Sen Coram is in the news a lot these days when it comes to cannabis and we get a mention in their editorial too!
Republican state Sen. Don Coram abuses his role for personal gain. Imagine what he might do if Colorado’s Congressional House District 3 puts him in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Coram, in his mid-70s, wants the Republican nomination for U.S. House District 3. He’s challenging U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert — a champion of small businesses, and the middle and working class. In the unlikely event Coram succeeds and later wins the general election, expect him to spend time and effort crafting federal legislation to enrich himself.
In the Colorado Legislature, Coram’s self-enrichment schemes are so obvious they belong in a low-budget conspiracy flick. Examples:
• Coram used his public office to work with Democrats to push seven pieces of hemp-friendly legislation. That would be fine, except all seven bills paved the way for his large hemp business to generate millions.
• Coram voted for a new crowdsource funding method for Colorado startup companies. Then he held a state Capitol news conference and used Facebook to encourage crowdsource investments in hemp. He failed to tell the audience the investments would personally benefit “me.”
• Coram met with U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in 2018 to ask for hemp-friendly federal legislation. Three weeks later, Bennet co-sponsored the Hemp Farming Act of 2018.
• When the federal government legalized hemp in December 2018, Coram contracted with a CBD company for “around $50,000 per acre” and anticipated more than 500 acres of production. That’s $25 million, after using his political authority to make it all possible.
It doesn’t stop there. Coram’s hemp products are known to contain unlawfully high levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. That means consumers might get high without expecting it.
When three Denver business executives bought hemp from Coram’s Paradox Ventures hemp company, they found the product high in THC and refused to pay for it.
An internal complaint to government regulators, along with Certificate of Analysis reports, “shows that the executives believe Paradox sold them HOT hemp way over the legal level of .03% THC,” explains the Cannabis Law Report.
“Cannabis Law Report has reviewed at least seven Certificate of Analysis reports issued by Aurum Labs a 3rd party vendor for Paradox Ventures from 2019 that showed THC levels of up to .59%,” the law report says. At .3% of THC, hemp classifies as a Schedule 1 narcotic.
Coram wanted payment nonetheless, so he used his political influence to ask the Colorado State Department of Agriculture and the Montrose County district attorney to get the buyers charged with felonies for a civil dispute.
Coram is at it again this month, trying to craft legislation to financially benefit himself.
Coram signed on as a sponsor of Senate Bill 205, “concerning the regulation of cannabis-related products that may potentially cause a person to become intoxicated.”
He had a personal financial interest in controlling a bill that would regulate his high-THC projects. Coram tried to move the bill in his direction by insisting on stacking the regulatory commission with representatives of the hemp industry.
When he didn’t get his way, Coram said it was unfair “to me” and removed his name from SB 205. For political gain in a conservative congressional district, he blamed his dilemma on marijuana producers — of which he is one based on multiple Certificate of Analysis reports.
“It’s not often you find yourself in the situation where your principles are conflicted. That’s what’s happening to me today,” Coram said.
It’s all about him and his profits, and he doesn’t do much to hide it. This politician is in a constant conflict of interest. Instead of recusing himself from conflicts of interest — from votes that line his pockets — he creates them. When it doesn’t go his way, and bad things happen “to me,” Coram says he’s “conflicted.”
It might be legal, but it is corrupt. The last thing Colorado needs in the U.S. House is a man who made a fortune by passing legislation.
The Gazette Editorial Board