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Colorado: Home Grow Bill Aims To Eradicate Black Market

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A Colorado House committee voted 11-2 Tuesday in favor of House Bill 17-1220, a bill that would limit home growers to 12 marijuana plants per residential home in an effort to eradicate Colorado’s black market. Colorado residents would be restricted to growing six mature (flowering) plants and six immature (non-flowering) plants.

Under current Colorado law, residences are allowed to cultivate up to six plants per person per home. Many cities like Denver already cap flowering plants at 12.

A first-time offense would result in a misdemeanor and a $1,000 fine while a subsequent offense results in a felony.

Should the law pass votes in the House and Senate, the new bill would go into effect January 2018 and put extended plant counts in serious jeopardy.

Medical marijuana patients with extended plant counts in Colorado operate under the safety of their medical marijuana cards. Marijuana co-cops and grows that affect residential areas have been put on clear notice:

Colorado: Denver's Social Marijuana Measure Declared Winner After Updated Results

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Updated election results released Tuesday morning showed that Denver's ballot on social marijuana use has won passage.

Results released Tuesday morning showed that Initiative 300 won with the support of 53.3 percent of the 302,505 Denver voters who weighed in on the issue, according to a results update that reflected 19,657 more ballots counted late Monday. Not all votes are in yet, but There are too few ballots remaining to flip the result.

Roughly 10,000 to 12,000 ballots remain to be counted in the main processing of mail and in-person ballots from the Nov. 8 election, Denver Elections spokesman Alton Dillard estimated.

That is less than Initiative 300’s current winning margin of 20,055 votes, or 6.6 percentage points.

“We are truly grateful to the people of Denver for approving this sensible measure to allow social cannabis use in the city,” lead proponent Kayvan Khalatbari, co-owner of Denver Relief Consulting, said in a statement issued Monday evening, when Initiative 300’s backers declared victory. “This is a victory for cannabis consumers who, like alcohol consumers, simply want the option to enjoy cannabis in social settings.”

The measure would allow businesses, from bars to cafes and even yoga studios, to seek permits to create “consumption areas” if they obtain backing from a local neighborhood or business group.

Colorado: Group Forms To Oppose I-139, Which Would Limit THC To 16%


A poorly drafted proposal that simply goes too far, and will have far reaching, unintended consequences harming Colorado’s medical marijuana patients, public safety, and economy

The Colorado Health Research Council (CHRC) on Friday announced that it has formed to oppose Amendment 139, a constitutional amendment that would order the Legislature to set a limit of no more than 16 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) of any cannabis product sold at a state-licensed retail store, while also putting packaging and labeling requirements that already exist directly into the state Constitution.

"While likely well-intended, proponents of the hastily drafted measure are suggesting that we amend our constitution in a way that would have devastating unintended consequences to the citizens and economy of Colorado," the group announced in a prepared statement.

Many Coloradans, including veterans suffering from PTSD, rely on cannabis as an effective and safe medicine. This bill would directly impact those using medical cannabis, including Jack Splitt, according to the CHRC.

Colorado: Good Chemistry Launches 'Craft of Cannabis' Campaign


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

As Good Chemistry — specializing in cultivating consistent, high-quality cannabis— expands production capabilities in Colorado and Nevada, the company is debuting its “Craft of Cannabis” initiative with a new advertising campaign and website. Built on exquisite original photography, the ads showcase the people and plants behind the finest flower grown in Colorado.

“Our mission has always been to cultivate the best cannabis on the market,” said founder and CEO Matthew Huron, a master gardener who has been honing his craft for nearly two decades. “We are proud of the flower that we produce.

"Our Craft of Cannabis campaign aims to show consumers the excellent standards of our Cannabis artisans and the remarkable beauty and character of our plants,” Huron said.

The Craft of Cannabis campaign was developed by branding expert Michael Markowitz, president of Michael Markowitz + Associates, whose clients have included, among others, Panera Bread, Anheuser Busch and Universal Studios.

The new website provides behind-the-scenes access to Good Chemistry’s nurseries, where the team includes botanists, carpenters, mechanics, scientists, musicians, entrepreneurs, farmers, inventors, caregivers, and more.

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


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: Marijuana Grow Facility May Be Shut Down Because It Reeks

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A marijuana grow operation in Denver may be shut down soon because neighbors are sick of the smell.

Residents are urging city officials to deny the renewal of the application for the grower Starbuds. They say the excessive odors are negatively affecting the neighborhood, according to The Denver Post.

