A group of Florida citrus growers announced Monday a campaign to encourage Colorado residents to ‘Choose Juice’ and forego cannabis products.  The Florida Citrus Coalition claims that cannabis use has impeded the ability of Colorado residents to reason clearly, and has led to an unhealthy, confounding rippling in the state’s social fabric.  Coalition members believe citrus can help.

The opportunity both to bolster its mountain west market and to address a social ill, “really proved irresistible,” said Bonita Ryan, Director of the Coalition.  “It was pretty much a no-brainer,” she said. “When we put a proposal to our members, they were instantly on board.  Our growers are, to a person, committed to the principle that ‘good works means good business’.   

“We see a light of righteousness and clarity shining behind the haze of marijuana smoke in Colorado,” said Ms. Ryan, “We’re confident that citrus products can help to clear the clouded minds of Coloradan cannabis users and bring them back to their natural senses.  We believe it’s no coincidence that since the legalization of cannabis Colorado, frankly, has drifted toward social disintegration and chaos.  

“We know from our experience here in Florida that citrus products clear the mind and strengthen conviction.  We hope our ‘Orange Is The New Green’ campaign will encourage Colorado to follow Florida’s fine example.  Get your head out of the clouds, Colorado: the Orange Army is coming.”  

The coalition plans a range of incentives and actions to support its campaign.  Growers and processors will offer citrus products to Colorado distributors at a 15 percent discount through early November. In addition, the coalition will roll out a public awareness campaign touting the benefits of citrus.  “We’ll be putting juicy billboards up along I25 and I70 in Denver,” Ms. Ryan said, “and we’re looking at prominent naming opportunities.  But not at Coors Field.  They already have a pretty cool name.”

Juice vendors offering ‘boost juice’ will work kiosks on 16th Street in Denver, Pearl Street in Boulder, and Colorado Avenue in Telluride, among other locations, aiming to lure cannabis users away from smoke shops, CBD stores and dispensaries. Ryan said the coalition hopes that “users will become juicers” through such methods.  “We believe that the clarity offered by citrus will not only improve the lives of those who formerly relied on cannabis for relief, but will enable them to more carefully consider all their choices going forward,” she said.

Cannabis purveyors are not convinced.  They point to strong customer satisfaction,  medical validation, soaring demand, and “a general mellowing of the state,” according to Doug Stipple, owner of The Pot Stop in Denver. “We are not afraid of the orange people,” he said. “Let them come.  We can add CBD to orange juice too, you know.”

Peter Winter, owner of Plotkin’s Gummies in Grand Junction, wasn’t concerned.  “Look, this ridiculous campaign is not going anywhere.  We know our customers.  We’re innovating by the nanosecond to provide the soothing products Coloradans are looking for. Easy, safe, affordable, and above all, tasty.  We expect sales to grow forty percent this year.  And depending on the election, we could see a huge bump after November.”  

Additionally, grower Stephen Tyler of Longmont expressed doubt about the motivations of the Citrus Coalition.  “It can’t be a coincidence,” he said, “that just when Colorado is coming to its political senses, a bunch of Floridians get interested in selling citrus to the state.  I think, you know, that if you add orange to purple, you start to swing back toward red, if you get my meaning. Orange oranges aren’t the only orange thing these people are pushing here.”

The Citrus Coalition’s Ms. Ryan strenuously denied any political intentions. “Absolutely nothing to it,” she said.  “Our goal is to bring orange joy to everyone.  This has nothing to do with politics.” Grower and coalition member Dolphus Wrestle said, “We just want what’s best for Colorado. And frankly, what’s best for business. It’s simple: we have a better, healthier product that will help bring Colorado out of its funky fog.  And it can be shipped across state lines.”