This week, the University of Colorado Law School held the first installment of its annual Boulder Summer Workshops series, where top scholars convene to share innovative research on legal issues against the scenic backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. This summer’s series kicked off May 21-23 with the second Colorado Food Law Faculty Workshop, where prominent scholars from across the nation had the opportunity to discuss current issues in food law and receive feedback on their research in the area.
Associate Professor Alexia Brunet Marks, lead organizer and host of the workshop, conducts research in international economic law, food law, and civil litigation. With a PhD and MS in agricultural economics, Brunet Marks has received doctoral fellowships from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation.
While Brunet Marks’ own work is decidedly global in perspective, she planned this year’s workshop in part to focus on issues closer to home, with two panels of presenters exclusively from Colorado.
Colorado, and Boulder in particular, is a leader in many food law innovations, including the tax on sugar sweetened beverages that Boulder voters recently authorized. Another area where Colorado leads the way in food law innovations is the marijuana edibles industry, which faces unique challenges, Brunet Marks said.
“[Marijuana] is the most regulated entity in the state of Colorado today, so when you talk about labeling and the things that they have to go through, you’re talking about extremes,” Brunet Marks said.
The interdisciplinary nature of the workshop will allow attorneys and professionals from other fields to find commonalities in their food law work. Non-attorneys, including Jody Beck, a professor and researcher from the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning, will contribute to the conversation.
“You get to have these conversations with new innovators about new issues and new challenges, and broaden your perspective,” Brunet Marks said.
In addition to discussions on food justice, food sustainability, supply chain challenges, and labeling issues, workshop attendees had some free time with potential to tour a marijuana infused edibles bakery. Brunet Marks also took willing participants hiking, inspiring good conversation and creative thoughts during one of the many beautiful trails outside of Boulder.
Participants in the Food Law Workshop included:
Upcoming Boulder Summer Faculty Workshops: