Amendment 64

warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/hemporg/public_html/news/modules/taxonomy/taxonomy.pages.inc on line 34.

Colorado: New Cannabis Investment Law Allows Out-Of-State Money Next Year

ColoradoMarijuanaStateSeal[CannabisBusinessExecutive].jpg

Passage of SB 16-40 allows out-of-state cannabis investments in Colorado to begin in 2017.

The new law removes the two-year residency requirement previously mandated for equity holders. Investors will still be required to meet other current ownership criteria, including criminal and financial background checks. Passive owners of less than 5 percent will be subjected to less extensive and more cost-effective screening.

LivWell Enlightened Health, a Colorado cannabis retailer, was part of an industry coalition composed of private businesses and major industry groups that lobbied and secured the passage of a bill that will allow out-of-state investors to have ownership interests in Colorado cannabis businesses.

“This levels the industry playing field a bit,” said Dean Heizer, chief legal strategist of LivWell Enlightened Health. “It puts us closer to competitive par with the many other states that don’t have residency requirements by freeing up capital for compliance investment, industry growth and by making it easier for small operators to access capital to survive.”

Colorado: Denver Police Issue 18 Citations For Public Marijuana Consumption At Pot Rally

Denver420RallyMay21,2016-MariahElliott-CharlieFreimiller-BradyFreimiller[KiraHorvath-TheDenverPost].jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Denver Police on Saturday issued 18 citations for public marijuana consumption at the rescheduled 420 Rally in Civic Center Park downtown, according to police spokesman Doug Schepman.

While that's bad enough, at least it's noticeably less than the 60 citations handed out on April 20, when thousands gathered in Civic Center to celebrate Cannabis Day.

Recreational use of marijuana was legalized in Colorado when voters approved Amendment 64 in 2012, but smoking weed in public remains illegal, reports Katy Canada at The Denver Post.

Last year's rally -- which lasted for two days -- resulted in more than 150 police citations.

On Saturday, police also issued three citations for driving with a suspended license, and two for flying drones in a public park.

The rally ran from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and brought thousands of cannabis advocates to downtown Denver. Organizers had been forced to postpone the original event, scheduled for April 1t6, because of snow.

Colorado: Cannabis Business Alliance Applauds 2016 Legislative Session

CannabisBusinessAlliance(CBA)[logo].jpg

As the 2016 legislative session comes to a close in Colrado, The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) on Thursday applauded legislators for what it called "the hard work and the goals achieved during the 2016 session."

“The 2016 legislative session has been eventful for the cannabis industry,” said Mark Slaugh, CBA executive director and iComply CEO. “Many of the bills that were up for discussion this session will have a major impact on our industry, and we are looking forward to seeing how some of these bills and laws change the landscape of the cannabis industry in Colorado for the better.”

“Consumer and public safety are CBA’s top priorities, which is why we are working to bring best practices to the industry to ensure consumers are educated about how and when to consume cannabis,” Slaugh noted. “CBA’s goal is to provide our members and the industry with insight to the bills being proposed, as well as sensible legislation for the industry. The industry has embraced many of the bills up for discussion this session and will work with the state to promote industry best-practices.”

The Retail Marijuana Sunset Bill (HB 1261)

"The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) applauds the Assembly for its prudent review of the Sunset Bill."

Purchasing Regulations

U.S.: Supreme Court Rejects Other States' Lawsuit Over Colorado Marijuana Legalization

CourtCaseMarijuana[PotNetwork.com].jpg

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The United States Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear the case brought by Nebraska and Oklahoma against Colorado over its marijuana legalization law. Oklahoma and Nebraska had claimed the Colorado law had created an increased law enforcement burden in neighboring states.

The suit, filed by Nebraska Attorney General John Bruning and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, claimed that federal marijuana prohibition preempts the law that Colorado voters decisively adopted in 2012. The Federal Government filed a brief urging the high court to reject the case.

"There is no question about it: This is good news for legalization supporters," said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority. "This case, if it went forward and the Court ruled the wrong way, had the potential to roll back many of the gains our movement has achieved to date. And the notion of the Supreme Court standing in the way could have cast a dark shadow on the marijuana ballot measures voters will consider this November.

Colorado: Cannabis Chamber Adopts Voluntary Edibles Standards

ColoradoCannabisChamberOfCommerce[VerticalLogo].jpg

The Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce (C4), a state association of 43 parent companies that employ more than 1,600 people, on Wednesday announced the adoption of new, voluntary edible standards that encompass both manufacturer and retail business members.

