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Hickenlooper Defends Colorado’s Pot Industry Against Gov. Christie Remarks

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DENVER (CBS4) – The governor of Colorado is defending his state’s pot industry against comments made by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Christie made the comments during an interview on the radio station NJ105.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (credit: CBS)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (credit: CBS)

He said, “For the people who are enamored with the idea of the tax revenue from this, go to Colorado and see if you want to live there. See if you want to live in a major city in Colorado where there are head shops popping up on every corner. And people flying into your airport just to get high. You know, to me, it’s just not the quality of life we want to have here in the State of New Jersey and there’s no tax revenue that’s worth that.”

Gov. John Hickenlooper dismissed those comments along with Sen. Michael Bennet after an event for Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network at the Denver Art Museum. Blackstone is a $4 million initiative to help small businesses grow in Colorado.

Hickenlooper invited Christie to visit Colorado to see for himself what the quality of life is here.

Gov. John Hickenlooper (credit: CBS)

Gov. John Hickenlooper (credit: CBS)

“I’m not surprised that we have a certain amount of jealousy from other governors. We accept that as part of the payment for success,” said Hickenlooper.

The governor’s office references several studies which put Colorado at the top in the country for quality of life as well as business climate and innovation.

“I don’t want to drag Chris Christie’s name into it but I grew up, when I was little growing up and having spent my summers on the beaches of New Jersey. I love New Jersey. My wife comes from the Pine Barrens, a beautiful part of New Jersey, true Americana. But they’ve got their own challenges in a variety of ways. Colorado, 300 days of sunshine, four of the top 10 start-ups in the country. I don’t think pot has anything to do with why so many entrepreneurs want to be here,” said Hickenlooper.

Sen. Michael Bennet (credit: CBS)

Sen. Michael Bennet (credit: CBS)

“I guess the governor has never been to Colorado. Only someone who has never been here could say the things that he said. What this state is, potentially, is the leader for all 50 states is inventing the future for the United States for our economy,” said Bennet, a Democrat.

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