Guest Editorial: Career Move and Milestone Show Marijuana’s Maturation, Move Into Mainstream

By Recker McDowell —

Colorado has now raised $1 billion in state tax revenue from marijuana since legalization in 2014.

Phoenix attorney Nicole Stanton has also announced she was joining Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. as vice president and general counsel. Tempe -based Harvest Health is one of the largest cannabis businesses in the country.

The money in Colorado and Stanton’s move both show how mainstream marijuana has become. Nicole Stanton, the wife of U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton, is well-respected in Phoenix business, political and nonprofit circles.

Her career move shows the evolution and maturation of the medical marijuana industry in Arizona. State voters approved a medical marijuana ballot measure in 2010.

Since then support for medical marijuana has grown significantly in Arizona and nationally. A Quinnipiac University poll earlier this year had national support for medical marijuana at 93 percent and just 5 percent opposed. Even 89 percent of Republicans favored medical marijuana when prescribed by a doctor.

That kind of support is probably only something seen for the Raptors in Toronto or the Patriots in Boston.

Medical marijuana is viewed as a viable option for chronic pain and other conditions and Nicole Stanton’s move shows the businesses in the sector more than legit.

On the legalization front, Colorado and the nine other states where pot is legal have not seen the problems predicted by prohibitionists.

They have seen more tax revenue and the early adopting states show other states how best to regulate and approach the issue when their time might come.