Tag: Colorado

Data Dive: Cannabis Sales Keep Climbing in Washington and Colorado

The two first movers within the United States legal cannabis industry—Washington and Colorado—have both seen solid, year-over-year sales growth over the first four months of each year, according to data from state regulators.

Compiling sales numbers from both the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, and the Colorado Department of Revenue, Leafly was able to visualize just how much each state’s legal cannabis industry has grown during the past few years.

In the first graph, below, you can see that sales increased in both Washington and Colorado from 2016 to 2017 in the January–April quarter.Washington saw the biggest difference, with first four months of 2017 yielding year-over-year sales increases of 55% to nearly 80%. Colorado’s sales increases, though positive, were much mellower than those in the Evergreen State.

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Similar were seen from 2015 to 2016, as Washington’s cannabis industry—which launched after Colorado’s—began to hit its stride and make significant gains over two years. Washington saw year-over-year increases of more than 100% in each of the first four months of 2016. Again, Colorado’s total sales increases were slower and steadier, holding around 30% to 40%.

A month-by-month look at Colorado’s sales data suggest the state’s legal cannabis market tends to grow around 30% each year.

The table below shows the growth between Colorado’s first year of legal cannabis, 2014, and its second full year of legal sales, 2015.

State Year Month 2014 Total Year 2 Month 2 2015 Total % change
Colorado 2014 January $45,869,275.86 2015 January $62,359,275.86 36%
Colorado 2014 February $50,359,620.69 2015 February $66,194,793.10 31%
Colorado 2014 March $54,117,413.79 2015 March $72,175,896.55 33%
Colorado 2014 April $53,783,103.45 2015 April $71,864,862.07 34%

Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Colorado County Gives High School Graduates $420K in Cannabis-Funded Scholarships

Colorado’s cannabis industry has now helped give $420,000 in scholarships to 210 Pueblo County high school graduates. On June 20, the high school seniors each received $2,000 in cannabis tax-funded grants from the Pueblo County Scholarship Fund and the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative.

Pueblo County Commissioner Sal Pace told the Pueblo Chieftan that the dollar amount was a mere coincidence, not a reference to ’420’ cannabis slang. In February, estimates put the projected amount at $425,000.

The program is believed to be the first academic scholarship in the world to be funded by cannabis tax.

County officials on Tuesday threw an event in front of the Pueblo County Courthouse to recognize the scholarship recipients. Of the 210 recipients, 143 were in attendance to receive certificates and recognition in front of a crowd of about 300 people.

Jeanette Garcia, a member of the Colorado Commission for Higher Education, told the Chieftain that she was extremely proud of the students.

“Congratulations to our scholarship recipients, especially to the city and county of Pueblo for having the vision to invest in our own citizens,” she said.

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All graduating high school students from the county are automatically eligible for the scholarship, provided they attend either Pueblo Community College or Colorado State University-Pueblo, the latter of which recently established an Institute of Cannabis Research.

Last year, when the program began, 23 students received scholarships.

“Last year was a pilot, and we started it early because we had the COSI funds available that we weren’t expecting,” Pace told the Chieftan. “This year was the first full-blown year of the scholarship program.”

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Beverly Duran, executive director of the Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation, said that every student who applied and met the qualifications received a scholarship.

To meet a few of the students who received scholarships from the program, check out the story from the Chieftain here.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

As Cannabis Comes Out of Black Market, Regulators Face Scrutiny

DENVER (AP) — Take a black-market business that relies on cash. Move the business out of the shadows by giving it government oversight. Hire new regulators to keep watch on the business, all without any experience regulating a brand-new industry.

“Marijuana is unique because it’s so front and center in the public eye.”

Lewis Koski

The result can be a recipe for government corruption.

Recent cases in Colorado and Washington are the first known instances of current or former cannabis regulators being accused of having improper dealings with the industry. The two recreational marijuana states are the nation’s oldest, approving legal marijuana in defiance of federal law in 2012.

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A pair of cases several years into the legal-weed experiment might not seem like much, but they give a black eye to all marijuana regulators and fuel old fears about the criminal element’s influence.

In a case that has caught the U.S. Justice Department’s attention, former Colorado marijuana enforcement officer Renee Rayton is accused of helping cannabis growers raise plants for illegal out-of-state sales.

State investigators say the cannabis warehouse inspector quit her job last year and immediately went to work for the illegal marijuana ring, taking an $8,000-a-month job.

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A June 7 indictment says Rayton told the cannabis growers she could help them “get legal” through her contacts at the Colorado agency that oversees the marijuana industry. The indictment says Rayton had “vast knowledge” of marijuana regulations and “must have been aware” that other defendants in the case were growing cannabis illegally.

She is charged with conspiracy to illegally grow cannabis. Rayton’s attorney told The Associated Press she is innocent.

