Cannabis Industry Leaders Respond to 60 Minutes Report on Colorado Legal Marijuana Industry

DENVER, Nov. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — DCG (, the nation’s leading cannabis industry consultancy, responded to the recent report titled, “The Pot Vote,” which aired on the CBS News program, 60 Minutes, and focused on the town of Pueblo, Colorado.

Denver Consulting Group, which has an executive team comprised of some of the biggest names in the legal marijuana industry, took issue with the information presented in the report, which they say was biased and unsubstantiated.

The 6o Minutes correspondent was Dr. Jonathan LaPook, who is also known for developing a medical management software package that he sold in 1999 to a company later acquired by the owners of WebMD. He interviewed Dr. Steven Simerville, a pediatrician at Saint Mary Corwin Medical Center in Pueblo, who supports a ballot initiative to ban recreational cannabis because he says he’s noticed more babies being born with THC in their system.

60 Minutes gave just passing mention that Dr. Simerville’s observations were anecdotal, not scientific, but proceeded anyway to state, “In the first nine months of this year, 27 babies born at this hospital tested positive for THC. That’s on track to be about 15 percent higher than last year.”

What the report failed to mention, is that in 2015, the center treated almost 3-times more newborns with intrauterine opioid addiction as it did the year prior.  Nor did the report mention that according to the United States Census Bureau, the overall population of Pueblo County has grown in recent years.

“Perhaps illicit drug use is the bigger issue here,” Justin Jones, Co-Founder of DCG commented. “Since drug use is often attributed to economic hardship, it should be noted that the legal cannabis industry has created 1,300 new jobs and more than 60 new businesses in Pueblo,” he said. “A more important story would be on the town’s opioid addiction, which legal cannabis can also help solve.”

60 Minutes also stated, “Research suggests babies exposed to marijuana in utero may develop verbal, memory and behavioral problems during early childhood,” although no specific studies were attributed.

The report failed to mention that numerous studies conclude that the active compounds in cannabis are actually neuroprotective. The National Institute of Health published a research study that stated, “Cannabidiol, THC and other cannabinoids are potent antioxidants. Cannabidiol was superior to both alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E) and ascorbate (Vitamin C) in (neuro) protective capacity.”

Moreover, a study published in Science Daily, concluded that low doses of marijuana can halt brain damage. It stated, “Cannabis has neuroprotective qualities, protecting the brain from long-term cognitive damage.”

More compelling is that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a patent on cannabis compounds covering the use of cannabinoids to protect the brain from damage or degeneration.

Furthermore, a major study recently concluded that in there has been no increase in teen use of cannabis in Colorado since legalization in 2014.

“DCG and everyone in the legal marijuana industry takes child safety very seriously,” Greg Gamet, Co-Founder of DCG said. “However, the best way to make cannabis as safe as possible is through legalization and regulation,” he added. “We are appalled that 60 Minutes would allow anyone to make statements without scientific backing. Moreover, the report failed to mention the plethora of research supporting the medicinal value of cannabis.”

Equally upsetting was the slanted portrayal of the marijuana black market. Sheriff Kirk Taylor said in the report, “I can tell you the black market is alive and well and thriving. In fact, it’s exploding.”

60 Minutes failed to report that according to the Colorado Department of Public Safety, “The total number of marijuana arrests decreased by 46% between 2012 (pre-legalization) and 2014 (post-legalization),” and as a share of total arrests, marijuana related offenses fell by 50%.

While 60 Minutes will have you believe otherwise, the legalization of cannabis has taken it out of the black market and into a regulated and taxed system, which has caused a significant reduction in statewide marijuana arrests, as well as a sharp decline in the black market.

The 60 Minutes report also did not include a single interview with a Pueblo County Commissioner. Sal Pace, a Pueblo County commissioner, recently told the Denver Post that county voters overwhelmingly approved the constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana sales, and that it was good for business.

“We’re seeing a significant economic boost” from marijuana businesses, accounting for 60 percent of new construction permits and $3 million a year in taxes.

“We absolutely don’t want to see mothers using THC when they’re pregnant,” Pace said. But if Pueblo bans recreational marijuana sales, “these jobs and tax revenues will just go to another community. I don’t think we can afford to turn away these jobs and tax revenues.”

Why we spoke up

Denver Consulting Group has assembled the cannabis industry’s most experienced team, with leaders from virtually all sectors, including grow operations, retailing, distribution, packaging, law, human resources, business management, and real estate.

“There is nothing more important than the integrity and the reputation of the legal cannabis industry,” Jones said. “So when a report from a widely viewed news organization comes out that is purported to be factual, but is filled with unsubstantiated claims and opinions, we feel it is our duty to comment and correct the record.”

For information on Denver Consulting Group’s Cannabis Consulting Services, call: 720-890-7344, or visit:

About Denver Consulting Group (DCG)

Denver Consulting Group (DCG) is the nation’s premier cannabis consulting service, helping marijuana businesses get established, stay compliant, and thrive. Services include license applications, location permitting, build-outs, grow optimization, training, and SOPs. The company also provides regulatory audits powered by CannaScore – the gold standard in compliance assurance.

Denver Consulting Group employs a team of marijuana industry pioneers, including leading dispensary operators, cultivation experts, cannabis-lawyers, regulatory board advisors, and the winner of the Cannabis Industry’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” Award.

DCG has offices in Denver and Portland, and serves clients nationwide.



Twitter: @dankconsulting


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