Staff CMM - Friday, October 26, 2012
The function of using middle men to perform transactions between two individuals or operations is common practice. However, when it comes to medical marijuana sales in Colorado, their function has been anything but clear up to this point. Recently, attorney Sean McAllister sought to get more clarification of the rules on behalf of his clients by petitioning MMED Direction Laura Harris. Harris’ response to McAllister’s request finally shed some light on what has been a very grey area by informing McAllister that Colorado state law dictates only persons who have a direct interest, i.e., owners of medical marijuana dispensaries with a license to buy or sell medical marijuana in Colorado are allowed to make transactions involving the drug. Those who do not fit this criteria are not allowed to perform transactions of any kind nor receive commissions for doing so.
Staff CMM - Friday, October 12, 2012
It seems as though Colorado medical marijuana laws have made illegal activity surrounding the drug a much easier thing as of late. Along with the record busts in Pueblo and Colorado Springs, Colorado law enforcement is finding it harder and harder to keep up with the increased amount of illegal marijuana activity in the state. Instead of a bust here and there of a couple pounds, it has now become almost a common occurrence to make a bust of several hundred pounds along with firearms and other illegal drugs. Law enforcement officials in Ft. Collins recently arrested two individuals for using a greenhouse to grow 375 pounds of marijuana. The individuals were also found with 22 ounces of hash, prescription drugs, six rifles and a hand gun. The suspects were charged with marijuana possession, possession with the intent to distribute and cultivation of marijuana. It seems as though these increasing incidents are only serving to strengthen the opposition to the drug’s presence in the state.
Staff CMM - Wednesday, October 10, 2012
November is rapidly approaching and when it arrives, voters will be making a choice about amending the law in Colorado regarding marijuana and its legality. Amendment 64 has been a hot topic of discussion amongst both sides and now it will be up to Colorado citizens to decide its fate. Amendment 64 is a bill proposing to make possession of limited amounts of marijuana legal to adults in the state. Those for the bill feel by legalizing the drug, the state will benefit from taxes collected and will still be able to regulate it at the same time. Supporters feel this will open new avenues for the economy and reduce illegal black market activity. Those who are against the bill feel that the legalization of marijuana will lead to heavier teen drug abuse. Those opposing the bill also feel that illegal drug trafficking will not stop with legalization in the state and are concerned about the negative overtones legalizing the drug could have on the state’s reputation.
Staff CMM - Wednesday, September 12, 2012
In a unanimous vote that lasted less than a minute, the Denver City Council has voted to ban all types of outdoor advertising for medical marijuana including billboards, posters, bus benches, windshield leaflets and sign twirlers. The Denver City Council also voted immediately afterwards to kill an alternate, more limited plan that would have blocked outdoor advertising within 1,000 feet of schools, parks and daycare facilities. The position of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group is that this will show good faith by businesses to fit into their communities. Businesses will still be allowed to advertise online, in newspapers and magazines and also at any charity events they sponsor. While the Cannabis Business Alliance is not happy with the vote outcome, they feel that clear rules have now been established that will enable them to move forward.
Staff CMM - Friday, August 10, 2012
When considering the recent federal ruling by the Supreme Court regarding the legality of marijuana possession, it is easy to see that along with the Presidential election in November, people can expect to see the marijuana debate explode. The Supreme Court ruled recently that marijuana, no matter if it is considered legal in a state, is still punishable under federal law. This means that regardless of whether states such as Colorado make marijuana legal for recreational use, federal agents will still have authority to prosecute those found in possession, whether it is a dispensary or an individual. Some representatives believe that if Colorado becomes the first state to make the substance legal under state law, this will draw attention from federal prosecutors to pursue legal action to a much stronger degree.