In Washington, the state agency that regulates cannabis recently fired an employee who leased land to a prospective marijuana grower.

Marijuana licensing specialist Grant Bulski was leasing 25 acres to a marijuana entrepreneur for $2,834 a month, The Spokesman-Review reported . That violated Washington rules prohibiting state cannabis regulators from having a financial stake in the business. Bulski was not charged with a crime.

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Messages left at numbers for a Grant Bulski in Olympia weren’t returned.

Cannabis isn’t the first product in the U.S. to go from illegal to legit. Alcohol and gambling made similar transitions last century.

But since recreational marijuana remains off-limits in most states and in the U.S. government’s eyes, a massive black market remains.

“Marijuana is unique because it’s so front and center in the public eye,” said Lewis Koski, who became Colorado’s top marijuana enforcement officer after regulating the gambling and alcohol industries.

Now a government consultant who teaches public policy at the University of Colorado-Denver, Koski said government employees who regulate any business face tension. Regulators know the industry they’re monitoring well. And in the case of the marijuana business, those regulators have no guidance from federal authorities and little precedent to rely on.

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And because the federal government considers all cannabis business illegal, making it difficult for those businesses to access banking products as basic as checking accounts, the cannabis industry remains cash-heavy.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the Colorado case last month when he asked Congress not to renew a spending provision that prevents the Justice Department from spending tax money to interfere with state marijuana laws and businesses.

“It would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions,” Sessions wrote in the letter first obtained by cannabis social network Massroots.com.

The Colorado and Washington cases were uncovered by state officials, not federal drug authorities. They highlight how critical it is for states to tightly regulate a business still coming out of the black market, Koski said.

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“Both sides — government agencies and the industry — are working hard to establish credibility,” Koski said. “So it makes it more concerning when you have people going back and forth.”

Ethics watchdogs say the Colorado and Washington cases should spur cannabis states to beef up ethics commissions charged with monitoring conflicts of interest by government employees. Michigan, a medical-marijuana state, passed a 2016 law banning even relatives of its marijuana oversight board members from having any financial stake in the cannabis industry.

Poorly staffed ethics offices in some marijuana states aren’t prepared to stop regulators leaving to work for the industries they once monitored, said Aaron Scherb, national legislative director for the government watchdog group Common Cause.

“It’s like trying to keep water out of a sinking boat — you can do it for a while, but it’s only a matter of time,” he said.


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Ontario Dogs to Remain CBD-Free

The life of a dog can be an enviable thing, filled with sleeping, eating, and sniffing the butts of peers with impunity. But sometimes things go wrong, with the unluckiest dogs experiencing ailments like anxiety, chronic pain, persistent seizures, and osteoporosis. One potential remedy for these canine ills: CBD oil, which progressive pet owners have successfully used to treat their dogs’ serious medical conditions.

Unfortunately, officially sanctioned medical marijuana for dogs is a way off, as recent discussions between the College of Veterinarians of Ontario and the Office of Medical Cannabis at Health Canada confirmed that Canada’s Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations do not apply to veterinarians or their animal patients.

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“Both cannabis (marijuana) and cannabidiol are Schedule II drugs under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act,” notes the College of Veterinarians of Ontario. “As veterinarians are included in the definition of practitioner in this Act, veterinarians would be permitted to prescribe either substance if there was a legal pathway to do so. The Office of Controlled Substances at Health Canada has confirmed that there are currently no approved CBD products for animals, meaning there is no legal pathway to obtain these products for animals in Canada.”

A ray of hope: Colorado State University is currently conducting clinical trials for CBD as a possible treatment for epilepsy and osteoporosis in dogs. If successful, these trials could lead to FDA-approved cannabidiol treatments in the U.S., which might inspire Health Canada to follow suit.

In the meantime, please enjoy this photograph of a dog dressed as a pickle.

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Leafly List: The Best Cannabis Dispensaries in Colorado, Summer 2017

The Summer 2017 Leafly List for Colorado is a data-based, community-sourced ranking that consumers use to find the best cannabis dispensaries in their area.

The post Leafly List: The Best Cannabis Dispensaries in Colorado, Summer 2017 appeared first on Leafly.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Colorado Governor Signs Law Allowing Medical Cannabis for PTSD

DENVER, CO — Governor John Hickenlooper has signed legislation, Senate Bill 17, permitting physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to patients suffering from post-traumatic stress.

PTSD is the first new qualifying condition to be added since the state legalized medical cannabis in 2001.

Members of the Colorado Board of Health had previously rejected efforts to include PTSD as a qualifying condition, opining that sufficient evidence did not yet support its efficacy.

More information is available here.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Congressman Jared Polis, a Cannabis Caucus Co-Founder, to Run for Colorado Governor

US Rep. Jared Polis, who’s been an outspoken supporter of legal cannabis during his recent years in Congress, announced this week that he will join Colorado’s congested race for governor. The progressive Democrat out of Boulder will test just how far left the state has shifted politically in the last decade.

