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dadanddudeDads & Dudes Breweria

For the past three years, Mason Hembree has been working on a difficult balancing act. He’s a craft beer brewer who feels more at home in the cannabis industry, a Libertarian iconoclast who is nevertheless trying to work within the system, and the owner of a tiny company who wants to play ball with the big boys.

Now, Hembree, who co-founded Dad & Dudes Breweria in Aurora in 2010, may have finally found the perfect nexus of those things. In late February, Hembree and his father, Thomas, sold their brewery to San Diego-based Cannabiniers, a company with big plans for growth.

incredibles_marijuana-bud-plant-collins2018 (1)Jacqueline Collins

Colorado’s marijuana industry could open its doors much wider to corporations and underrepresented demographics in ownership if two legislative measures pass this year.

A bill that would allow publicly traded companies to own Colorado marijuana business licenses and lessen investment restrictions passed its first committee hearing in the state legislature Monday, March 4, while State Representative Leslie Herod is expected to push another bill later this year addressing social equity in the pot industry.

hemp-farm-drozBen Droz

When House Bill 1286 passed last year, advocates thought it would mark the beginning of a new era for children who use medical marijuana. So far, though, they’re still waiting.

The bill expanded on a 2016 law that allowed child patients to take their MMJ medication at school. That law required that the medication be administered by a child’s MMJ caregiver, usually the parents. The newer measure — known as Quintin’s amendment, in honor of nine-year-old epilepsy patient Quintin Lovato in Eagle County — allows school personnel to also administer medication, to help patients faster and ease the burden on parents. The proposal passed through the state legislature by relatively wide margins.

However, of the 178 school districts in Colorado, we found just one district that has implemented the policy so far, and it allows school personnel to administer only CBD medication. That district is Eagle County Schools, the district Lovato attends.

incredibles_marijuana-bud-plant-collins2018 (1)Jacqueline Collins

Denver no longer has the distinction of being the only major city with retail marijuana dispensaries, but that hasn’t stopped weed from flying off the shelves here. This city has seen almost $2.4 billion in marijuana sales since the first retail dispensary opened on January 1, 2014, according to our calculations based on Colorado Department of Revenue data.

fox.street.wellnes.buds.bud.bars_slentzScott Lentz

It came down to the last month of the year, but 2018’s dispensary sales ultimately edged out the previous year’s total for Colorado. According to the state Department of Revenue, Colorado pot shops have sold over $6 billion worth of legal marijuana since retail sales began on January 1, 2014.

For the fifth year in a row, annual dispensary sales reached a new record.

shatter.marijuana.concentrate.lindsey.bartlettLindsey Bartlett

Neal Levine, a longtime member of the Colorado marijuana industry who’s now the CEO of the national Cannabis Trade Federation, sees the case for THC potency limits on marijuana concentrates recently made in this space as a Trojan horse for gutting the industry.

“When you start talking about potency and it’s not based on science, it sounds like reefer madness, the next generation,” Levine says.

mason_jar_spring_dabbing-collins-2018 (1)Jacqueline Collins

A recent report from a Colorado organization devoted to keeping children away from marijuana advocates for potency limits on cannabis products, which continue to get stronger and stronger.

“This is very different from marijuana in the 1980s,” says Rachel O’Bryan, co-founder of Smart Colorado, whose mission statement notes that the outfit “engages and informs Coloradans on the risks that marijuana poses to youth.” As a result, she maintains, “it’s a fundamentally different game.”

captiol-marshall2015 (1)Brandon Marshall

The City of Denver’s marijuana conviction expungement program is online and ready to roll, according to the mayor’s office as well as the district and city attorneys, who collectively announced the news today, January 9.

Dubbed “Turn Over a New Leaf,” the campaign took a year and multiple city departments to implement and aims to dismiss and expunge thousands of convictions for marijuana crimes that are no longer illegal as of 2012, when Coloradans approved recreational marijuana.

hemp-field-campout-2018-lirette (1)Danielle Lirette

Hemp is where it’s at right now, especially in Colorado. Legal cannabis is cool and all — and we welcome Michigan and Vermont to the recreational party in 2019 — but that’s so 2015 in this state.

More about substance than style, industrial hemp’s many uses were finally recognized by the federal government in December, when President Donald Trump officially legalized it by signing the 2018 Farm Bill. Now that the plant is out from under the shadow of the Controlled Substances Act, it’s regulated by the Department of Agriculture and legal to farm in all fifty states.

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