fox has been watching the pro-marijuana movement that’s been spreading across the U.S. with a mixture of enthusiasm and concern.

Fox credits Colorado’s pioneering laws on the growing, sale, distribution and regulation of legal cannabis for creating the state’s successful marijuana industry – a system that currently brings in tens of millions of dollars in state revenue.

One important factor in this success, according to Fox, is that Colorado’s laws were established well before the legalization of recreational marijuana earlier this year. And that regulatory structure has given the Centennial State a major advantage.

“I think the cannabis industry here in Colorado is on a sharp and steady increase on a daily basis, until another, bigger state comes online,” he says. “And when I say online, I mean has a truly functioning set of regulations that guides and directs its industry.”

Even if Oregon and Alaska voters decide to legalize cannabis in the November mid-terms, many marijuana advocates are already looking ahead to the 2016 elections – when at least four more states, including California, are expected to vote on cannabis legalization.

And if the recreational use of marijuana becomes legal in California, long considered the center of the nation’s marijuana culture, many advocates say that victory could become the “tipping point” in the decades-long campaign towards national legalization.

But Fox warns advocates that winning an election is just the beginning, and not a guarantee that a state’s marijuana industry will succeed.

“In 2016, if California just legalizes cannabis and doesn’t put any structure or regulatory framework in place, it’s going to be a joke,” he adds. “But if they pay attention and they do put in a regulatory framework, and they do the things that Colorado did and try to improve on what Colorado has done, then I think California will end up taking over from Colorado as the prime cannabis tourist destination.”

But in the interim, with its centralized location, vibrant tourist industry and a track record of success, Colorado appears to have a virtual lock on the U.S. cannabis market.

“Until a bigger state than Colorado comes on-line functionally, and with well-planned cannabis regulations,” Fox adds, “I think Colorado’s where it’s at.”


Denver’s premier recreational dispensary first opened its doors in 2009, and over the years has maintained its widespread reputation as the source for top-quality cannabis, served up in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Customers expect and get friendly and knowledgeable service from The Grass Station’s staff. Its quality-tested products not only conform to state and local regulations but are kept to the highest possible standards of purity and potency.

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