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denver pot loungeThe Coffee Joint Facebook page

After years of gaining little ground in Colorado, social cannabis consumption is finally making progress. On the same day a bill was introduced in the Colorado Legislature that would allow dispensary tasting rooms, and less than a week after a members-only pot lounge successfully opened in RiNo, the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses approved the Coffee Joint’s Cannabis Consumption Establishment license — making it the first establishment to ever hold a pot consumption license in Denver.

Ray Stern | Toke of the Town

Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen announced with fanfare in August that he could squeeze $1.5 million in taxes from medical cannabis firms in 2017 by enforcing the law.

So far, the amount collected from dispensaries, cultivation facilities, and certification clinics has fallen short of estimate, and it’s still unclear just how much the county will take in. Phoenix New Times has the story.

Jacqueline Collins

New sales revenue data from the Colorado Department of Revenue shows that the state’s legal cannabis industry collected over $1.5 billion in 2017 and accounted for nearly $4.5 billion in sales since recreational stores first opened on January 1, 2014.

Overall dispensary sales rose in December for the first time since August 2017, according to DOR data, with revenue increasing over 7 percent from November ($119.56 million) to December ($128.27 million). Recreational sales in December accounted for around $96.34 million, while the medical side collected $31.92 million.

Robert Dunn /Shutterstock

Banking and general financial services have been a great white whale for the cannabis industry, as financial institutions continue to be wary of the plant’s illegal status with the feds. But a recent settlement between a Colorado credit union and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City may help reel in a solution.

In a letter sent to Fourth Corner Credit Union on February 2, the Federal Reserve Bank agreed to give the Denver-based credit union a master account, which is necessary for such bank-to-bank relations as cashing checks and transferring money. Fourth Corner had sued the Federal Reserve in 2015 over its refusal to issue the credit union an account and lost in district court, but that decision was overturned in June 2017 by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Miles Chrisinger

Denver’s status as the country’s legal cannabis capital is in jeopardy now that California has started recreational sales, but one study shows that the Mile High City wouldn’t just take a step back if the rest of the world followed suit — it would become irrelevant. There are some questions about how the study’s figures apply to Denver, though.

Kate McKee Simmons

A national cannabis trade organization with strong ties to Denver has proposed new packaging standards for its members. Those standards, which are similar to the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division’s packaging regulations, will be the first of many to be adopted by members of the National Association of Cannabis Businesses, according to an announcement from the organization.

hemp Gelazius

Colorado can now claim production of the first certified hemp seed in the United States after the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies officially validated one of its varieties. Fort Collins-based New West Genetics submitted its trademarked ELITE hemp genetics for AOSCA certification and received approval in 2017, according to an announcement from the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

“The farmer can now have confidence that what he is buying is what he expects it to be, which is below 0.3 percent [THC] and true to type,” says Duane Sinning, assistant director of the division of plant industries at the CDA.

Carlos HendersonOuachita Correctional Center

Upon learning that Denver Broncos receiver Carlos Henderson was arrested yesterday, January 14, on a marijuana charge, most NFL fans are likely to assume that such busts are common for members of the team, given Colorado’s reputation as a cannabis mecca. But, no: According to a comprehensive database of NFL players in trouble, Henderson is the first Bronco in more than seventeen years to be taken into custody for an alleged weed violation.

Retail cannabis industries across the country are reeling after United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo rescinding the Cole Memorandum, a 2013 policy that offered protection from federal prosecution for the cultivation, distribution and possession of pot in states where it is legal. In Colorado, the first state to authorize the legal sale of retail cannabis, the response has been quick…and, in many cases, furious

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