Marijuana on display at Colorado pot shop High Country Healing. (Kathryn Scott Osler, Denver Post file)

GOP debate: Pot industry vies for attention; Rand Paul holds fundraiser

BOULDER — Republican presidential hopefuls don’t take the debate stage in Boulder until tomorrow.

But plenty of groups are lining up to tell the GOP candidates what to say.

The events start Tuesday, when former Interior Secretary and Colorado native Ken Salazar joins other Democrats to urge the candidates to talk about climate change and land protection.

A cannabis industry group is offering dispensary tours Wednesday for reporters who haven’t seen Colorado’s marijuana industry up close before the CNBC debate Wednesday evening.

Other groups are planning press events. Some are talking about Latino voter registration, and others are talking about reproductive rights. National debates give activist groups a chance to grab media attention while reporters are in town to cover the debates.

Meanwhile, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is arriving early.

After some campaigning in Nevada on Tuesday, Paul is scheduled to hold a rally on the Auraria Campus in downtown Denver at 4 p.m. It’s home to three colleges — including the University of Colorado Denver.

The first-term senator was considered a major presidential contender earlier in the year but the latest fundraising numbers put him squarely in the bottom tier of the GOP’s 2016 class over the last three months.