Starbuds is located in a mixed-use zoning area, but hearing officer Suzanne A. Fasing says that the operation does not comply with the neighborhood’s restrictions. She has suggested the city revoke its license.

But Starbuds contends there is no proof its product reeks.

“To take away a license, with the livelihoods of a licensee and its employees at stake, based upon the speculative belief of four witnesses, with absolutely no scientific evidence, is unconscionable,” wrote Jim C. McTurnan, Starbuds attorney, to the Department of Excise and Licenses.

The city’s decision is expected to come in the next few days, according to the Denver Post. It would be the first time a Denver grower would lose its license because of resident objection.

U.S.: Groundbreaking Cannabis TV Show Delivers National Network Highs


Free Speech TV’s "Marijuana Straight Talk" is topping national cable network ratings as a journalistic news outlet covering the multi-billion dollar cannabis industry.

Hosted by media entrepreneur and former NPR news anchor Becca Williams, the national TV show’s “420 special” which aired on April 20 received record viewership, becoming the most popular weekly program to date on Free Speech TV network in 2016.

Based on Rentrak ratings service, Free Speech TV garners approximately 1.2 million viewers per month and reaches nearly 40 million households. The station airs on DirecTV and DISH channels, as well as 200 part-time cable affiliates.

Host Williams is a long-time cannabis advocate and consumer who recognized the potential of a broadcast medium devoted to the controversial subject of marijuana. With riveting candor and hard-hitting commentary, Williams rips through fact, fiction and folly to get to the truth behind America’s misconceptions about the “Green Rush.”

"Marijuana Straight Talk"'s episodes tackle the realities of a rapidly expanding cannabis community. From educational and wellness segments to in-depth interviews and historical narratives, the show creates a cannabis culture that is socially conscious, sustainable and prosperous.

Colorado: Former Denver Broncos Quarterback Jake Plummer Says Hemp Helps

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Former Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer says he is taking CBD, or cannabidiol, and it helps ease the pain he suffers daily after a decade of playing in the NFL.

He joins an expanding group of professional athletes who say they need safer, more natural ways to manage pain than addictive prescription opioids.

CBD is a compound of cannabis that does not give a feeling of euphoria, or a "high" like THC does.

Plummer is part of a group of former and current NFL players requesting that the league back research on the benefits and effectiveness of CBD in managing pain.

"It is a real problem for players," Plummer said."It helps your body instead of hurting it."

Eugene Monroe, a current tackle for the Baltimore Ravens, recently donated $80,000 to research into cannabidiol. Plummer says a lot of players are taking it and benefiting from it but they have not come forward publicly.

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


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.

U.S.: TV Pot Show 'Marijuana Straight Talk' Soars To Top Of Ratings


A woman-owned media company has launched a national TV show focused on one of America’s hottest and most controversial topics: marijuana.

The show, Marijuana Straight Talk, soared to the top of the ratings with its “420 special” episode last month, making its debut at a time when support for legalizing marijuana in the U.S. has never been stronger. A recent survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 61 percent of Americans now support legalizing cannabis.

“Now, more than ever, this country is ready for Marijuana Straight Talk,” said host Becca Williams, a noted media entrepreneur and TV producer.

The growing interest among Americans is evident when it comes to Marijuana Straight Talk’s reception. Based on the show’s “420 special” episode, it became the most popular weekly program in 2016 to date on Free Speech TV network, which garners about 1.2 million viewers per month based on Rentrak ratings service.

Colorado: Suit Filed Against Marijuana Businesses After Fatal Shooting

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

A lawsuit has been filed against two recreational marijuana businesses after a shooting left three boys with their mother dead and their father charged with murder.

The lawsuit claims that the marijuana-infused candy sold to the father did not have a disclosure from the manufacturer about its potency and possible side effects, including psychotic behavior.

The suit was filed on the boys' behalf by their grandparents, Wayne and Marti Kohnke and aunt, Tamara Heman, who are their guardians now.

Richard Kirk is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife, Kristine Kirk, which occurred on April 14, 2014. Kristine Kirk called 911 before she was shot and told a dispatcher that her husband was hallucinating and was going to get a gun.

Richard Kirk pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Dr. Andrew Monte, a defense expert, submitted a report to the court saying that Kirk was intoxicated with THC, the ingredient in marijuana that causes a high. He said the THC had led to delirium.

Low levels of THC were found in his blood, authorities reported.

The lawsuit names Gaia's Garden LLC and Nutritional Elements Inc, and it says Gaia's Garden made the candy and Nutritional Elements sol it to Kirk.

