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Cannabis use and the cannabis business in general have gone mainstream, but the people responsible for marketing the plant still have to jump through a lot of hoops. After all, there’s a reason that you haven’t seen cannabis commercials on TV or billboards for dispensaries: Pot still isn’t that legal.

To help emerging pot companies navigate the odd, evolving world of promoting cannabis, Lisa Buffo founded the Cannabis Marketing Association. Since launching the group in Colorado, she’s built a network of chapters in nine of America’s largest legal and medical markets. We recently caught up with Buffo to learn more about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into selling us all that legal weed.

Vaping is marketed to both tobacco and marijuana smokers as the safer alternative to smoking. But as hundreds of cases of vaping-related illnesses pop up across the country, state and federal health officials are gaining traction in their messaging about the unknown dangers of vape products.

“Vaping products contain more than just harmless water vapor. They are marketed as a ‘safe’ alternative to smoking, but the long-term health effects of vaping are still unknown,” the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment notes on its website.

As vaping receives criticism from government officials, much of the heat has been directed at nicotine vaping — allowing marijuana vaping products to escape largely unscathed. However, vaporizing marijuana products now covers a larger span than just the plant’s flower, with THC and CBD oil vape cartridges rising in popularity thanks to their convenience — and that’s where recent reports of danger come in.

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.

There are many questions surrounding Initiative 300, the social-use measure that Denver voters passed on November 8 (although the final count took a week). The city has been getting calls from people asking everything from how businesses can apply to how a new state rule will affect I-300. As we reported last week, shortly after the initiative passed, the Colorado Department of Revenue announced that it was adopting additional language in the “Conduct of Establishment” section of the Colorado Liquor Rules, declaring that a venue that already holds a liquor license cannot apply for a license to serve marijuana.

For a segment called “The Pot Vote” that aired Sunday, October 30, 60 Minutes came to Colorado to investigate the marijuana boom. The piece began as a typical new-industry-brings-ups-and-downs-to-community piece that swung not so subtly to pose an ominous — and misrepresentative — picture of what’s going on in this state’s cannabis industry.

Jonathan LaPook, a two-time Emmy-winning journalist with an M.D. to boot, begins the segment by promising to show “what’s working and what’s not” in Colorado, the first state to allow the sale of recreational marijuana, then briefly discusses how attitudes toward legalization have shifted in recent years.

Despite the fact that about 70 percent of D.C. voters approved of a law legalizing small amounts of marijuana in the city, Republicans in Congress say they know what is best and are planning to fight the legalization vote.
Several media outlets have reported from sources that House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers, a Republican from Kentucky, says he plans to introduce a rider on the omnibus spending bill that would prevent D.C. from funding any changes to marijuana laws. Rogers is picking up where Maryland Republican Rep. Andy Harris left off last spring and summer.

No, it’s not a stock photo of a stereotypical white woman. This is Florida AG Pam Bondi.

Former Obama official George Sheldon defeated his primary opponent for the right to take on Pam Bondi for the state attorney general last night. And Bondi wasted no time in calling him up and challenging the man to a debate. Sheldon’s win was pretty overwhelming, taking more than 60 percent of the vote over Perry Thurston. And while both men entered Tuesday’s primary as virtual unknowns, Sheldon is vowing to make sure people know he stands in stark contrast to Bondi.
Among the biggest differences between the two: Sheldon, 67, is for the legalization of medical marijuana and for same-sex marriage — two of the biggest issues Bondi has publicly stood against.

Jason Lauve.

Five years ago today, Jason Lauve was acquitted in a high-profile medical marijuana case decided on the cusp of the MMJ boom. Since the conclusion of the landmark trial, Lauve is astonished by everything that’s happened on the Colorado pot scene. But while he’s optimistic about the future for both cannabis and hemp, for which he’s become a well-known activist, he acknowledges that not all the changes have been positive.
Lauve broke his back in 2004 after being hit by a snowboarder. He subsequently became a medical marijuana patient under the provisions of Amendment 20, the measure that legalized the concept after being approved by voters in 2000. But in June 2008, he was arrested in Boulder County for allegedly having too much weed — two pounds, two ounces.

Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi is challenging a proposed medical marijuana ballot initiative in her state’s Supreme Court, arguing the measure would leave the qualifications for medical cannabis patients too broad and would create a free-for-all tantamount to outright legalization. Besides, she says, medical marijuana is federally illegal.
Basically, she’s using the exact same tired arguments that politicians have been using for years even though nearly half of the states in this country have medical marijuana laws and the federal government has (for the most part) allowed them to all continue without interference.

CU students at the campus 4/20 party in 2011.

Last month, after The University of Colorado at Boulder announced that it would be closing campus on 4/20 for the second consecutive year, marijuana attorney Rob Corry (who unsuccessfully challenged last year’s shutdown) said he was exploring the possibility of seeking a permit for a 4/20 event at CU this year as an alternative to filing another request for a temporary injunction. After all, CU was known for their huge — but peaceful — pot protest/party for years.
Now, however, Corry says the permit plan is off the table and he encourages CU students to attend the 4/20 celebration in Denver instead. Denver Westword has the rest.

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