The United States House of Representatives held a hearing on the challenges of marijuana business banking on February 13, gaining attention and praise for doing what congressional leaders had not done in the past: actually consider federal marijuana reform.
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.
Senator Cory Gardner’s shot at protecting states with legal marijuana programs was blocked on December 18, when his states’-rights amendment was sent into the rafters by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley.
Colorado’s Republican senator has been pushing for more guaranteed protection from federal encroachment on state-legalized marijuana industries and consumers, as well as for any banks that want to provide services to them. On December 17, he attached an amendment to the First Step Act, a set of legislative reforms to the federal prison system, that would have done just that.
On December 17, Senator Cory Gardner introduced an amendment to a federal prison reform bill that would protect a state’s right to legalize marijuana and determine how to regulate it within its borders.
Republican Gardner first helped introduce the legislation as its own bill, in a bipartisan effort with Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren known as the States Act. Despite gaining considerable attention over the summer, including an expression of support from President Donald Trump, the bill gained only ten co-sponsors after its introduction in June.
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.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has announced a new citywide effort to expunge low-level marijuana convictions that occurred in Denver before recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado.
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.
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 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.