Tom Downey: Regulation, Colorado Marijuana & the Next Frontier

  • 05 Jan 2016
  • 11:45 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Brown Palace 321 17th St.

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Regulation, Colorado Marijuana & the Next Frontier

Now that the passage of Amendment 64 is behind us, the difficult work of regulation and litigation is lies ahead of us. Few people could have foreseen the impact that Amendment 64 has had on not only the State of Colorado, but its neighboring states and the nation at large. 

We are in the next frontier of the marijuana issue: what do you do when the electorate votes to approve legalization and this change generates large sums of money for state coffers? How do you regulate this issue in such a way so as to preserve state rights, foster transparent business practices, and ensure public health and safety? 


About Tom Downey

   Tom Downey is a regulatory affairs attorney in the Denver-based business law firm, Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, PC. With his significant experience as both a government official and private attorney,Tom Downey helps his clients navigate all aspects of regulatory law. The majority of his practice consists of advising and representing corporate clients in the administrative, transactional and disciplinary processes related to liquor licensing and legalized marijuana, as well as representing private clients before the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. Further, he sits on the Marijuana Enforcement Division’s Licensing, and Permitted Economic Interest Stakeholder Work Group for Department of Revenue’s current rulemaking process. Previously, Mr. Downey led Denver’s Department of Excise and Licenses, issuing and regulating 25,000 business licenses in Denver in 180 categories. During that time, he redrafted Denver’s Policies and Procedures for liquor licensing and wrote the original Policies and Procedures for Denver’s legalized recreational marijuana licenses. Governor Hickenlooper appointed him to advise the administration and General Assembly on the legislation creating recreational marijuana. He created and ran the Business and Licensing Division of the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. He also served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Business and Licensing Section under A.G. Ken Salazar. His higher profile cases included the Congressional Redistricting, State Reapportionment, the GAVEL Amendment and the Blue Book battles. Mr. Downey routinely teaches Continuing Legal Education courses and gives other presentations on regulatory and licensing law around the country.

Mr. Downey started his legal career clerking for Judge D. Warren Donohue on the Circuit Court of Maryland. During law school, he spent the summer of 1992 in Budapest as a consultant to a founding member of FIDEZ, the first opposition party in Hungary, in preparing to redraft their constitution. He worked for a Congressman prior to law school. Mr. Downey and his wife, Lori Fox, have three young daughters, Cate, Ella and Meg, who are amazing singers and songwriters.


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