February was the Colorado cannabis industry’s lowest-selling month in a year, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue, but that wasn’t surprising, given overall trends since recreational marijuana was legalized. Medical marijuana sales figures, however, might be more significant.
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Hot on the heels of a groundbreaking lawsuit over Salmonella-tainted kratom that targeted a Colorado Springs store, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has announced the recall of assorted products made from the popular but controversial pain-relieving herb. But while the ostensible reason for the recall involves the fear of Salmonella contamination, the CDPHE acknowledges that no illnesses have been reported in connection with the lot numbers in question, and the Food and Drug Administration statement highlighted in the CDPHE announcement focuses on the dangers of kratom in general, suggesting the possibility that broader seizures of the product might be in the offing.
Colorado wound up in the center of the kratom story last October, when the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment prohibited its sale for human consumption. A few months later, the federal Centers for Disease Control and the FDA warned about a “multi-state outbreak of Salmonella infections” that had sickened 28 people across twenty states nationwide.
Last August, when veteran reporter Peter Marcus announced that he was leaving the ambitious ColoradoPolitics.com project he’d helped launch the previous year in favor of a communications-director position with the rapidly growing marijuana dispensary chain Terrapin Care Station, he stressed that he wasn’t leaving journalism behind, and that he planned to start a website that would mix original stories with posts intended to counter misinformation being spewed by pot enemies.
That site, TheNewsStation.com, is now live, and included among offerings that Marcus says “promote the positive business and economic impact of the cannabis industry” is a section in which he tears apart what he sees as marijuana “fake news.”
Advocates pushing to include autism spectrum disorder in Colorado’s list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana took a small but victorious step forward last night, April 5. But those who supported adding acute pain to the list weren’t as successful.
After over five hours of public testimony and deliberation, a House committee voted in favor of a bill that would add ASD to the state’s list of conditions treatable by medical marijuana. Introduced by Representative Edie Hooton, HB 1263 will now go in front of the entire House for consideration.
Cannabis enthusiasts aren’t top of mind when people think about scholarly go-getters, but the American Chemical Society doesn’t buy the stereotype. The nonprofit organization, which turns 141 years old today, April 6, founded its Cannabis Chemistry Subdivision in 2015. Now, it wants more brains to get in the mix.
Keith Villa was working at Coors Brewing in 1995 when he created an unfiltered, Belgian-style beer that became the inspiration for the Blue Moon Brewing Company, which got its start as a special division in Golden and soon spread to locations at Coors Field and then RiNo. When the brewmaster retired from what’s now MolsonCoors early this year, he hinted that he had a plan to create a new beverage with “cutting-edge” ingredients.
And now we know what those are: Villa and his wife, Jodi, have partnered with an established Colorado cannabis extraction lab to start Ceria Beverages, a new line of THC-infused drinks with the “same onset time as alcohol,” according to a press release announcing the company’s launch.
Colorado’s cannabis industry has new competition from California and other states, but that hasn’t seemed to affect sales here. According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, dispensaries collected nearly $118 million in January 2018, up more than $10 million from the same month last year.
When President Donald Trump implemented the sweeping 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, most of America wasn’t concerned with how it’d affect the legal cannabis industry.
But a recent study from New Frontier Data, an analytics firm serving the legal cannabis industry, predicts legal pot would generate $105.6 billion in tax revenue over the next eight years and create 654,000 jobs under Trump’s tax overhaul — if it were legalized nationwide.
Denver accounted for a major portion of the $1.5 billion worth of legal cannabis sold in Colorado in 2017. Over a third of the state’s total sales were made in the Mile High City, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue. The DOR breaks down revenue data monthly for each county; totaling the take from last year, Westword determined that dispensaries located in Denver County sold $577.5 million worth of cannabis and cannabis produces in 2017.
Advocates often say that legal marijuana has the potential to combat America’s opioid crisis, but anti-pot groups are claiming just the opposite. In a recent letter sent to legislators in states with forms of legal marijuana, drug-prevention organization Drug Free America claims that pot use is associated with an increased risk of abusing prescription opioids and warns against using medical marijuana to treat opioid-use disorder.
Despite numerous media reports on marijuana’s role in declining opioid deaths in states with legal pot laws, DFA says people are losing sight of the big picture. “The marijuana lobby is pushing states to expand medical marijuana access to include opioid use disorders. The evidence that increased access to marijuana has reduced opioid overdose deaths however is weak and shortsighted,” the letter reads.