The Green Solution has become one of the largest cannabis retailers in the country, with twelve dispensaries open now and three more expected to debut this summer. Now its location in Silver Plume, a town with a population of less than 200 people, is about to become the first of its kind: a marijuana outlet store.
Legalizing medical and recreational marijuana may have seemed like the end of a long journey for consumers, but it was just the beginning of a vigorous regulatory obstacle course for advocates, lobbyists and industry members. As state and local governments continue to “build a plane as we fly it,” to quote former Colorado marijuana czar Andrew Freedman, Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division wants your input during its next round of stakeholder meetings – but only if you know your shit.
Initially content with viewing the commercial cannabis experiment from the sidelines, the City of Thornton banned dispensaries back in 2010. That all changed last August, though, when the Thornton City Council lifted the ban and began considering applications for recreational pot shops.
A town of more than 136,000 people, according to U.S. Census estimates, Thornton has approached its burgeoning cannabis sector with more trepidation than Denver did, allowing just one dispensary in each of the city’s four geographical quadrants. The council approved its fourth and final applicant in April, setting the stage for open recreational dispensaries as early as late summer.
Colorado is used to seeing marijuana sales tax dollars spike in April, thanks to the 4/20 holiday on April 20, but that wasn’t the case this year, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue.
Sales tax data from the regulatory agency responsible for overseeing the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division shows that Colorado’s 10 percent retail marijuana sales tax brought in slightly over $8.1 million statewide in April 2017, over $1 million more than the $6.94 million collected in April 2016 — but $2 million-plus less than what March brought in this year.
Barak Rigbi brings the Vie vaporizer up to his lips, draws in a breath and, in his deep Israeli accent, explains: “This is my world. For the past two and a half years, my world has been around this. We want one thing. For this to be enjoyable and satisfying.”
The Vie was developed in Denver, where for almost three years Rigbi has worked on a vaporizer that smokes flower and concentrates, and can be sold for a reasonable price. “Let’s start a revolution,” promises the company’s website
It’s easy to buy pot in Colorado –– but not that easy. Federal law still prohibits mailing marijuana, and that was one of the red flags when two online marijuana retailers claiming to mail their products to purchasers were reported as scams to the Better Business Bureau of Denver.
You could get marijuana delivered to your home in L.A. since at least the days of Cheech & Chong. But, despite California’s legalization of medical cannabis in 1996, the essential activity of having someone bring it to you has been pretty much illegal in the city of Los Angeles.
The app-based delivery service Speed Weed learned that the hard way last year when the City Attorney’s Office announced the firm would cease to exist within our borders. Of course, that hasn’t stopped other tech-based companies from keeping delivery alive in L.A. And now, ironically, state and city officials have revealed proposed regulations for medical pot that would legalize delivery, particularly the kind allegedly practiced by Speed Weed.
Loose-ends legislation from Gov. Jerry Brown’s office proposes that delivery be allowed so long as the driver is connected with a licensed brick-and-mortar dispensary. That dispensary wouldn’t have to be a storefront; it could exist simply to serve delivery customers.
Scott Pack has been indicted by an Arapahoe County grand jury for what attorney Matthew Buck has called “the largest fraud case in the history of Colorado’s marijuana industry.” Buck, who filed a lawsuit in the matter earlier this year, says the grand jury’s findings tie Pack to what prosecutors describe as a massive operation that grew marijuana for distribution outside Colorado and previously led to the indictment of sixteen people, including Pack associate Rudy Saenz. Among those reportedly indicted along with Pack is Renee Rayton, a former officer for the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division.
Ladies, unhook your bras. The Ganja Goddess Getaway is coming to Los Angeles (well, Palm Springs, but it’s basically the same thing at this point right?).
Founded by two powerhouse women in the cannabis industry, this women’s-only overnighter is intended to celebrate sisterhood, tear down the walls of inhibition and put cannabis to use as a “creative and spiritual tool.” Four weekends a year, at outdoorsy locations in both Northern and Southern California, this weed-centric trip brings together 75 to 100 ladies for glamping, dancing, yoga classes and a little “Puff, Puff, Craft” time. You can take a hike in the desert, a dip in the hot tub, or get your tarot cards read, all in the name of “radical self-love.”
One morning this spring, about two dozen L.A. cops arrived at a large marijuana grow facility with a battering ram. Without knocking, and armed with what the business owner called “full-on assault rifles, like something from a movie,” the owner said police proceeded to bash on the entrance.