Strategies 64 in the News: Politifact

National fact-checking nonprofit Politifact reached out to Strategies 64 partner Mason Tvert for its “Biden Promise Tracker” feature on cannabis policy. Specifically, they sought his opinion on whether President Joe Biden’s recent actions around rescheduling cannabis fulfill his 2020 campaign promise to decriminalize the use of cannabis.

Obviously, marijuana has not yet been “decriminalized,” but as Mason pointed out, decriminalizing cannabis would require an act of Congress, and the administration’s efforts are extremely significant.

“[The administration’s rescheduling proposal] is the most significant action any president has ever taken to roll back our nation’s federal prohibition on marijuana, and it is arguably the furthest any president could go in doing so,” Tvert said.

[M]arijuana policy experts said terminology such as “legalization” and “decriminalization” have historically been used loosely, especially by politicians, suggesting that a move to reschedule, like the one now moving toward enactment, may have been what Biden had meant when he made his pledge.

Tvert, a 20-year professional in cannabis policy, said he interpreted Biden’s promise as one to “revisit the federal government’s existing marijuana prohibition laws,” and that he did so by “directing his departments to reexamine the policy and initiate the process of reevaluating its classification under Schedule 1.” The administration, Tvert said, has “followed through on that.”

Based on interviews with Mason and other marijuana policy experts, Politifact concluded Biden’s promise is “In the Works” because it “represents a tangible step forward, but it is not yet officially enacted.”

Strategies 64 in the News: Colorado Springs Gazette

Strategies 64 partner Mason Tvert was quoted in a Colorado Springs Gazette story about El Paso County’s large number of licensed medical marijuana cardholders.

Although sales of medical marijuana have been declining across Colorado since high use during the pandemic, El Paso County continues to lead the state, by far, in having the most medical marijuana cardholders.

As of March, Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Registry program lists 22,634 patients countywide, according to the state Department of Public Health and Environment.

That’s about 3% of the county’s population and more than triple the amount of medical cardholders in Denver County, which is comparable in overall population. Denver County’s count last month was 7,327 registrants — about 1% of its population.

There’s a simple reason for the numbers, said Mason Tvert, spokesman for Colorado Leads, a cannabis industry organization.

“Colorado Springs has repeatedly refused to regulate the sale of adult-use cannabis, and as a result many people are still relying on medical cannabis cards to access cannabis legally and safely,” he said.

“There are a lot of localities that have not regulated adult use, but they make up a fraction of the state’s overall population,” he said. “Local communities increasingly have been lifting prohibitions and choosing to regulate these businesses and collect the taxes.”

Back to top