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Kate McKee Simmons

Cannabis’s federally illegal status makes it difficult to conduct licensed clinical research on the plant and products made from it, hampering medical and commercial advancements in cultivation, extraction and ingestion. Colorado legislators got tired of waiting for the feds, and in May passed a bill that allows for state-approved research and development licenses for clinical studies on potency, chemical composition, agriculture and other areas.

Jacqueline Collins

Cannabis consumers in Nevada thought they were handed a small victory earlier this week, after the state’s Legislative Counsel Bureau released an opinion saying that no state law prohibits local governments from permitting pot consumption in businesses. That optimism was quickly diluted by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, however, who said he’s opposed cannabis-consumption lounges from the beginning of legalization talks and will continue to do so. Nevada voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana in November 2016.

Scott Lentz

Changes to Colorado’s cannabis industry are on the horizon. The Marijuana Enforcement Division has been holding meetings for industry stakeholders and government officials in order to iron out the details of recently passed laws and new regulations, and the public is encouraged to attend those meetings and provide input.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Back in April, Governor John Hickenlooper and the governors of three other states that have legalized recreational marijuana sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, urging them to respect the rights of states to pass such measures, and to consult with the states that have been operating under 2013’s Cole Memorandum before making any enforcement changes.

Courtesy of the Dosa family

Editor’s note: The July 25 post “Shawn Geerdes’s Marijuana-Grow Murder Used to Attack Legal Pot” asserted that 18th Judicial District DA and 2018 Colorado gubernatorial candidate George Brauchler had attempted to score political points with anti-cannabis critics by way of post-prosecution statements such as, “Here is yet another violent crime related to marijuana. Whatever benefits there may be from the legalization of marijuana, eradicating violent crime associated with it is not one of them.” Here’s his response.

Westword archive

A recent study published in the Journal of Substance Use and Misuse shows retail marijuana stores aren’t changing the rate of marijuana consumption among children in Colorado. Led by researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus College of Nursing and Department of Community and Behavioral Health, the year-long project studied how the first year of legalized marijuana sales affected the rate of marijuana use among adolescents, and the public’s perception of children’s access to marijuana.

CBS4

During a recent interview with Westword, Smart Approaches to Marijuana President and CEO Kevin Sabet, one of America’s most influential critics of cannabis legalization, offered an unexpected observation about his visits to Denver. According to Sabet, a number of vehicles provided to him by Denver International Airport rental-car businesses over the past few years have smelled strongly of pot. He added that he’s had to exchange rentals multiple times at DIA before he’s been given one that didn’t reek of weed, giving him numerous opportunities to “educate” personnel at the agencies about the scope of a problem he views as positively chronic.

Brandon Marshall

The drafters of Denver’s social cannabis consumption initiative have been vocal about their dissatisfaction with the city’s finalized rules and distance requirements for businesses applying to open a consumption area. Now they’re taking it a step further, threatening to sue the City of Denver if less restrictive rules aren’t put in place.

PBS NewsHour YouTube channel

Colorado’s cannabis industry has been holding its collective breath ever since President Donald Trump nominated Jeff Sessions for attorney general. And since he was sworn in, Sessions, a proponent of the war on drugs, hasn’t been shy about saying that marijuana should remain illegal federally.

In a proactive move, on April 3 the governors of four states with recreational cannabis businesses up and running at the time — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington — sent a letter to Sessions and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, urging that federal officials “engage with us before embarking on any changes to regulatory and enforcement systems.”

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