“I am proud to announce that members of the C4 organization, along with our Board of Directors, began discussing this initiative to address these concerns in the fall of 2015,” stated Tyler Henson, C4 president.

“C4 has worked to ensure our members adopt manufacturing and sales standards which recognize that legal marijuana should only be consumed by adults," Henson said. "This is done in good faith and in the spirit of cooperation with cannabis regulators, community leaders, and our elected officials as we work together to continue to advance both public safety and robust industry standards.”

The newly adopted standard is as follows:

C4 manufacturers will no longer produce or sell marijuana infused edibles that are in the shapes of humans or animals. Animal shapes such as gummy bears, gummy worms, “sour patch kids”, and others items will be prohibited.

As a business organization, C4 is committed to producing products that are marketed and sold only to law-abiding adults over the age of 21. C4 members will thereby begin to phase out all these products – with an estimated complete implementation date of October 1.

Colorado: Cannabis Industry Reaches Nearly $1 Billion In 2015

CannabisBusinessAlliance(CBA)[logo].jpg

Cannabis Business Alliance applauds Colorado’s impressive growth while noting regulatory challenges ahead

Colorado has released the cannabis industry sales report for 2015, with total sales reaching more than $996 million, an increase of more than 42 percent over the previous year.

The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) noted this impressive industry growth even as many of its members prepare for more regulatory challenges ahead.

“With greater growth and continuation of operators entering the industry, Cannabis Business Alliance members and Colorado operators have continually set the standard of the maturing industry nationwide, impressively thriving amidst increasing regulation, including stamping, equivalency, and pest management,” said Mark Slaugh, CBA Board member and iComply CEO.

“Amidst these regulatory hurdles, CBA and its members continue to be committed to protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public," Slaugh said. "We are especially focused in protecting our adolescents and youth, by encouraging and actively supporting adult-use education, responsible parenting, and pragmatic and sensible regulations.”

During the second full year of recreational cannabis sales, Colorado retailers sold more than $587 million of recreational cannabis and more than $408 million of medical cannabis. In 2014, the total sales of medical and recreational cannabis in Colorado added up to roughly $700 million, making this year’s growth an impressive 42 percent.

Colorado: Cannabis Industry Facing Robust Growth, New Regulations

CannabisBusinessAlliance(CBA)[logo].jpg

With Colorado marking the two-year anniversary of legalization for the adult-use/recreational marijuana market, the cannabis industry is predicting new milestones in both Colorado and the United States in 2016. With a burgeoning industry on the precipice of enormous growth, education and consumer safety will be a top priority for cannabis leaders as the industry expands throughout the country, according to the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA).

“This year, the cannabis industry made great strides in protecting and educating the consumer,” said Peggy Moore, chair of CBA and owner, Love’s Oven. “The industry heard early on after legalization for the adult-use market about concerns of unintended access as well as overconsumption.

"We take our role in ensuring public safety very seriously," Moore said. "As such, we are working to bring best practices to the entire industry to ensure that all consumers are educated about how and when to consume cannabis, and how to avoid cases of accidental ingestion. The industry has embraced and furthered certified child resistant packaging, safety warnings on labeling and product testing, and will continue to promote this and other industry best-practices in 2016.”

The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) offers the following observations on the rapidly evolving cannabis industry and an outlook for 2016:

Kentucky: State Senator Proposes Bill To Legalize Marijuana

FreeTheWeedKentucky

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Recreational marijuana use would become legal in the Bluegrass State in 2016 under if a new bill in the Legislature becomes law.

The Cannabis Freedom Act is being sponsored by state Senator Perry Clark (D-Louisville), and it would legalize cannabis use for those 21 and older, decriminalize growing, distribution, and public consumption, and place an excise tax on weed, reports Jackson French at the Bowling Green Daily News.

"Originally what inspired me was a group of retired Teamsters," said Clark. The union members knew that using cannabis was a cheaper and healthier alternative to costly pharmaceutical prescription painkillers, he said.

"They didn't want to be criminalized for something that shouldn't have been criminalized in the first place," Clark said.

His bill is heavily based on Colorado's Amendment 64, which legalized marijuana there in 2012, when it was approved by 55 percent of the state's voters. Colorado raised $100 million in taxes during the 2014-2015 fiscal year on recreational marijuana sales.

In addition, Colorado's marijuana arrests and citations have dropped 80 percent, and the state's tourism has increased by 10 percent, according to Clark.

"Since they legalized cannabis, everything's gotten better," he said.

