Businessman Doug Robinson running for governor of Colorado

Doug Robinson is running for governor of Colorado in 2018.

He's a former investment banker and Mitt Romney's nephew - and he's joining a crowd of half a dozen others vying to be your new governor in 2018.

At 55, this is his first run for office, despite his impressive connections in the Republican party. The race is already crowded; at last check, Robinson is one of 14 people already declared - with another dozen or so possible before the primaries next year.

He stopped by the Next studio to speak to Kyle Clark about his aspirations for office, and a way to raise pot tax revenue while reforming the medical marijuana business.

The top bullet point on Robinson's website deals with medical marijuana reform and getting the tax revenue Coloradans were promised before the passage of Amendment 64. Despite $500 million already going to tax programs since its passage, Robinson believes more revenue is possible.

His plan? To "fix" the medical marijuana industry. His platform points to the spike in those holding a red card - what's required to get medical marijuana in Colorado - since marijuana's legalization.

At this time, it's not clear how many med cards were obtained fraudulently. He would like those people to pay for recreational marijuana like everyone else.

When asked why he's making a promise to raise revenue without having any concrete numbers, Robinson countered that he's not making any promises.

"I'm saying this is a problem that we should address," Robinson told 9NEWS. "They have the right to do [use marijuana]. Let's have them pay the taxes that we thought they were going to be paying."

Robinson also had an important hand in Smart Colorado, an advocacy group looking to protect youth from underage marijuana use and limit the amount of THC in cannabis.

 Even so, he's stressed he has no intentions of relitigating Colorado's Amendment 64.

"So, 55 percent said we want this, so it's here - it is not a matter of whether it's legal, it is a matter of getting what we were promised," he said. "Making sure that the taxes we thought we were going to collect, we do."

Robinson also argued against politicians taking money from Big Cannabis - a sharp break with his potential Democratic opponent, Congressman Jard Polis whose said he welcomes money from the marijuana industry.

 "This issue is still too important to our state to be able to be influenced by one side or the other," he said.

As a Republican, Robinson said he looks up to the governors of North Dakota and Arizona - both former businessmen without any political experience who ran and won in their states.

"They're both individuals who were successful in business and never involved in politics before - first-time candidates - got elected and are really getting things done," he said.

He said he hopes that ability to problem solve will resonate with the voters and separate him from the busy field for governor.

Robinson also commended President Donald Trump on his decision to nominate Coloradan Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. 

When it comes to things he disagrees with the president about, however, all he mentioned was tone: 

"My style is more to embrace people," he said. He did add he'd like to see Trump get more of his agenda accomplished. 

Watch the full interview with Next's Kyle Clark above.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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