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Assault on Growers is a Setback for the Industry

Todd Davis - Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Medical marijuana growers in Colorado Springs were assaulted and robbed this week. The assailants reportedly physically abused the residents, shocked them with a stun gun, and stole their entire crop. Unfortunately, this is the exact type of crime medical marijuana opponents have been waiting for. This will only give new found momentum for restrictions on the industry as a whole. Although this robbery has nothing to do with medical benefit or revenue generation inherent to the Colorado medical marijuana industry, it will certainly raise eyebrows in the community. Increased crime rate is an argument opponents of medical marijuana have been citing since the industry’s inception. Instances such as this will only make that voice louder. One could argue that a convenience store owner is equally subject to the risk of assault and robbery. Although this is true, a crime committed against any medical marijuana dispensary, grower, or clinic will be perceived as new crime brought forth by the Colorado medical marijuana industry.

Flavor is Key to Quality Breed

Todd Davis - Monday, March 15, 2010

Colorado medical marijuana is becoming an institution in itself. On one side, there is the undying controversy involving moral, ethical, and medical arguments. Another point of view maintains the business opportunity and potential revenue streams in marijuana growth and marijuana dispensaries. One major component remains: none of this would even be possible without a large demographic willing to spend on the product. In an interview with several patients, one theme was prevalent: a medical marijuana product is far more desirable given the flavor and other olfactory properties. One common property highly recommended by the connoisseur is purple hairs within the bud. One patient aptly describes such breeds to have a “light, fruity, purple flavor”. Other breeds, some called “diesel” have distinct heavy, dank, and sappy flavors. The current patient (and thereby consumer) prefers quality breeding subsequent with precise flavor properties above nearly every other property. Consequently, some flavors are more common to certain breeds: sativa plants will be likely to have lighter, fruity flavors, while indica plants may contain heavier flavors. Medical marijuana has already come a long way in a short time. Cannabis quality and flavor will continue to be in the highest interest to both marijuana growers and consumers alike.

Disbanding the Myths of Marijuana: Part 3

Todd Davis - Friday, February 26, 2010

As previously reviewed, Colorado medical marijuana is fronted with many false assumptions. Most of these falsehoods are used to create fear and doubt among a skeptical public. Today's myth: decriminalizing marijuana will cause crime rates to increase. Many opponents of medical marijuana in Colorado claim legalization will create a spike in crime rates both in violent crime and traffic violations. Some opposing literature has even gone so far to say highways will become war zone. This, of course, is ridiculous to the point of laughability. Many who believe this think that decriminalization of Colorado cannabis will create an entire new culture of drivers driving under the influence of marijuana, thus causing more accidents, traffic violations, and DUI infractions. Unfortunately, there are no legitimate studies or statistics to support or debunk this claim. However, irresponsible driving is a function of the individual, not the drug. It is highly doubtful that decriminalizing marijuana will suddenly create irresponsible drivers. Reality check: those who drive under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, or any substance will do so regardless of legality or social acceptance. The only way to make some fairly logical conclusions on the subject is to compare crime rates in a place where marijuana is legal: Amsterdam. Census crime statistics show that violent crimes such as murder are lower than the United States on a per capita basis. Total crime on a per capita basis is also lower in Amsterdam than the United States. One would think if crime and marijuana were directly correlated, crime would be out of control in Amsterdam. Traffic statistics are difficult to compare due to the fact that commuting is far less prevalent in Europe. However, Amsterdam isn't really well known for high DUI rates. Unfortunately, comparing statistics isn't enough to convince skeptics. Proponents for Colorado medical marijuana are given the task of breaking down social barriers so the industry may flourish. Once the public begins to understand the benefit of medical marijuana in Colorado far outweighs the risk, the industry will be allowed to thrive.

Demographic Larger Than Expected

Todd Davis - Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Many opponents to medical marijuana in Colorado may have a skewed perception when it comes to who will use cannabis. Many tend to envision stereotypical "stoner types" with Rastafarian hats, hacky sacks, and dreadlocks. This image, of course, is skewed and inaccurate. Unfortunately, this is the very image that inhibits the growth of Colorado medicinal marijuana. Believe it or not, the demographic of users may be larger than one would expect. Current studies have shown marijuana use among 50 - 60 year olds has more than tripled since last year. Many in this age range use Colorado medical marijuana to relieve pain for symptoms such as arthritis and glaucoma. Most also claim to sleep better using Colorado cannabis as opposed to many prescribed drugs. Colorado medical marijuana is providing a myriad of medical uses among a larger amount of "normal" people than most want to believe.

Growers and Owners Should Be Concerned

Todd Davis - Monday, February 22, 2010

In spite of the effort of advocates, doctors, and patients, the federal government looks to be aiming their sights on Colorado medical marijuana dispensaries. According the Denver division DEA office, every Colorado medical marijuana dispensary is a fundamental violation of federal law. The local agency has also declared its intent to seize product and arrest every employee of a Colorado medical marijuana dispensary. Strong words coming from a federal agency stationed in Colorado. Bottom line is state and federal laws are currently set on a collision course. Federal agencies are obviously begining to speak up. It is only a matter of time before they take more action. It is abundantly clear that there will be far more dilliberation and controversy before this is resolved.

Would Legalization Be So Bad?