Colorado: Marijuana Sales Top $100 Million In August

MarijuanaMoneyScales[LotusMedical'

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Cannabis sales surpassed the $100 million mark in August for the first time ever in Colorado, according to recreational and medical marijuana sales data released on Friday by the state Department of Revenue.

Marijuana sales once again eclipsed the previous month's numbers, with recreational cannabis racking up $59.2 million in sales and medical marijuana getting $41.4 million, reports Elizabeth Hernandez at The Denver Post.

The combined $100.6 million in cannabis sales continues the 2015 trend of month-to-month record-setting.

"It means that $100 million is going to licensed, taxpaying businesses, creating jobs and helping to build new schools, instead of going to cartels and drug dealers -- as is the case in the 46 states that don't regulate marijuana," said Dan Riffle, director of federal polices for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP).

Legal recreational cannabis sales began on January 1, 2014, in Colorado, which was the first state to launch a retail cannabis program. There were $46.4 million in total sales that month, with $14.7 million in recreational and $32.2 million in medicinal sales. August 2014 was the first month when recreational sales exceeded medical sales.

Colorado: Denver Drive Underway To Allow Marijuana Use In Bars

DenverMarijuanaBar[TedSWarrenAP]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

If cannabis and alcohol are both legal for adult consumption, it would only make sense that it's OK to consume both of them socially in a bar -- wouldn't it?

That's the thinking behind a campaign underway in Denver to ask voters about allowing marijuana use in bars and other places that only allow adults over 21, reports Kristen Wyatt of the Associated Press.

Activists need about 5,000 signatures in order to qualify the question for this November's ballots.

The initiative would allow bars to permit cannabis use as long as customers bring their own stash and obey clean-air laws. That translates to either bringing marijuana infused edibles, or smoking outside on the patio, the way tobacco is regulated now. Outside smoking sites couldn't be publicly visible.

"Marijuana's now a legal product for adults in Denver, and it's really time that we give adults a place to use it legally and socially," said Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which led the 2012 Amendment 64 campaign to legalize recreational cannabis in the state.

"We shouldn't be requiring that you sit at home if you choose to use marijuana as an adult," Tvert said.

Recreational cannabis consumption is illegal in Colorado if used "openly and publicly or in a manner that endangers others." But the law doesn't bar use in private, 21+ clubs; the Denver measure would just clarify what qualifies as a private club.

Colorado: New Report Gives More Good News As Legalization Gains Momentum

ColoradoTheBenefitsSoFar

Report Provides Comprehensive Data on Marijuana Arrests and Charges in Colorado After Legal Regulation for Adult Use

Marijuana Possession Charges Decrease From 30,000+ in 2010 to Less Than 2,000 in 2014

All eyes are on Colorado to gauge the impact of the country’s first-ever state law to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana to adults 21 and older. Since the first retail marijuana stores opened on January 1, 2014, the state has benefitted from a decrease in traffic fatalities, an increase in tax revenue and economic output from retail marijuana sales, and an increase in jobs, while Denver has experienced a decrease in crime rates.

Now, a new report from the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) brings another jolt of good news by providing comprehensive data on marijuana arrests in Colorado before and after the passage of Amendment 64 in 2012. The report compiles and analyzes data from the county judicial districts, as well as various law enforcement agencies via the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS).

The report’s key findings include:

• Since 2010, marijuana possession charges are down by more than 90 percent, marijuana cultivation charges are down by 96 percent, and marijuana distribution charges are down by 99 percent.

• The number of marijuana possession charges in Colorado courts has decreased by more than 25,000 since 2010 – from 30,428 in 2010 to just 1,922 in 2014.

Colorado: New Company Offers Compliance and Inventory Tracking For Marijuana Industry

Adherence-Colorado(logo)

Adherence Colorado, a regulatory compliance and inventory management company for the marijuana industry, has announced its formal launch of operations and proprietary software that allows auditors to ensure that licensed marijuana businesses are in compliance with state and local laws.

"We're thrilled to be open in Colorado," said Steve Owens, founder and CEO of Adherence Colorado. "By delivering compliance audit results in hours, compared to days or often weeks, we provide our clients with unprecedented value at an industry leading price.

"If a license is not within compliance limits, the underlying business's value can be reduced significantly," Owens said. "For license owners, investors, and financial services and banking experts, it's imperative to know where the business stands in terms of risk and value. Our state-of-the-art process does this and more."

According to Adherence Colorado, this is the first enterprise risk management (ERM) platform designed specifically for licensed medical and retail (recreational) marijuana businesses, providing license owners, banks and investors with valuable information about where the business is most at risk. Adherence Colorado says its software is scalable and can be customized to any state's regulatory compliance and inventory tracking system.

