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tetra_lounge_glitter_bong_collins2018 (1)Jacqueline Collins

The conversations around social equity in the Colorado cannabis industry may have started late, but a new category of business licenses could help expand diversity in this state’s pot industry.

When Governor Jared Polis signed Senate Bill 224 last month, he approved a long list of updated cannabis-industry regulations. Among SB 224’s many changes to the commercial pot industry was its creation of accelerator business licenses, reserved for people from low-income areas of Colorado who want to start their own cannabis business but don’t have industry connections or access to funding. Known as micro licenses around the industry, they would allow startup businesses to use the facilities of established pot companies as they research and create their own cannabis products, which they would completely own.

04202018_bruce_polis_420_0040 (1)Kenzie Bruce

With a few strokes of his pen, Governor Jared Polis ushered in the most change to Colorado’s marijuana landscape in a single day since voters approved recreational pot in 2012.

Inside a sweaty, packed governor’s office at the Capitol on Wednesday, May 29, Polis approved bills that legalized social marijuana consumption, commercial delivery and opened the state’s pot industry up to public investors, as well as measures that significantly overhauled and expanded both the medical and recreational marijuana sectors.

jenny-gold-and-julie-christine-facebook-Courtesy of Jenny Gold

High heels can get uncomfortable, but Jenny Gold misses the pain of walking around in them all day. The soreness was minuscule compared to her current agony, likely brought on by a tick while Gold was visiting Mexico over twenty years ago with college friends.

“You have to have a positive attitude with Lyme disease, because the people that don’t will not make it very long. There’s a lot of suicides because of the pain,” she explains. “Some people with heart problems don’t make it. So many different things can happen to your body with it.”

img_3863Jacqueline Collins

Coloradans voted for major change in November 2012, when they approved Amendment 64 and legalized recreational cannabis. Now Colorado lawmakers have approved changes that will prove almost as momentous.

Measures opening the state to social pot use and commercial cannabis delivery, as well as approving new medical conditions for medical marijuana, all passed the Colorado General Assembly this session. But even more changes could come through less sexy bills that address sunsetting laws in the state’s medical marijuana program and pot industry. These bills would create new business licenses, along with new opportunities for medical marijuana access; regulations would be eased for cannabis business owners and employees alike.

international-church-of-cannabis-foundersWestword

The fight between the International Church of Cannabis and the City of Denver may finally be over, but which side really won? Over two months after one of the church’s co-founders, Steve Berke, was found guilty of public pot consumption violations for his role in a 2017 4/20 party, another church co-founder was found not guilty of the same charges.

Lee Molloy — who, along with co-founders Berke and Briley Hale, was charged with allowing public pot consumption and violating the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act during the church’s inaugural 4/20 party in 2017 — was found not guilty by Denver County Judge Johnny Barajas on Friday, April 19.

carl_s_jr._rocky_mountain_high_cbd_cheeseburger_delightCourtesy of Carl's Jr.

You don’t need to smoke a joint or play hooky to celebrate 4/20 anymore. Just hit up a certain Carl’s Jr. in Denver that is testing CBD-infused burgers all day on Saturday, April 20.

Available only on 4/20 at the Carl’s Jr. located at 4050 Colorado Boulevard, the Rocky Mountain High CheeseBurger Delight will come topped with a mayonnaise-based Santa Fe Sauce infused with 5 milligrams of CBD. The CBD oil, derived from hemp, is provided by Colorado company BlueBird Botanicals.

joe-neguse-cory-gardner-neguseCourtesy of the office of Congressman Joe Neguse

Senators Cory Gardner and Elizabeth Warren just reintroduced their States Act today, April 4, in hopes of guaranteeing states the right to choose their own marijuana policy. The two may seem an odd pairing, but Democrat Warren represents Massachusetts, where recreational cannabis is now legal, and Republican Gardner has pushed the feds before to observe Colorado’s laws regarding marijuana.

Representatives Earl Blumenauer and David Joyce have introduced the bill concurrently in the House, and the measure is expected to be heard by a House committee within weeks, according to House Rules Committee chairman Jim McGovern, who’s bullish on its chances.

tetra_lounge_glitter_blunt_collins2018Jacqueline Collins

A bill that would allow social cannabis consumption in Colorado dispensaries, hotels, cafes and other businesses passed its first test on Wednesday, March 27, when it moved out of a House committee on a 7-4 vote.

Recreational cannabis use has been legal in Colorado since late 2012, but it’s only allowed in private dwellings and establishments, with “open and public” pot consumption banned by the state constitution, despite Amendment 64 being billed as a measure to “treat marijuana like alcohol.” Past legislative efforts to create a licensing system for social consumption businesses have failed, but sponsors of House Bill 1230 are confident of their chances this year.

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.

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