As someone who is an expert on Colorado’s regulatory structure, it goes without saying that when Jordan Wellington talks about the future of cannabis regulation, people listen.

An attorney and the Director of Compliance at Vicente Sederberg, Wellington helps his clients navigate the complex and ever-changing web of cannabis regulation. It’s a job for which he’s well-suited. Most notably, he was the sole staffer in charge of getting legislation through the Colorado General Assembly to implement Amendment 64. Serving as a policy analyst at the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, Wellington helped draft the first rules governing adult-use cannabis. He continues to help shape cannabis policy today as part of the working group tasked with regulating edibles in Colorado.

We recently had a chance to catch up with Wellington at his law firm to get his take on the regulatory future of infused products in America. Here are his key takeaways:

Expect regulations to get tighter in the near term. As successive states have moved forward with marijuana legalization in one form or another the trend has been toward ratcheting up regulation.

Politicians are seeking to be able to say to the public that they have created the most-tightly regulated system — more regulated than anything that has come before. This is especially true in terms of licensing. Wellington notes that Minnesota is issuing a total of five licenses to serve a population similar to Colorado, which has over 1,800 licenses.

In the long term, Wellington thinks the pendulum will swing back as legislators and the public  become more comfortable with the industry.

The focus is going to stay on edibles. Expect stricter regulations on edibles, especially products that resemble ordinary foods as they are more likely to be accidentally ingested.

Other infused products such as lotions, patches, and other topicals are likely to see scrutiny in different areas. Policy makers are beginning to pay closer attention to the ingredients and chemicals going into those products and the efficacy of those products, especially in the medical products and how palliative they are.

Successful businesses stay flexible. The regulatory environment for marijuana changes very rapidly. Wellington notes that Colorado has undergone quite a few revisions to the rules governing edibles, especially in the last year. Businesses who remain nimble and are quick to adapt to a changing regulatory environment are far more likely to survive.

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