In an interview with the Denver Post, Polis said his platform will focus on three main initiatives: getting Colorado to use 100% renewable energy by 2040, ensuring parents can access full-day preschool or kindergarten for children age 3 and older for free, and finally, encouraging companies in the Rocky Mountain state to provide stock options to employees.

“This is a campaign of big, bold ideas, and I’m trying to make them happen,” Polis said. “We want a Colorado that works for everybody.”

At the federal level, Polis has long been a proponent of the big, bold idea of cannabis legalization. During his time in Washington, DC, he’s championed numerous measures to protect state-legal cannabis. Back at the end of March, Polis introduced a bill called the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, that would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and regulate it like alcohol.

In February, he and other federal lawmakers launched the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, a bipartisan group dedicated to promoting and protecting the legal cannabis industry.

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Polis joins the race to become governor after taking a fairly unusual path to Congress. In college, he co-founded and sold the tech firm American Information Systems. He then co-founded an electronic greeting card website, Bluemountain.com, which he sold for more than $350 million.

Polis is reported to have a net worth of over $90 million dollars, making him one of the richest members of Congress. That will be important as he attempts to make his way through a stacked and competitive gubernatorial race. Among those who’ve their hats in the ring so far are fellow Congressman Ed Perlmutter, former state Sen. Mike Johnson, Mitt Romney nephew Doug Robinson, and an assortment of others.

When Polis officially launches his governor’s bid, he’s expected to use some of his own funds to foot the campaign. He’s expected to face a fight in Colorado’s powerful oil and gas sector, which employs tens of thousands.

If Polis were to win, he’d make history as Colorado’s first openly gay governor. He’s currently the first openly gay parent to serve in Congress.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Colorado Cannabis Market Funds Busts of Illegal Growers

DENVER (AP) — The first recreational cannabis market in the U.S. notched another marijuana first Thursday when Colorado started using marijuana taxes to fund police efforts to crack down on illegal growing operations.

A measure signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper sets aside nearly $6 million a year in Colorado marijuana tax revenue to reimburse police for investigating black-market marijuana activity that authorities say has increased since the state legalized recreational marijuana in 2012.

“We don’t people to say they’re trying to grow for medical purposes, or licensed recreational uses, and instead they’re shipping it out of state,” Hickenlooper said.

The fund was backed by police groups who complain that marijuana legalization has attracted illicit marijuana growers along with legal ones.

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The bill was also backed by Colorado’s nascent marijuana industry amid complaints that illegal growing operations undercut prices of cannabis grown legally and give legalization a bad name.

Oregon sets aside 20 percent of its cannabis taxes for “local law enforcement” in cities and counties, plus another 15 percent for state police. But Oregon does not direct police to use that money to investigate black-market operations.

Colorado’s fund is the first in any state designated to specifically combat the black market. Colorado gave law enforcement about $1.7 million last year for other marijuana-related enforcement activities, such as training officers to spot stoned drivers.

The black-market grants are aimed at rural communities, where there may be no dispensaries and no local tax benefit from legalization.

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Rural communities have also attracted some high-profile illicit drug operators accused of trying to exploit Colorado’s cannabis law to produce marijuana for sale out of state. The small towns where this has happened have limited police resources and their officials have said they cannot thorough investigate some sprawling marijuana growing operations.

“An investigation like this can be very time-consuming and expensive,” said Michael Phibbs, head of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police.

The U.S. government allowed Colorado’s marijuana legalization experiment on the condition that state officials act to prevent marijuana from migrating to other states where it is still outlawed and ensure that criminal cartels are kept out of the growing business.

“To my knowledge there is no evidence that illegal growing disproportionately affects minority communities.”

Sen. Irene Aguilar

The industry acknowledges the criminal activity and insists it is doing all it can to prohibit legally grown cannabis from crossing state lines. Among other safeguards, Colorado law requires growers to get licenses and use a “seed-to-sale” tracking system that monitors marijuana plants from when they are grown to when the finished product is sold in retail outlets.

“The black market certainly hurts the regulated industry,” said Kevin Gallagher, head of the Cannabis Business Alliance, a Colorado group representing the sector.

A dozen raids across southeast Colorado in 2016 led federal authorities to seize more than 22,000 pounds (10,000 kilograms) of marijuana they said were intended for out-of-state sale.

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There have been debates in some states over racial disparities in drug arrests after legalization. But the Colorado bill’s sponsor said the extra funding for police is not meant to jail more people. Instead, it is aimed at helping rural areas ill equipped to investigate possible multinational drug operations, she said.

In Colorado, “to my knowledge there is no evidence that illegal growing disproportionately affects minority communities,” said Sen. Irene Aguilar, a Denver Democrat who sponsored the bill.

