marijuana enforcement division

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

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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: Life Flower Medical Marijuana Recalled Due To Pesticides

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Colorado marijuana regulators on Friday announced a big recall of medicinal cannabis grown with unapproved pesticides. The marijuana in question was sold by a dispensary with storefronts in Boulder and Glendale.

The recall is one of a series in which Guardian, a pesticide that had been sold as "all natural," was found to contain concentrations of a substance banned for use on cannabis, report David Migoya and Ricardo Baca at .

Colorado in January had removed Guardian from its list of approved pesticides for use on marijuana.

More than 92 lots of cannabis, with each lot containing up to dozens of plants, produced by Life Flower Dispensary at its grow on Arapahoe Road in Boulder and sold at its storefront on Leetsdale Drive in Glendale are subject to the latest recall, according to the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division.

"We were using Guardian in late September and early October, and there are a couple of those plants still in flower," said Neal Bigelow, general manager at Life Flower. "That's exactly what we're going through."

Colorado regulators found the presence of abermectin, which isn't allowed for growing cannabis.

Colorado: Overcapacity Drives Down Marijuana Prices

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

There's lots of weed in Colorado, man. In fact, there's so much marijuana, overcapacity in dispensaries is driving down prices. Retail cannabis prices have dropped for a year now, but seem to be stabilizing in the third quarter, according to a marijuana store survey by chief market strategist Nicholas Colas and Jessica Rabe, both with Convergex.

Colas surveyed retail pot stores in Colorado and fought that cannabis fell from $50-$70 for an eighth-ounce to $30-$45, reports Debra Borchardt at Forbes. An ounce fell from $300-$400 to the lower end of $300 an ounce. According to Colas, all his contacts said that more competition was the reason for the downward pricing pressure, as more dispensaries and grow facilities open.

Colas said there were 156 retail marijuana stores and 204 retail cultivation facilities at the start of 2014, according to the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division. "At the end of December 2014, there were 322 retail stores and 397 retail cultivations respectively," he said, representing roughly double the number at the beginning the year.

As of August 3, those numbers have increased to 385 retail stores and 496 retail cultivations, a 20 percent and 25 percent increase respectively.

Prices seem to be stabilizing, but Colas said some stores sell ounces for $200. The survey participants told him they had to lower prices to compete.

Colorado: Cannabis Chamber Warns Against Overregulation of Edible Products

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The Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday urged against a culture of dangerous potential overregulation of legal cannabis edibles in Colorado.

At the HB13-1361 and HB14-1366 Work Group Meeting on August 11, the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) of the Department of Revenue (DOR) discussed with various stakeholders the creation of new rules surrounding all edible cannabis products.

The Chamber also stands behind the consensus at the meeting regarding standard measurement procedures and the need for public education to always be the number one priority.

However, many proposed new regulations on edible products could create a strong negative impact not only on legal, licensed, compliant marijuana business throughout Colorado, but also on public safety for adults and children alike, according to the Chamber.

“The more we encourage overregulation, the more we risk pushing marijuana activity back onto the black market and into home kitchens without oversight or any regulation whatsoever,” said Tyler Henson, president of the Cannabis Chamber.

Furthermore the Chamber announced it is "disappointed in the letter that was signed by many of our state legislators that asked MED to ignore the rule of law and create rules based on false propaganda that has been perpetuated by prohibitionists."

“The letter that was signed by 85 state legislators is troubling," Henson said. "The letter is riddled with misleading information and asks the MED to create rules based off intent rather than what the bill mandates the state to enact.”

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

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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.

U.S.: Vending Companies Stand To Benefit In Fast Growing Legal Marijuana Industry

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One of the keys to the continued growth of the legal marijuana industry will be the implementation and standardization of controls and compliance mechanisms that assure proper amounts of cannabis are dispensed and only to authorized customers. According to Self Service News Magazine, the vending industry may be a key driver in the marijuana industry's expansion.

