When Colorado voters approved a ballot measure to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana in 2014, state officials knew they would have to quickly develop a robust system to safely and securely control the flow of the drug across the state, and they managed to do just that with the help of advanced tracking and data analytics. What Colorado is doing provides an impressive example of an emerging, more effective regulation model.
To deal with the consequences of marijuana's legalization, Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed Andrew Freedman as director of marijuana coordination, and the legislature created the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) in the state's Department of Revenue. MED drew on the state's experience with its preexisting medical marijuana regulations, examining what had worked previously to regulate and inventory controlled substances.