Medical marijuana dispensaries aren't the only California businesses Colorado loves

Did you know that today is officially Colorado Loves California Day? No joke.

Well, actually, it sorta is one.

This is the second year that Colorado has proclaimed its lust for the Golden State -- the idea being that if we suck up to Cali, businesses there might expand here. And it's already happening: The preface to Governor Bill Ritter's proclamation, on view below, notes that DaVita moved its corporate HQ from there to here, and companies such as Charles Schwab and SolarCity have branched out in these parts. Although, strangely, there was no mention of a real growth industry: medical marijuana.

Not long ago, California, and specifically Los Angeles, was held up as an example of how not to regulate the medical marijuana industry.

However, Representative Tom Massey's bill uses Cali's nonprofit approach to dispensaries. And a number of prominent marijuana-related enterprises that got their start on the Left Coast plan to open up here, including Greenway University, whose CEO and founder, Gus Escamilla, has announced his intention to build the "premier worldwide medical marijuana training facility" in the Denver area.

Then again, California ganjapreneurs don't need Colorado to kiss their asses in order to inspire them to put down roots here; they're coming in droves anyhow. As for other businesses, here's Ritter's wacky pitch.


Gov. Bill Ritter has proclaimed Friday, Feb. 12, 2010, as "Colorado Loves California Day" to help increase Colorado's brand awareness to companies and executives in California as part of a Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. marketing campaign.

"With such a marketable state -- among the best in terms of a desirable place to live -- it is important that we send that message to those around the country and world," Gov. Ritter said. "Colorado is home to a globally recognized New Energy Economy and ranks among the Top Five in aerospace technology production and concentration of people with college degrees. We also are home to unparalleled natural beauty, and we believe that promoting this message to others is a great way to inspire growth in business and in jobs."

This is the second year the Metro Denver EDC has undertaken the campaign, a multitier marketing initiative to build on Colorado's brand awareness and promote company expansion and new job creation in the state.

Included in the Metro Denver EDC's package is a light-hearted Valentine's Day-themed ad campaign, which will place ads in the business section of the L.A. Times, and send custom valentines and chocolates to Fortune 500 and cleantech Californian executives. In addition, the campaign will feature song dedications on select radio stations about Colorado.

Expansions by California companies into Metro Denver over the past year include the corporate headquarters relocation of DaVita, and expansions by Charles Schwab, SolarCity, SunRun and Intuit, as well as an announcement by SPG Solar of its intentions to locate a regional office in Metro Denver.

Below is the text of the proclamation:


WHEREAS, Colorado and California are both hotbeds for innovation, creativity and cutting-edge research, and have a unique relationship - sharing companies, technologies, venture capital and customers; and

WHEREAS, Colorado and California have similar growth industry clusters, including aerospace, bioscience, energy and high-tech; and

WHEREAS, Colorado has had great success in recruiting California companies looking to expand their operations in our state, and attracts much of its venture capital from California investors; and

WHEREAS, Colorado and California both lead the nation in innovative ideas about energy and the environment, and these ideas, along with the foresight and passion our citizens possess, have allowed New Energy Economies to take shape in our states, including cleantech investment and growth; and

WHEREAS, Californians love many of the same things Coloradans do, including active lifestyles, outdoor recreation and plenty of sunshine; and

WHEREAS, Colorado is often the next place Californians call home, as California is the top state in the nation for in-migration to Colorado;

Therefore, I, Bill Ritter, Jr., Governor of the State of Colorado, do hereby proclaim February 12, 2010,


in the State of Colorado.

GIVEN under my hand and the Executive Seal of the State of Colorado, this ninth day of February, 2010

Bill Ritter, Jr. Governor

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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