Staff CMM - Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Problems continue to arise when it comes to the issue of medical marijuana legality in Colorado. With conflicting state and federal laws, officials are finding it difficult to sort out the proper legal stance when it comes to prosecution. The government position has been that marijuana is an illegal drug punishable under federal law. However, it has also been further clarified by David Ogden, a previous Deputy Attorney General of the United States in a memorandum sent to select U.S. Attorneys that they should not focus federal resources in their state on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medicinal use of marijuana. The issue that many have been running into is that the memo does not legalize marijuana nor does it protect users of the drug from federal prosecution. Exactly where the right or wrong areas are in this matter is still in question.
Staff CMM - Tuesday, July 24, 2012
The state of Colorado is preparing to lift a two-year dispensary moratorium July 1st and many dispensary owner hopefuls are chomping at the bit to begin the process of opening their own dispensary. With a market that is already completely over-saturated with medical marijuana dispensaries, these new hopefuls are in for quite a surprise. Although the moratorium will be lifted, many of the barriers will still remain. The cost of opening a business can be at least $100,000 or more and the regulatory requirements that go along with it are overwhelming. Coupled with the knowledge that marijuana is still an illegal substance according to federal law, this makes operation of a medical marijuana business even more risky. Despite the overwhelming odds, however, many are lining up to join the medical marijuana dispensary rush. With so many new hopefuls entering the market, this rush may create more problems with existing businesses who are already struggling to survive in an overly competitive business market.
Staff CMM - Tuesday, July 10, 2012
As Amendment 64 gains strength, more and more opposition is gaining strength as well. Members of groups from both sides of the subject are voicing louder concerns about whether to make marijuana in Colorado legal. A citizen group called Smart Colorado has begun the attempt to enlist the help of the U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, to put a stop to Amendment 64. The Amendment, if passed, would allow adults in the state of Colorado to possess up to one ounce legally of the substance without fear of legal action by the state. Smart Colorado members are urging Holder to aggressively oppose the measure, stating that many citizens are unaware of the serious legal and policy implications of passing such a law. Members of groups who are in support of Amendment 64 are saying that involvement by Holder is unnecessary and just an attempt by a group of law officials to interfere with Colorado’s business industry.
Staff CMM - Tuesday, July 03, 2012
As the Presidential election draws nearer, candidates from various places are beginning to focus in on some of the more hot topics for debate, the most recent one being the medical marijuana industry and whether it should be regulated like alcohol. Libertarian Presidential nominee, Gary Johnson, visited a Denver dispensary recently to voice his support for Amendment 64 in Colorado. The proposed Amendment would allow people 21 years of age and over to possess limited amounts of marijuana and would also allow marijuana sales to be taxed as any other product. The biggest hitch that states such as Colorado are running into is that even though medical marijuana has been deemed legal under state laws, there are still federal laws to contend with. Under federal law, marijuana possession of any kind is illegal and though people may have limited protection by state law, they are not protected under federal law. Presidential nominee Johnson claims that if he is elected President, he would see to it that any medical marijuana businesses operating within local and state laws would not have to worry about being shut down by federal prosecutors.
Staff CMM - Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Members of the Denver City Council recently voted unanimously to postpone a final vote on whether to ban medical marijuana ads I Denver until August 20th of this year. Members of both sides of the issue showed up at the public hearing to voice their concerns on the subject. A nurse who took the podium stated clearly that even though she was an advocate and supporter of medical marijuana, she also supported the ban on medical marijuana outdoor advertisements, saying that people are able to find dispensaries without the aid of ads. The executive director of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group, Michael Elliot, spoke in favor of the ban, stating that kids were not just limited to 1,000 feet of schools, parks and daycare but are everywhere that these outdoor ads could be seen. The ordinance that was designed was modeled after a federal tobacco advertising law by Councilwoman Debbie Ortega. Ortega stated the purpose of the ordinance is to protect the city’s youth. If the ordinance is passed, it will be enforced on a complaint basis. Supporters of the right to outdoor advertising say the ban will only serve to further push the Colorado medical marijuana industry further into the shadows and set back any progress the industry has made thus far. The first reading regarding the vote will be scheduled for August 13th.