The city and county of Pueblo have embraced the legal cannabis industry moreso than most other Colorado municipalities. Pictured: Marijuana plants grow under sunlight in Pueblo County on Sept. 3, 2016. (Vince Chandler, The Denver Post)

This emboldened Colorado city says it will now build the National Marijuana Museum

'The citizens of Pueblo County have spoken, and their message is clear': A citizen-organized group will kickstart the planning for the National Marijuana Museum

While a group of citizens in Pueblo attempted to kill the city’s burgeoning recreational marijuana industry, their attempt to ban all retail licenses failed on election day — and now the city’s cannabis industry and their partners say they will build the National Marijuana Museum in the southern Colorado city.

“The citizens of Pueblo County have spoken, and their message is clear,” said Jim Parco, who is the No-on-200 campaign’s spokesperson, an economics professor at Colorado College, owner of pot shop Mesa Organics and a Pueblo native. “They have seen the positive impacts that the regulated, retail marijuana industry has had in Pueblo County.

“We were the first to legalize, regulate and tax adult-use retail marijuana, and now, the first to decisively defeat prohibitionists in a do-over vote. With our community’s rich history tied to marijuana, it is only fitting that the National Marijuana Museum should be located here — to be owned by the people, for the people.”

A citizen-organized group will kickstart the planning for the National Marijuana Museum in Pueblo, according to a media release. The group said future announcements will be made via its Facebook page.

Branson Haney, CEO of veteran home-builder Legacy Homes of Pueblo, will steer the community-based steering committee, according to the release. According to his online bio, Haney is the chairman of the board for the Colorado Association of Home Builders, a past president of the Pueblo Association of Home Builders and an ongoing builder representative for the National Association of Home Builders. He received his MBA from the University of Denver.

“With now more than 30 states having legalized marijuana, we have entered a new era where society is finally acknowledging that the benefits of legalized cannabis far outweigh the costs,” Haney said in the release. “With Pueblo County as the leader in the national legalization effort, it is now time to lead the effort on improving education and knowledge of marijuana’s rich history — scientifically, socially and culturally. And we’re going to do it right here in Pueblo, Colorado.”

The city and county of Pueblo have embraced the legal cannabis industry moreso than most other Colorado municipalities — with 420-friendly legislation that includes one of the state’s only permits for the outdoor commercial cultivation of marijuana.