U.S.: National Cannabis Industry Association, BDS Partner To Serve NCIA Members Industry Data


NCIA members to receive free access to BDS Analytics' GreenEdge™ cannabis sales dataset

Members of the National Cannabis Industry Association will be getting a new benefit, thanks to a partnership with cannabis market intelligence firm BDS Analytics. Beginning next month, NCIA member-businesses will receive free interactive access to market and category-level sales data compiled and contextualized by BDS, an industry source of market data and business insight.

All NCIA members will have access to data and market intelligence reports through an interactive set of dashboards, spreadsheets, and detailed reporting powered by the GreenEdge™ sales tracking software developed by BDS. Reports will cover crucial insights such as market size and growth, dollar and unit volume, retail price trends, and shifts in category mix.

Sponsoring and Sustaining NCIA members will gain access to even deeper levels of insight and reporting, including monthly executive reports, additional dashboards and reports, and personalized access to BDS Analysts.

According to NCIA, members will be able to make informed strategic decisions and answer critical business questions like:

• What proportion of industry sales come from flower vs. extractions vs. infused products?
• How big is the infused product market, and how fast is it growing?

Colorado: Cannabis Business Accelerator Launches In Denver


Longtime entrepreneur Patrick O’Malley on Wednesday announced Good Life Colorado, a cannabis industry program that provides entrepreneurs space to develop products in a licensed MIP (Marijuana Infused Products) facility in Denver to develop a wide range of THC products.

“With licensing and space becoming prohibitively expensive along the Front Range, we decided to create a place for cannabis entrepreneurs who have fantastic ideas and solid budgets, but lack the resources for a MIP license and warehouse rent or purchase,” said O’Malley, adding that a basic MIP-oriented business today needs at least $750,000 to even begin experimenting with product development. “Good Life Colorado offers entrepreneurs a cost-effective way to turn their ideas into commercial triumphs.”

One company, Chooze Corp., has already taken part in Good Life Colorado, leveraging the facility to develop its mood-enhancing product LucidMood. Since launching, the pioneering LucidMood has become an industry leader in the field of cannabis mood-crafting, an area of exploration that experts predict will introduce cannabis to a far broader range of consumers.

Colorado: Advocates Collecting Signatures For Ballot Initiative To Allow Pot Clubs In Denver

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Marijuana advocates in Denver have begun collecting signatures to place an initiative on November's ballot to allow cannabis consumption at private social clubs and private events with a permit.

The Denver chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws filed the proposed ballot measure with the Denver Elections Division last week.

To place it on the ballot, the Responsible Use Denver committee organized by NORML must submit at least 4,726 verified voter signatures by mid-August.

"Denver voters want this, and we are going to make it happen," Jordan Person, the NORML chapter's executive director, said in a news release. "Denver residents and visitors deserve the right to enjoy legal marijuana with like-minded adults in social settings."

Denver NORML's initiative would restrict entry to licensed clubs and permitted events to people 21 or older. Cannabis clubs could not double as bars or restaurants, and existing bars and restaurants could not play host to permitted events allowing marijuana use.

City officials have not been receptive to the idea of sanctioning social consumption of marijuana, but have been in talks with activists and business groups since last summer. Those talks have not resulted in a public proposal.

U.S.: Free Tool Launched To Help Consumers Assess High Quality Marijuana


“Whether novice or aficionado, knowing how to assess cannabis flower quality is key to having the best possible experience.”

All Cannabis isn't created equal, and just as wine enthusiasts enjoy a user friendly tasting system and diamond buyers employ the “Four C’s.” Good Chemistry Nurseries, one of the industry’s most experienced cannabis producers, has now created a stylish, easy-to-use free consumer cannabis evaluation guide for assessing quality cannabis flower.

Whether novice or aficionado, knowing how to assess cannabis flower quality is key to having the best possible experience. Good Chemistry Nurseries on Thursday announced it has developed a five-step process for identifying high quality, remarkable flower, similar to the multi-step process for evaluating wine.

The S.T.A.T.S. method (Sight, Touch, Aroma, Taste, and Sensation) is a guide to helping consumers evaluate essential aspects of the flower in order to make the most informed and satisfying purchase decisions.

“Just as American consumers have become more knowledgeable about quality wine and craft beer, Good Chemistry Nurseries’ S.T.A.T.S. guide will help consumers quickly and easily assess high quality cannabis,” said Matthew Huron, CEO, Good Chemistry.

Colorado: Illegal Marijuana Grow Operations Busted, More Than A Dozen Arrested

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

Approximately 30 Colorado homes and warehouses suspected of having illegal marijuana grows have been raided as part of an extensive law enforcement action Thursday, resulting in more than a dozen arrests.