Colorado OKs Marijuana Credit Union

FourthCornerCreditUnion(logo)

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marijuana businesses in Colorado have plenty of cash flowing in, but are having a difficult time finding a legal place to put it.

Most banks still refuse to work with marijuana businesses, because they fear enforcement of federal banking laws, reports Alizeh Siddiqui at the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). Cannabis, is, of course, illegal at the federal level. Now, a new credit union designed specifically for the legal marijuana industry hopes to offer a solution, reports Trevor Hughes at USA Today.

The Fourth Corner Credit Union plans to open within two weeks in Denver, offering to accept cash deposits and to allow members to make electronic cash transfers for payroll and rent, and to buy supplies.

"We are on the one-yard line," said attorney Mark Mason, who is advising the credit union's nine founders.

Banking regulators in Colorado granted Fourth Corner a charter on November 19, and now the union is waiting for the Federal Reserve to issue it a master account number, which would give it access to the U.S. electronic banking system. The credit union's organizers believe it will get the number without a fight, because the Federal Reserve is required give out numbers to organizations that have already been granted state charters.

U.S.: New Billboards Urge Parents To Keep Marijuana Out of Reach of Children

ConsumeResponsiblyMPPBillboard

Latest ‘Consume Responsibly’ ads feature a young child looking at a glass of wine and cookies, and it reads: ‘Some juices and cookies are not for kids: Keep “adult snacks” locked up and out of reach’

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is launching billboards this week in Denver and Seattle that encourage parents to keep marijuana out of reach of children. The ads are part of a broader public education campaign urging adults to “consume responsibly” in states where marijuana is legal.

The billboards feature a child looking at what could be a glass of grape juice or a stemless glass of wine and a few cookies that might or might not be infused with marijuana. It reads, “Some juices and cookies are not meant for kids,” and urges them to, “Keep ‘adult snacks’ locked up and out of reach.”

MPP spokesperson Mason Tvert was accompanied at the Monday unveiling of the billboard by Jane West, a marijuana consumer and mother of two small children, who serves as director of Women Grow, a national organization dedicated to helping women influence and succeed in the cannabis industry.

“We need to treat marijuana like any other product that is legal for adults and not meant for children,” West said. “A marijuana-infused cookie might look like a regular cookie to my four-year-old, just as a glass of wine might look just like grape juice. Whether it’s marijuana, alcohol, or household cleaning products, it’s our job as parents to keep them locked up and out of reach.”

U.S.: Ganjapreneur Now Accepting Marijuana Job Postings

Ganjapreneur(logo)

With the addition of their new "Post a Job" page, Ganjapreneur has entered the world of online job boards geared toward the marijuana industry. The website launched their marijuana industry job feed several weeks ago, which up until now has merely aggregated links to jobs had been posted around the web. With the new form, employers will be able to fill out their own job posting to be published on Ganjapreneur's website and Android app.

"This is just one small feature of what we're building out," a Ganjapreneur spokesperson said. "Ultimately we're going to be a lot more than a simple job board.

"We're aiming to be a business hub for the industry as a whole, so naturally, helping people find careers related to cannabis and helping employers reach out to potential employees is going to be a big part of that," the spokesperson said. "But we have many more features in the works that will be coming out soon."

All jobs listed by Ganjapreneur are available both on their website and their recently-launched Android app. Ganjapreneur has announced that their app will also be available in the Apple App store in the near future.

The website announced its official launch over the summer, and has since published a large number of news articles, business editorials, and interviews with cannabis industry pioneers.

Colorado: Lawyer Voted Best DUI Attorney In State Decries THC Limits

JayTiftickjian(DenverDUIAttorney)

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A criminal defense lawyer practicing in the Denver area who opposes Colorado's marijuana DUI law has been voted the state's best DUI attorney for 2014 by Law Week Colorado, the State Bar's official journal of record.

Jay Tiftickjian was honored for the third year in a row by Law Week, and the second for being voted Best DUI Lawyer by his peers.

Tiftickjian practices with three other attorneys in Tiftickjian Law Firm, P.C., which takes cases from across Colorado. He explained that the award was the result of a team effort made by the whole firm.

The Denver-based attorney said the award is particularly meaningful because the honor comes by way of peer recognition -- votes are collected from Colorado's attorneys and judges, including prosecutors.

"Every citizen is entitled to a full, fair, and aggressive defense under our system of justice," Tiftickjian said. "Our clients aren't criminals who've set out to harm others, they are regular folks who may have made a poor decision."