"The idea of an automated marijuana-dispensing machine is no longer a fantasy," the publication reports. "In fact, automated dispensing systems are now being seen as a cornerstone of the fast rising legal cannabis industry."

"By automating the identification, purchasing, and dispensing processes, legally operating cannabis dispensaries can reduce concerns about security, cash management, storage, and authenticating identification, while at the same time reducing time and labor expense," Self Service News reports.

Several companies have already introduced such machines, including MedBox Inc.'s (MDBX) devices, American Green Inc.'s (ERBB) ZaZZZ, and Endexx Corp's. (EDXC) Autospense. The manufacturer of some of these machines and the co-developer of some of the design and high tech security features is AVT, Inc. (AVTC).

Colorado: State Faces Backlog In Marijuana Employee Licensing

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Colorado's legal marijuana stores are supposed to open on January 1, but there's a backlog in licensing the employees who will staff the shops, with dozens or hundreds of people showing up each morning at a small state office hoping for an appointment.

State officials said they are taking steps to speed up the licensing process, reports Eric Gorski at The Denver Post, but business owners want to know why Colorado wasn't ready for the crush. They are worried about having adequate staffing when the new shops open at the beginning of the year.

Employees are required to be fingerprinted before getting a state badge to work in the marijuana industry; they must clear criminal and financial background checks to qualify.

The state has been snowed under with applications in the past month as businesses preparing for recreational cannabis sales hire their staffs.

On a recent weekday morning at the Marijuana Enforcement Division office in Denver, the only would-be marijuana store employees guaranteed to have their license applications processed were the ones who had already come back 11 times. Those who hadn't yet made 11 visits to the office had to enter a lottery, drawing poker chips out of a Folger's coffee jar.

Colorado: More Than 100 Recreational Marijuana Shops Ready To Open Jan. 1

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Colorado could have more than 100 recreational marijuana stores open for business on January 1, according to the latest numbers from the Marijuana Enforcement Division.

The division reports that it accepted 136 applications in October from prospective cannabis shop owners, along with 28 applications for recreational cannabis-infused products businesses and 174 applications for recreational cultivation facilities, reports John Ingold at The Denver Post.

The decision will be made by the end of the year for all businesses which applied for marijuana licenses in October, according to Marijuana Enforcement Division spokeswoman Julie Postlethwait.

Under Amendment 64, Colorado's marijuana legalization law, all of the applications had to come from people already operating medical marijuana businesses in the state. (After six months, the application process will be open to everyone.) Colorado has 517 medical marijuana dispensaries, 138 medicinal cannabis infused products businesses, and 736 medical marijuana cultivation facilities, according to the Marijuana Enforcement Division.

The expense of applying for recreational marijuana licenses limited the number of applicants, according to Meg Collins, executive director of the Cannabis Business Alliance. Application fees start at $500 and licensing fees are between $2,7509 and $14,000. Application fees along brought in about $179,000 in October, according to Postlethwait.

Colorado: First Legal Recreational Marijuana Store Applications Accepted

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Colorado on Tuesday accepted its first applications from people wanting to open legal recreational marijuana stores, becoming the first state to do so.

All 99 applications accepted on Tuesday and Wednesday were from owners of medical marijuana dispensaries; the general public won't be eligible to apply for recreational marijuana store licenses until next July.

The first hopeful applicants got to the Marijuana Enforcement Division's offices in Denver before 9 a.m., carrying boxes and binders of paperwork, reports John Ingold at The Denver Post. Not long after 9, Andy Williams, owner of the Medicine Man medical marijuana dispensary, became one of the first to turn in an application.

"We're excited," Williams said. "Some folks are afraid to be first, but we welcome it."

Applications were accepted by appointment only. By midday Tuesday, the office had taken 23 applications from prospective marijuana store owners, growing facilities and infused-products makers.

All the available appointments -- a total of 99 for Tuesday and Wednesday -- have been booked, according to John Seckman, who's in charge of licensing and background checks for the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED).

(Photo: CBS Denver)

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