Todd Davis - Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Most advocates of medical marijuana in Colorado focus on the medicinal benefits of Colorado Cannabis. True as this may be, perhaps this is just the first step for a blooming industry. Obviously, much controversy has surrounded the legitimacy of the newly flourishing industry. Opponents of the product tend to constantly site concepts like morality and social dangers as if medical marijuana in Colorado has already torn the moral fabric of society. It seems, in contrast to this belief, the industry has already provided a beneficial product and a potentially limitless expanding business prospect.  After all, there is a reason why over 300 Colorado medicinal marijuana dispensaries opened their doors in less than a year, thus creating one of the fastest growing and profitable industries in history. Unfortunately, this is both a gift and a curse for the industry: business exponentially expanded in a short time, but that ended up creating more skepticism and fear among the general public. Objectively speaking, legalizing Colorado cannabis would create business opportunities, provide jobs, and would provide literally billions of dollars to state and federal government in sales tax alone. For now, the battle will rage on just to keep the medical industry alive. Perhaps in the near future, fear and skepticism will fade away, allowing the industry thrive as it really should.

Cannabis Connoisseur

Todd Davis - Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Not everything about Colorado medical marijuana needs to revolve around controversy. Contrary to popular belief, cannabis contains many connoisseur properties, similar to fine wines, liquor, and tobacco. Nearly everyone knows that the active chemical in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol; commonly known as THC. What most people do not know, however, is the plant produces in two basic forms: sativa and indica. There are a myriad of physical properties surrounding the two forms, but it is the effectual properties that really set the two apart. Most plants carry both traits, but for many Colorado medical marijuana patients, the percentage of sativa vs. indica in a plant has a drastic effect on the pain reducing properties as well as psychological and emotional effects. Commonly, indica plants contain heavy pain reducing properties, but also carry stronger mental effects such as drowsiness. Sativa plans, conversely, tend to hold more mentally pleasing attributes such as euphoria, but do not affect the body as much as sativa plants. Patients suffering from depression along with their physical ailments may prefer a heavier dosage of sativa. Beyond the effectual attributes, different plants also contain different flavor quality, color, density, and a plethora of qualities that can make each plant a unique specimen. Medical marijuana in Colorado can and should be allowed to help those in need. It is no crime, in contrast, to acknowledge the positives of Colorado cannabis beyond the initial medical benefit.

Where will it end?

Todd Davis - Saturday, February 13, 2010

It is no mystery that Colorado medicinal marijuana has become an extremely hot issue among both the public and lawmakers alike. Initiatives, bills, and proposals are presented on a nearly daily basis, creating more controversy and dispute among the voting public, advocates, and opponents of medical marijuana in Colorado. Considering all of the hype surrounding the subject, one can’t help but wonder: what will be the end result when all of the laws and disputes are finally settled? Conventional wisdom suggests there are two logical conclusions to the current dilemma. One point of view contends that Denver marijuana should and will become more restricted, forcing the industry into more of a pharmaceutical state whereby the patient will receive a conventional prescription from a doctor and would be required to buy the prescription at either a pharmacy or a privatized medicinal marijuana dispensary. The contrary view suggests the industry should and will be allowed to flourish, thus keeping Colorado medical marijuana available to patients using the current standard. Some contend that without strict regulation, Colorado cannabis may become available to the masses, much like a liquor store; this is, of course, the less likely scenario. Both sides of the argument have legitimate points of contention. What counts is where the industry will be led. No matter what, it will certainly be an intriguing process to behold.

Fear and Doubt in Public Perception

Todd Davis - Thursday, February 11, 2010

As lawmakers, business owners, and advocates battle over regulation of medicinal marijuana in Colorado, the public view becomes more skeptical. Current and future law notwithstanding, it is really the voting public at large who will decide the ultimate fate of Colorado medical marijuana. Due to all of the buzz and media attention drawn to the subject, it seems the public is beginning to question the integrity of the state of medicinal marijuana in Colorado. One does not have to look far to read message boards or website posts to feel the backlash of the current state of the industry. One of the common views is medical marijuana in Colorado is simply a farce in an effort to open the doors for recreational use. Attitudes such as this will invariably push the industry into a strict regulatory state that very well may completely dismantle the current state of Colorado medical marijuana dispensaries, caregivers, and patients alike. In contrast, proponents argue the legitimate medical benefit and make strong effort to make Colorado cannabis as obtainable as possible. Colorado medical marijuana dispensaries can also provide significant revenue opportunities for owners, growers, and (most importantly) state tax. Benefits of Colorado medical marijuana could very well outweigh the perceived moral dangers of the industry. It is up to advocates to convince an increasing skeptical public.

New Bill and Initiative Focus on Dispensaries

Todd Davis - Friday, February 05, 2010

Predictably, a new bill was unveiled this week that would drastically change how Colorado medicinal marijuana dispensaries can do business. In short, the bill will require dispensaries to operate as nonprofit care centers while privately growing their own supply of cannabis. Obviously, this would reduce incentive for new dispensaries to open. Furthermore, it could drastically change the caregiver system currently in place while circumventing the free market strategy presently employed by Colorado medicinal marijuana dispensaries. Advocates for medicinal marijuana in Colorado are countering with a new ballot initiative that would require stricter licensing and security systems for all Colorado medical marijuana dispensaries. Obviously, there will be more bills and initiatives on the horizon as attitudes towards Colorado cannabis become more polarized. While opponents of medicinal marijuana in Colorado push for harsher restriction, advocates and business owners will be challenged to find initiatives that will please the public while still maintaining financial enterprise.

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