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Colorado BBB Starts Accreditation for Cannabis Businesses

Marijuana operations will have the same opportunities as other industries


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The cannabis industry already is legal in Colorado, but it’s just taken a big leap toward legitimacy. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) now offers accreditation to marijuana businesses within its 12-county service area in the state.

 “It is BBB’s role to help people find businesses they can trust in the greater Denver and central Colorado community,” BBB President and CEO Kim States says. “The cannabis industry makes up a significant portion of our economy, and it is critical for us to promote self-regulation and marketplace trust within this industry.”

Colorado Amendment 64 created a legal recreational cannabis industry, and the BBB wants marijuana businesses to have the same chance for accreditation as other legally operating entities within the state.

To get accreditation, also known as membership, a business must meet the BBB’s “Eight Standards of Trust.” Businesses must apply for this and maintain a code of ethics to remain in good standing. All businesses, regardless of industry or accreditation status, are subject to the same BBB rating criteria and complaint process.

BBB has joined forces with Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) in the Colorado Department of Revenue to ensure the cannabis businesses are vetted, including verifying their licenses and sharing information about complaints and other concerns.

"This new initiative to accredit marijuana businesses through the Better Business Bureau is proof-positive of both the legitimacy and the rapid growth of the commercial marijuana industry in our state,” says Mike Hartman, the Colorado Department of Revenue’s executive director. “MED shares BBB's commitment to protecting consumers in Colorado by setting standards for marketplace trust and protecting public health and safety of all Coloradans. This is another way to better serve the people of Colorado."

BBB’s decision to offer accreditation for cannabis businesses was in part based on input from those in the industry. Businesses dedicated to producing clean quality cannabis products and a positive shopping experience for both medical and recreational users feel the move to accreditation adds long-desired legitimacy to their industry. The BBB helps consumers to trust both the product they consume and the business providing it, and many marijuana companies seeking BBB membership hope that more companies will join them to take advantage of the benefits.

“For us it’s about perception,” says Mike Erdman, operations director at Mountain High Suckers, which makes THC- and CBD-infused candies. “We’ve always been honest people doing an honest day’s work and providing an honest product, and this brief glimpse of normality in BBB offering accreditation provides legitimacy we are desperately trying to achieve. It’s an important step forward.”

Consumers can look up cannabis businesses at bbb.org to find Accredited Businesses and see what other consumers in the marketplace have experienced. BBB does not make any claims or judgments regarding the efficacy or quality of actual cannabis products, but instead—as with other industries—handles complaints about marketplace interactions and assigns each business a letter grade based on several factors. BBB also suggests that consumers look into not only their rating, but other available information about a business.

ABOUT BBB: BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. All BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB business profiles on more than 5.3 million businesses, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust.  Please visit www.bbb.org for more information. 

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