Hickenlooper was also scheduled to sign a bill Thursday that limits the amount of marijuana that can be grown in most homes to 12 marijuana plants no matter how many people might be living there. Current state law allows adults over 21 to possess six plants each and more if doctors recommend a higher plant count.

The 12-plant residential limit is already required by local zoning laws in most of Colorado’s larger communities, including Denver. That makes it unclear how many people would be affected by the statewide limit. The statewide limit takes effect in 2018.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Court: Neighbors Can Sue Cannabis Grower for Smells

DENVER (AP) — A cannabis farm’s neighbor can sue them for smells and other nuisances that could harm their property values, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling revives a lawsuit between a Colorado horse farm and a neighboring marijuana-growing warehouse.

The horse farm’s owners, the Reillys, sued in 2015, claiming that the warehouse would diminish their land’s value by emitting “noxious odors” and attracting unsavory visitors. A federal district court dismissed the Reillys’ claim, and the warehouse opened in 2016.

“The landowners have plausibly alleged at least one (racketeering) claim,” the judges wrote.

The horse farm owners appealed, and a three-judge appeals panel agreed Wednesday that their claims should be heard. But the judges said the Reillys can’t sue Colorado to force the state to enforce federal drug law and not allow the cannabis warehouse in the first place.

The southern Colorado case is interesting because the horse farm owners are trying to use a 1970 federal law crafted to fight organized crime. The Reillys say that federal racketeering laws entitle them to collect damages from the cannabis farm, even though it is legal under state law.

“The landowners have plausibly alleged at least one (racketeering) claim,” the judges wrote.

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Cannabis legalization opponents say the racketeering strategy gives them a possible tool to break an industry they oppose. It could give private citizens who oppose legalization a way to sue the industry out of business, even as federal officials have so far declined to shut down most cannabis businesses operating in violation of federal drug law.

“This is a tremendous victory for opponents of the marijuana industry,” said Brian Barnes, a Washington-based lawyer who represents the Reillys on behalf of the anti-crime nonprofit group Safe Streets Alliance.

Owners of the cannabis warehouse, owned by a company called Alternative Holistic Healing, did not immediately return a call for comment Wednesday. An attorney representing them in the case could not be reached, either.

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The case now goes to back to a federal district court that had earlier dismissed it.

The appeals panel handed cannabis opponents a defeat on another case Wednesday, however. The judges ruled that a lower court was right to dismiss a claim from a group of sheriffs in Colorado, Nebraska and Oklahoma, who had asked the federal court to block Colorado’s cannabis law.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Colorado Governor Signs PTSD Cannabis Bill Into Law

After a hard-fought effort by veterans groups and patient advocates, Colorado has added post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis. Gov. John Hickenlooper on Monday added his signature to SB 17, easing access to cannabis for individuals suffering from PTSD and allowing them the opportunity to talk openly with their doctors about using cannabis as part of a treatment plan.

Colorado, until this point the only state to have denied a request to add PTSD to its list of qualifying conditions, joins 19 other states—as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC—that allow patients with PTSD access to medical cannabis. The change is expected to take effect in coming weeks, after state forms are updated to reflect the change.

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The push to add PTSD to the list had run into numerous setbacks in recent years, most recently in July 2015, when the state Board of Health denied a petition in the face of boos and jeers from supporters. The board, which has not added a qualifying condition since the state adopted its medical marijuana law, said there wasn’t sufficient scientific evidence to justify the change.

“While I get the humanity and certainly the cases and the anecdotal experience,” board panelist Christopher Stanley said in 2015, after hearing proponents speak. “I don’t see that the evidence really allows us to be able to add this, according to our particular jurisdiction.” The proposal failed, 6–2.

The rejection led proponents to file a lawsuit against the state, which is currently before a state appellate court. It also encouraged them to bring a bill to to the Capitol, which earned the support of state lawmakers. The Legislature passed the bill in April, and it’s since been sitting on Hickenlooper’s desk.

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The bill will allow individuals suffering with PTSD to participate in the state’s medical marijuana program, allowing them access to a wider variety of medically focused products than generally found in adult-use stores. It will also free patients with PTSD to openly discuss with their physicians how cannabis might fit into a more comprehensive treatment plan.

Hoban Law Group, which handled the lawsuit pro bono on behalf of patients such as Army veteran Matthew Kahl, cheered the governor’s decision to sign the bill into law as “the final step of what has been a long journey to justice.”

“We at Hoban Law Group extend our deep gratitude to Senator [Irene] Aguilar, Representative [Jonathan] Singer and the other members of the Colorado General Assembly for making medical marijuana available to PTSD survivors in Colorado,” said Adam Foster, the lead attorney on the case. “It has been an honor to work hand in hand with veterans and other stakeholders to shepherd this critically important bill through the legislative process.”


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.