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Andrew Freedman lost his job in January, but it wasn’t because of poor performance. In fact, the Colorado director of marijuana coordination was let go for just the opposite reason: He’d been hired to implement the state’s framework of rules and industry regulations for recreational marijuana, and he’d done such a good job that the state was eliminating the job entirely.

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Thirteen people associated with Hoppz’ Cropz stores in Colorado Springs, including co-owners Joseph Hopper, also known as “Joey Hops,” and Dara Wheatley, nicknamed “Boss Lady,” have been indicted on charges that they illegally distributed nearly 200 pounds of marijuana in a variation on the sort of “free” pot giveaway schemes that date back to the days before and just after the launch of legal recreational cannabis sales.

Masterpiece Roofing and Painting

It only takes one hailstorm to see how competitive the roofing wars can get in Denver, with companies offering hundreds of dollars in gift cards and rebates in order to persuade homeowners to spend their insurance money with them. But one local roofer is plying his trade with another Colorado pastime in order to get a higher return, offering customers $500 in weed if they buy a new roof from him.

hempTree Free Hemp

For the first time, hemp paper is being produced in Colorado from seed to sheet. Loveland’s Tree Free Hemp has been producing hemp paper since 2013, but until this year, it’s been getting the fiber from other countries. Now the entire process is local.

“It’s grown in Colorado, it’s processed in Colorado, it’s manufactured in Colorado, it’s printed in Colorado. It’s truly homegrown,” says Morris Beegle, a former concert promoter now focused on promoting hemp through the Colorado Hemp Company, which he founded in 2012, and the NoCo Hemp Expo.

freedmanpodiumKate Simmons | Toke of the Town

Andrew Freedman is moving on from his position as Colorado’s Director of Marijuana Coordination, Governor John Hickenlooper announced on January 5.

Freedman will still be involved with the cannabis industry and constructing policy: He’s launching a consulting firm, Freedman & Koski LLC, which will advise state and local governments on the implementation of marijuana legalization. (The firm’s website is already live, and packed with pot info.)

After working as Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia’s chief of staff from 2011 to 2013, Freedman became the campaign director for Yes on 66: Colorado Commits to Kids; from there, Hickenlooper hired Freedman to head up the state’s marijuana coordination office.

freedmanpodiumKate Simmons | Toke of the Town

Andrew Freedman is moving on from his position as Colorado’s Director of Marijuana Coordination, Governor John Hickenlooper announced on January 5.

Freedman will still be involved with the cannabis industry and constructing policy: He’s launching a consulting firm, Freedman & Koski LLC, which will advise state and local governments on the implementation of marijuana legalization. (The firm’s website is already live, and packed with pot info.)

After working as Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia’s chief of staff from 2011 to 2013, Freedman became the campaign director for Yes on 66: Colorado Commits to Kids; from there, Hickenlooper hired Freedman to head up the state’s marijuana coordination office.

reschedulingLindsey Bartlett

In November, Massachusetts voters approved recreational marijuana; that state was supposed to start legal sales in January 2018 — but now that date has been pushed back at least six months.

Personal possession, use and cultivation of cannabis became legal in Massachusetts on December 15, but last week state lawmakers voted to push back the licensing of any recreational stores until July 1, 2018.

This means that while possession in Massachusetts is legal, the sale of marijuana won’t be for at least eighteen months.

img_9559Kate Simmons | Toke of the Town

Andrew Freedman spends his days neck-deep in cannabis. As the director of the Governor’s Office of Marijuana Coordination for Colorado, he knows the ins and outs of just about everything about the drug and how it relates to the state. We just sat down with him to discuss, among other things, Denver’s social-use initiative and how the state will be involved in implementation, how states that legalized marijuana in November are building on Colorado’s model, and where he thinks Colorado businesses might expand next.

Today you’ll have a chance to ask Freedman your own questions during our Facebook Live interview with him at 2 p.m. But first, our own Q&A:

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Randy Ankeney was once a rising star in the Colorado Republican party, only to become a pariah after being found guilty of numerous sex crimes. However, he now has the opportunity to impact the state in a completely different way. A complaint he brought about alleged prisoner-release violations by the Colorado Department of Corrections is headed to the state supreme court, and if it’s successful, his attorney, David Lane, says it could result in potentially thousands of inmates who’ve been incarcerated too long being freed — including marijuana prisoners. Denver Westword has the full story.

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While the United States military continues to frown on its soldiers’ use of marijuana, the Italian army is planning to puts its troops to work in the cannabis fields to cultivate medicine for patients throughout the nation. In addition, the country announced earlier last week that it will release nearly 10,000 inmates that have been incarcerated due to outdated pot laws — making Italy the latest nation to impose sensible drug reform.

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