On Drugs

Why legal weed doesn't root out illegal grow-ops

In part two of his Colorado road trip, Geoff Turner leaves Denver and visits Mesa County, where the black market hasn't only survived legalization, it has flourished.

This week, part two from host Geoff Turner's fact-finding trip to Colorado

A marijuana plant is pictured at the Euflora grow facility in Denver. (Geoff Turner/CBC)
Listen to the full episode56:15

On Drugs host Geoff Turner is back in Colorado for part two from his trip to the Rocky Mountain State.

Four years after the U.S. state legalized recreational cannabis, its regulatory system still has its critics. There are some takeaways for Canadian officials, who are due to end pot prohibition sometime this summer.

In this episode, Geoff gets out of Denver and visits Mesa County, where legalization hasn't been fully embraced. In most parts of the county, cannabis retail isn't permitted — still, officials report that the black market hasn't only survived legalization, it has flourished.

The voices featured in this episode include:

  • Andrew Freedman, consultant & former Colorado director of marijuana coordination
  • Lee Molloy, one of the founders of  International Church of Cannabis
  • Frank Whidden, country administrator, Mesa County
  • Glenn Gaasche, resident agent-in-charge, Grand Junction DEA field office
  • Jake Sheridan, activist and entrepreneur behind Grand Junction marijuana club
  • Wanda James, pot activist, and entrepreneur
Mesa County, unlike other parts of Colorado, has not welcomed legal cannabis. In most parts of the county, retail marijuana operations are note permitted. (Geoff Turner/CBC)