Marijuana and Cannabis Dispensary News
Legal marijuana sales have been going on in Colorado now for just about two months, and so far the sky hasn't fallen. In fact, it's just the opposite. Marijuana taxes are pumping money into state coffers and (despite high prices) the shops have all operated without any federal intervention.
The Mile High City.
Want to know which ones are open and what they are like? Our friends at the Denver Michael Roberts at the Denver Westword has been compiling a list of all 47 recreational dispensaries in the city so far, including links to reviews of most of the shops themselves. Page down for more.
Be careful what you wish for. That is the lesson being realized today by pro-cannabis advocates and activists in America's Finest City.
San Diego, California
Yesterday, on a nearly unanimous 8-1 decision, the San Diego City Council finally cast a meaningful vote on establishing an official medical marijuana business ordinance in the city, laying down a law on pot shops for the first time since the California Compassionate Use Act, commonly referred to as Prop 215, was passed nearly 18 years ago.
Both Colorado and Washington made history in 2012 by becoming the first two states to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults. But while Colorado-based pot shops have been raking in mile-high profits since implementing the new laws at the beginning of this year, folks in Washington are still waiting for the green light to begin their own green rush.
But not everyone in Washington is excited about the controversial new industry coming to their neck of the woods. Nearly three dozen of the state's 75 largest cities, towns, and municipalities have scrambled to enact ordinances, restrictions, and outright bans to keep any eventual recreational weed stores from opening up in their neighborhood.
As covered by local KING 5 News, a new bill (HB 2144) is in the works that would effectively place a ban on any future bans on pot shops, and it has some city officials hot under the collar.
As of January 1, when recreational marijuana sales officially began, the City of Denver had licensed eighteen shops. The numbers have grown steadily since then. By our January 21 update, fifteen more shops had gotten the city's blessing, and in the couple of weeks since then, another four have won approval, bringing the current total to 37. Michael Roberts lists them all in order of licensing, along with photos, videos, links and excerpts from those critiqued by Westword marijuana reviewer, and Toke of the Town editor, William Breathes.
William Breathes The budroom at #22 on the list, Colorado Harvest Company
When Colorado passed Amendment 64 in 2012, cities across the state were given until October 1st, 2013, to have their own individual rules put in place to regulate the inevitable wave of recreational retail pot shops.
Aurora, Colorado, the third largest city in the state, has no legal medical marijuana storefronts, and feeling the pressure of the impending deadline for recreational stores, enacted a moratorium of up to one year on the opening of any retail outlets either. That was in May of last year.
Since then, the spitballing City Council and the Ad Hoc A64 Committee have made some rather far-fetched proposals to get in on the lucrative legal weed market, even proposing that the city grow and sell its own! But their latest proposal may be the most ludicrous one to date.
In the November elections of 2012, 63% of the voters in Massachusetts approved Question 3, the state's newly proposed medical marijuana law, making the Bay State the 18th state in the nation to legalize ganja use for medicinal purposes. With Connecticut, Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island already respecting patients' rights, and New Hampshire looking to follow in Colorado and Washington's footsteps, all of New England will soon enjoy safe access.
Back in Massachusetts, in accordance with the regulations set forth in the Question 3 medical marijuana law, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health sparked the process this past Friday by granting the first 20 official licenses for prospective storefront medical marijuana dispensaries.
Michigan medical marijuana patients are closer to having legal pot dispensaries again after the state House approved a measure expressly allowing the retail centers to operate. Dispensaries were flourishing in Michigan up until February of this year when a state Supreme Court decided that they were public nuisances.
The House also approve measures legalizing edible forms of cannabis in response to another ruling that said medical marijuana was only legal if it was smoked.
The Garden State has a new legal medical marijuana garden and dispensary opening today. The appropriately-named Garden State Dispensary in Woodbridge is the third dispensary in the state to open since the program was approved and signed into in 2010.
The dispensary, which has been legally allowed to grow cannabis since August in a converted electronics superstore, received their operations license in late November. They've actually been serving a few patients for the last few weeks to make sure things work smoothly, but plan to hold a grand opening ceremony today.
Colorado isn't the best place to grow cannabis outdoors, what with the early falls and cold, dark winters and all. Because of that, medical marijuana dispensaries (and soon recreational dispensaries) grow a large portion of their cannabis indoors.
With that comes the energy costs of running lights, air conditioning and heating and fans, and when you're talking thousands of square feet it can get expensive quickly. One Denver dispensary says they regularly get $21,000 electricity bills and say competitors are facing monthly energy bills of $100,000 or more.
Oregon medical marijuana dispensaries must test cannabis for mold, mildew and pesticides before it can be sold to patients. It seems like a logical move for anyone trying to put out clean product to patients, but so far few other medical marijuana states actually require testing by law.
But exactly how they plan to test and what they plan to test for is still up in the air.