Colorado: Recreational Marijuana Dispensary Draws New Tourism To Pueblo Area

TheCannasseurDispensary(logo)

Southern Colorado recreational marijuana dispensary Cannasseur has large customer base from surrounding states

Cannasseur, a recreational marijuana dispensary serving Southern Colorado, experienced a surge in out-of-state customers upon opening their doors in May, as their location in Pueblo West, Colorado is a mere hour and a half from the state border.

However, unlike many Colorado dispensaries that offer discounts to local patrons only, Cannasseur welcomes and embraces the tourism their business brings to the area.

“We’ve found that upwards of 80 percent of our revenue is coming from bordering states that have not yet legalized recreational marijuana,” said Ryan Griego, managing partner at Cannasseur. “We want these visitors to the dispensary to feel welcomed and at ease.”

Many of Cannasseur’s customers are from neighboring states to the south, west and east including Oklahoma, Kansas and Utah, with the largest factions coming from Northwest Texas, Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

Cannasseur anticipates that the Colorado State Fair (August 22-September 1) will draw even more tourists to the Pueblo area, many of whom will visit the dispensary.

This comes as no surprise to Griego who made sure that Cannasseur’s business model has a heavy emphasis on customer service, highly educated staff members and a relaxing, inviting environment.

Colorado: Gov. Hickenlooper Uses Scare Tactics In Marijuana Prevention Campaign

Colorado-DontBeALabRat(Hickenlooper)

Hickenlooper’s Marijuana Prevention Campaign Eerily Reminiscent of Failed “This is Your Brain” Effort

Approach Emphasizes Scare Tactics over More Effective Reality-Based Education

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has introduced his administration’s marijuana prevention campaign to deter underage consumption -- and unfortunately, it uses scare tactics rather than a reality-based approach. The campaign is slated to waste $2 million of taxpayer money.

The theme of the campaign is marijuana’s potential impact on the developing adolescent brain, using the slogan “don’t be a lab rat.” The administration plans to place human sized rat cages throughout the city of Denver, particularly at high-traffic bus stops.

While flashy and memorable, the campaign has raised concerns among advocates who question the credibility of this approach. Drug policy reformers and prevention experts invoke the cynicism generated by 1980s-era scare tactic efforts such as the notorious “This is your brain on drugs” ad, widely recognized today as far more attention grabbing than drug deterring.

Advocates recommend instead an approach that focuses on credible drug education delivered through programs and initiatives that focus on overall youth health and development. Reality-based efforts engage students and prevent the cynicism resulting from simplistic scare tactics. Furthermore, to be successful, parents and/or guardians should be directly involved in drug education and prevention efforts.

Colorado: Teen Marijuana Use Down Since Legalization

ColoradoMarijuanaLeafShapedFlag

Rates of current and lifetime marijuana use among Colorado high school students has dropped since the state's voters made marijuana legal in 2012, according to a Thursday press release from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

“Thirty-day marijuana use fell from 22 percent in 2011 to 20 percent in 2013, and lifetime use declined from 39 percent to 37 percent during the same two years,” according to the release. It has dropped nearly five points since 2009 (24.8 percent), when hundreds of medical marijuana stores began opening throughout Colorado.

The state began regulating medical marijuana in 2010. The CDPHE release says the drop from 2011 to 2013 is not statistically significant, but it appears the drop from 2009 to 2013 could be. In either case, it is clear that use among high school students has not increased.

Nationwide, the rate of current teen marijuana use increased from 20.8 percent in 2009 to 23.1 percent in 2011 and 23.4 percent in 2013, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). The national rate of lifetime use increased from 36.8 percent in 2009 to 39.9 percent in 2011 and 40.7 percent in 2013.

Colorado: Highway Fatalities Reach Near-Record Lows Since Marijuana Legalization

ColoradoTrafficDeathsChart

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The "stoned driving" laws that accompany recreational marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington were sold to us as being necessary for public safety; the specter of stoned drivers was presented as something dangerous and potentially deadly. Many weed-hating cops were quite happy to find there's still legal reason to arrest potheads. Reality, meanwhile, is telling another story, as highway fatalities in Colorado are nearing record lows since pot was legalized.

Marijuana opponents have darkly warned of a scourge of "high drivers," but the fact is, we can only test for the presence of marijuana metabolites, not for being actually high on cannabis, reports Radley Balko at The Washington Post. Because everyone metabolizes marijuana (and other substances) differently, all a positive test tells us for sure is that the driver has smoked pot at some point in the past few days or weeks. (This reporter once tested positive for THC metabolites 63 days after last using marijuana.)

Syndicate content