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Meet The Man Who’s Enforcing Colorado’s Marijuana Laws

Jim Hill

At a time when all eyes are on Colorado to see if marijuana regulation actually works, Lewis Koski is taking the reins at the Colorado Division of Marijuana Enforcement.

  The New Year heralded in Colorado’s experiment in selling recreational marijuana. While it’s been heady days for pot customers so far, it’s not quite the wild West for regulation of this burgeoning industry. The division, located within the state Department of Revenue, keeps tabs on all levels of businesses – from edible products’ manufacturers to grow operations to retail stores.

Koski – a former police officer – is the Division’s new director. He was formerly the Division’s chief of investigations. He’s now in charge of an agency that’s experiencing as much growth as the marijuana industry. New offices in Colorado Springs, Grand Junction and one in Northern Colorado are planned, Koski says. That expansion will also require additional investigators.

This year a bevy of new rules for the recreational marijuana businesses will go into effect. They'll layer on possible legislative changes at the state level for how this growing industry is regulated. Plus, new licenses will eventually go out to new retail shops and grow sites. And all of that will be under the purview of Koski's Division of Marijuana Enforcement.

As KUNC’s managing editor and reporter covering the Colorado River Basin, I dig into stories that show how water issues can both unite and divide communities throughout the Western U.S. I edit and produce feature stories for KUNC and a network of public media stations in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Nevada.
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