Many of the raids were conducted in the Denver metro area. Police say the raids are all tied to one illegal operation. The suspects allegedly came from Texas and bought houses in Colorado to grow marijuana in, then ship it out of state for a huge financial gain.

A Colorado National Guard truck had to be called in at a house in Centennial to haul away a large amount of marijuana grow equipment. More than 300 plants were found a that location.

A neighbor told CBS-TV4 that she was shocked to see how big the operation was.

“I can’t believe this is happening in this neighborhood. It’s just so out of character for the people that live here,” Rebecca Rattray said. “I’m a little shocked that there’s still a market to grow pot illegally.”

Police had to use tear gas to extract a man who had barricaded himself at one location near Colorado Springs.

The activity on Thursday is the culmination of a year-and-a-half long investigation by the North Metro Drug Task Force, the DEA, U.S. postal inspectors and the Colorado Attorney General’s office.

Photo courtesy CBS

Colorado: Denver Council Kills Bill Limiting Number Of Marijuana Dispensaries


By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Denver City Council on Tuesday killed a bill that would have implemented a cap on the number of marijuana dispensaries allowed in the city.

The proposal would have capped the number of dispensaries and cultivation facilities, and ceased licensing for new medical marijuana operations.

The council had been anticipating new applicants and working to establish rules that would limit industry growth, and the exclusion of amendments that would halt these applications—and cost marijuana industry investors “millions” —reportedly led some council members to vote against the bill.

Disagreement over the details of limitations prevailed over the understanding that some neighborhoods are oversaturated with marijuana businesses, resulting in a vote of 6-6.

Robin Kniech, sponsor of the bill, has said she will amend and re-file the bill next week.

Colorado: Denver City Council Considers Cap On Marijuana Businesses

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By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The Denver City Council will debate a proposal that would cap the number of marijuana shops and grow houses allowed within the city.

If passed, the proposal would have a huge impact on millions of dollars from entrepreneurs looking to get into Colorado's growing marijuana industry. Others say the outcome will affect many neighborhoods and the children who live there.

The ordinance would prohibit the issue of new medical marijuana cultivation and sales licenses. It would call for new rules for issuing recreational marijuana cultivation and sales licenses.

Supporters say the caps would allow some new business owners to get into the industry without increasing the number of locations.

The group Smart Colorado has been fighting the proliferation of pot shops, sating children are at risk.

"Use supported by our youth is significantly higher in Denver with 22.5 percent of eighth-graders reporting last month's marijuana use. That is one out of four," Smart Colorado co-founder Diane Carlson said.

The council plans to hold a public hearing on the proposal Monday afternoon. A final vote could come as early as April 18.

Colorado: Marijuana Dispensary Seeks Naming Rights For Mile High Stadium


By Derrick Stanley
Hemp News

The stadium the Broncos play in is possibly about to be renamed due to the recent bankruptcy filing by Sports Authority, and one potential buyer is a marijuana company.

Native Roots, one of Colorado's largest dispensaries, expanded last year from one store to 14. The chain acknowledged the announcement being made on April Fool's Day was untimely, but insist they are serious about making a multi-million dollar commitment.

"It's not a joke, we're very serious," said Rhett Jordan, a founding partner of Native Roots.

The company has released a possible logo for the stadium, a simple tree with roots instead of a marijuana leaf.

If the naming rights are approved, the new stadium name would be Native Roots Fields at Mile High.

“We’ve always been huge fans of the Broncos, we felt like this was a great opportunity to bring two brilliant brands together,” said Jordan. “Native Roots was born and raised in Colorado and we are the natural candidate for this. I don’t see cannabis going anywhere but up right now so we are prepared for that."

Photo courtesy CBS

Colorado: Cannabis Industry Preparing For A Big 4/20 In Denver


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

With just under a month to go until the biggest day of the year in cannabis, preparations are already underway for the most celebratory 4/20 ever in Denver.

Marijuana businesses in the Mile High City are working hard to get ready for the big crowds of people wanting to get high on April 20, reports KDVR.

With more than 125,000 revelers anticipated, this year's celebration could bring in a record number of tourists, according to local business owners. Savvy merchants have now extended the celebration, declaring April 15-21 "World Cannabis Week."

Love's Bakery in Denver is turning out double the usual amount of marijuana candies, compared to last year. Many dispensaries are working around the clock to stock up with triple their normal inventories.

Educational efforts are greater than ever before, as well; officials want people to use cannabis responsibly, especially when it comes to how much they consume in edible form.

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