Browsing: Legislation

hemp.ben.droz.4Ben Droz

Congress made long-awaited history this week when it put language that would legalize industrial hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill, which President Donald Trump is expected to sign into law.

Colorado, which has more acreage devoted to registered hemp farms than any other state under a pilot program, is better equipped for the predicted boom than most of the country. Appearing in a joint press conference on December 14 outside the cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg, several key members of the Colorado Legislature and the hemp industry shared their enthusiasm over new opportunities opened up by the Farm Bill.

tetra_lounge_glitter_bong_collins20181Jacqueline Collins

Denver’s struggles with regulating social marijuana use have been well documented, but this city isn’t alone in facing such challenges. According to representatives from Alaska and Oregon, cities such as Portland and Anchorage are in the same boat.

During Denver’s annual Marijuana Management Symposium, a three-day conference about pot policy that returned October 31 through November 2, public officials from around the globe gathered in the Mile High City to discuss legal marijuana and its impacts. On top of roundtable chats about business regulations, law enforcement and public-health concerns, the conference offered a ninety-minute discussion about social marijuana use.

the_green_solution_collins20171215_003 (1)Jacqueline Collins

Colorado’s cannabis industry is still changing at a rapid pace. The industry’s watchdog, the state Marijuana Enforcement Division, updates its rules and regulations every year in hopes of catching up with the expanding field, which is growing like a weed in more ways than one.

The MED’s annual meetings aren’t unique to cannabis; plenty of regulatory agencies update their rules each year. But governing a federally illegal industry that is continually developing new methods for ingestion, packaging and product extraction takes a lot of work. That’s why the MED held six stakeholder meetings over the summer and into the fall, with public health and regulatory officials, industry members, law enforcement representatives and other individuals that make up Colorado’s legal cannabis picture.

moffat-google-maps-screenshot-2018Google Maps screenshot

Moffat was a major cattle shipping center along the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad in the early 1900s, but over the past century the population of this town in southern Colorado dwindled, until it now holds barely 100 residents, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

“I think they were counting the dogs and cats when they did that,” says former Moffat mayor Brian Morgan. “Now we need to figure out how to add more housing, because Moffat doesn’t have a lot.”

And why does Moffat need more housing? The small, sleepy town in Saguche County is expecting to welcome new faces now that its town board has approved plans for Area 420, a unique business compound that could bring nine different pot companies to Moffat — which will all share space.

vaping weedJacqueline Collins

Denver may be a leader in regulating recreational cannabis sales, but it’s hard to say the same about recreational cannabis consumption. Despite allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in town for over a decade and retail pot shops for nearly five years, Denver’s attempts to address social pot use have fallen just a few degrees above flat.

To be fair to Denver, the rest of Colorado isn’t exactly diving in, either, and neither are most of the other states legalizing the plant. Denver was the country’s first city to approve a program for issuing consumption licenses to qualified businesses, and one pot lounge is up and running, with another approved business on the way — but the program has its limitations. Approved by voters in 2016, the social consumption initiative was tweaked during its lengthy implementation process, with disputed location qualifications and restricted revenue streams added, to the dismay of the initiative’s proponents.

stoned.driving.anthony.cameraAnthony Camera

Recent Colorado Department of Transportation figures show that stoned-driving fatalities went down from 2016 to 2017 for those over the legal intoxication limit but up in fatal crashes involving drivers who tested positive for any marijuana in their system, whether above the line or under it. Such mixed results are typical according to a new report, which acknowledges that getting firm answers about the risks involved with driving high remains an enormous challenge.

And there are plenty of reasons why.

terrapin-aurora-bud-bar-budtenderJacqueline Collins

A small but growing segment of the medical marijuana market could be kept off shelves in Colorado as government regulators and the pot industry scramble to figure out how to safely produce and monitor cannabis nasal sprays, inhalers and suppositories.

Dubbed “non-conforming products” by the state Marijuana Enforcement Division and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, MMJ products that enter the body by inhaler or other means of nasal, vaginal or rectal administration were taken off dispensary shelves July 1 after emergency rules were adopted by the MED. The timetable for their return is still up for debate.

flr_nr_ww_s_s_5Courtesy of Native Roots

Although most of us think of marijuana as just a plant, it’s actually sold in many different varieties, including flower and extracted concentrates for smoking or vaping, edibles, drinks, lotions and a myriad of other infused products.

The companies that grow the plant and produce these products are strictly regulated, however, and must track every step of the process. So what all goes into this seed-to-sale system? We asked Native Roots, Colorado’s largest dispensary chain, to show us.

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