Browsing: Legislation

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.

Jacqueline Collins

What a difference four years makes. In 2014, Oklahoma and Nebraska were suing Colorado in federal court for this state’s decision to legalize recreational marijuana, but now the Sooner State is starting to catch up to Colorado’s affinity for the plant — and in some cases, even surpass it.

On Tuesday, June 26, voters approved Question 788, making Oklahoma the thirtieth state in the country to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. The measure passed with 57 percent approval, and is being lauded by MMJ advocates for its broad-reaching nature. Unlike the large majority of states with MMJ programs (including Colorado), Oklahoma would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for any condition they see fit.

usamappotKate McKee Simmons

An amendment attached to a federal finance bill that would have provided the legal marijuana industry with banking protections was stifled on Thursday, June 21, by a U.S. Senate committee. The measure, introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, would have shielded financial institutions and banks that open accounts for state-legal pot businesses from federal prosecution.

Denver mayorBrandon Marshall

Mayor Michael Hancock wasn’t a fan of legal marijuana before Colorado voters approved it in 2012, but he’s since become a public defender of the plant — or at least, the actions taken by the City of Denver to comply with Amendment 64. On Sunday, June 10, Hancock’s office announced that he’s spearheading a coalition of mayors from around the country in an effort to push Congress to protect states with legal pot.

Although he originally opposed legalization efforts, Hancock was the mayor of the first major city to legalize marijuana, and since the first recreational sales on January 1, 2014, Denver has become into one of the nation’s capitals of legal weed, with over 200 dispensaries and 1,100 licensed pot businesses now operating in the city, according to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses. Now, he and mayors of at least eight other cities are asking Congress to listen to them about their experiences so that legalization “can be done smoothly, safely and effectively.”

mason_jar_spring_collins20180426_051Jacqueline Collins

A bill that passed the Colorado General Assembly that would’ve allowed marijuana dispensaries to open their own tasting rooms was vetoed by Governor John Hickenlooper today, June 4. HB 1258 received plenty of attention as it made its way through the state legislature and wasn’t without its detractors, but it had enough support to pass its third House and Senate readings — 39-24 and 22-12, respectively.

“Since Colorado approved Amendment 64 in 2012, this Administration implemented a robust regulatory system to carry out the intent of this voter-initiated measure,” said Governor John Hickenlooper in the veto letter. “Amendment 64 is clear: marijuana consumption may not be conducted ‘openly’ or ‘publicly’ on ‘in a manner that endangers others.’ We find that HB 18-1258 directly conflicts with this constitutional requirement.”

Kenzie Bruce

Members of Congress joined legal cannabis-industry representatives in front of the United States Capitol today, May 23, calling for an end to federal pot prohibition. Among the lawmakers appearing in solidarity with the National Cannabis Industry Association were Colorado representatives Diana DeGette and Jared Polis.

“There are 34,000 Coloradans who are licensed to work in this industry, so you can imagine how dismayed everyone in Colorado was when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he was going to rescind the Cole Memo,” DeGette told the gathering. “I can say, I have never seen our delegation work so quickly to fix something in a bipartisan way.”

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