Colorado Medical Marijuana News
The small town of Garden City, Colorado, is the only town within 4,000 square miles where it’s legal to purchase marijuana for recreational use.
Localowner, Erica Pilch, says that they get customers driving from as far as 2 hours away just to purchase marijuana because it isn’t offered where they live. Garden City, a town with a population of just 300 people, is starting to see some serious tax revenue already from this. With strictly medicinal sales, Garden City brought in $250,000 in 2013 alone. With the massive on pour of recreational marijuana users, that figure is going to be a lot higher in 2014.
Brian Seifred, the town’s mayor used some of this extra cash to trim the trees of everyone in town free of charge, as well as giving out matching grants for various town projects. “It’s great that the law was written in a way that each community can make their own decision,” Seifred says.
About 30 states and the District of Columbia are considering some type of marijuana law reform legislation in 2014. The laws include bills that cover marijuana legalization for adults,programs, decriminalization, and hemp cultivation.
Currently there are 14 states considering marijuana legalization for adults:, Hawaii, Maryland, , Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
12 states and the District of Columbia are considering types of marijuana-related decriminalization: Alabama, Arizona, DC, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wyoming.
11 states are considering establishing medical marijuana programs: Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Hawaii, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
3 states are considering industrial hemp cultivation: Indiana, New York, and Tennessee.
Before long every state in the country will likely be a part of the marijuana industry; whether it be marijuana legalization or marijuana for medical purposes.
The fed is paving way for banks to conduct business with marijuana industry.
This week, the US Justice Department and Treasury Department issued memorandums that have provided banks with an outline for how to legally conduct business with marijuana industry businesses.
The new rules require banks to verify that marijuana businesses are properly licensed by their state before pursuing a business relationship. Banks are then required to monitor the businesses for any financial violations and report suspicious activity to federal regulators.
Whether the new regulations for banks and marijuana industry businesses will work is yet to be seen.
Most likely, large commercial banks will quickly enter the industry, but smaller regional banks will likely stay away due to the fear of large fines from regulators.
These new regulations are intended to help marijuana industry transactions to “move from the shadows,” said Mrs. Calvery, director of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
Even with these new federal regulations, many financial institutions are likely to remain cautious. Some banking industry experts have mentioned that nothing short of Congressional action will permit the banking industry to partner with marijuana industry businesses.
This new-found tolerance by the fed for legitimate state-run marijuana industries is a huge victory for the marijuana industry and banks.
Recreational accepting credit cards, even though the credit card giants say its against their rules.
This is because the credit card companies and merchant processors are overlooking loopholes and/or not enforcing company rules (which are to abide by the federal law, which states that marijuana and the transaction of it are illegal).
Visa stated that it follows federal laws and tries to prevent its network from being used unlawfully. It also added that “given the federal government’s position, and recognizing this is an evolving legal matter with different standards applicable in different states, our local merchant acquirers are best suited to make any determination about potential illegality.”
In other words, dispensaries can obtain a credit card merchant processing account to make card transactions, but they’ll have to be very careful with the terminology used on their application.
Lance Ott of Guardian Data Systems, a small business ATM and credit-card processor, does not believe the credit card companies have eased up at all. He thinks that dispensaries are taking advantage of loopholes, such as mis-coding their business category as general health. He said the card companies have not yet loosened their standards.
One thing is certain, as soon as one major credit card company and one major bank decide to accept legal marijuana-related businesses as clients, those companies are going to make a fortune and they will probably open the floodgates for other card companies and banks wanting into the marijuana industry.
Canada is beginning what it believes will be a $1.3 billionfree market this week to replace the homegrown marijuana production with large-scale quality-controlled marijuana production.
According to government estimates, the new medical marijuana free market could eventually serve upwards of 450,000 Canadians.
“Large indoor marijuana farms [certified by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police] and health inspectors will produce, package and distribute a range of standardized weed, all of it sold for whatever price the market will bear,” reported Canadian newspaper. “The first sales are expected in the next few weeks, delivered directly by secure courier.”
Large-scale cultivators have begun applying for operation licenses to produce marijuana. One Ontario company hopes to grow marijuana in an old Hershey’s chocolate plant. At least two large-scale cultivators have already received operation licenses. Canada’s large cultivation centers will be similar to thecultivation centers in the United States.
The medical marijuana free market in Canada is expected to establish a price of around $7.60 per gram of dried marijuana.
Apolice official defended the department’s decision to stand down as scores of people smoked marijuana joints at a marijuana giveaway in Civic Center park last week.
Deputy Chief David Quinones said the department wasn’t going to incite a riot over a petty offense.
Hundreds of people got free joints during the event that was organized by opponents of Proposition AA, a statewide ballot question over taxing retail marijuana sales.
“Public consumption of marijuana is against the law,” said Councilman Charlie Brown at a council meeting. “We should enforce that law. I don’t believe we can pick and choose what part of the city we can enforce the law.”
Brown and fellow councilwoman Jeanne Robb stated that images of people smoking marijuana in public sends a bad message to the world as the Denver prepares to welcome the new retail marijuana industry.
Of Colorado’s 10 largest cities, only Denver is expected to start accepting applications for recreational marijuana stores.
Four major cities already have moratoriums on store applications and four other major cities in Colorado have banned them altogether. That leaves around 20 cities and counties likely to start accepting applications for the recreational marijuana stores. Stores could open as early as Jan. 1, 2014.
The cities expected to allow recreational marijuana stores feature a large number of resort communities such as: Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs, and Telluride.
It appears that the recreational marijuana industry in Colorado will be much like theindustry, very oriented.
Pueblo County commissioners have approved a Denver medical marijuana dispensary to open a greenhouse in the east end of the county.
Pueblo is one of the few counties in the state that license medical pot greenhouses.
Many residents say they don’t want to create an export crop. “There were previous grow operations approved” said Commissioner Sal Pace. “This was not a dramatic shift in public policy.”
Pueblo County has approved nine local medicalapplications. Of those, a few included greenhouses, on- and off-site.
Former Mexican President Vicente Fox was in the United States this week attempting to legalize marijuana by joining pot advocates to urge the United States and Mexico to decriminalize the recreational use and sale of marijuana.
Fox told reporters that legalization is the only way to end the violence by Mexican drug cartels, in which he blames on America’s war on drugs.
Fox stated, “The cost of the war is becoming unbearable – too high for Mexico, for Latin America and for the rest of the world.” Every day, said Fox, 40 people are killed in drug-related violence in Mexico.
The former Mexican President’s position on legalizing marijuana has changed over time from when he cooperated with US efforts to slow down drug production in Mexico during his presidential term from 2000-2006. He has also been increasingly vocal, backing a couple of prior efforts to legalize marijuana in Mexico.
Mexico’s current president, Enrique Peña Nieto, opposes marijuana legalization. But he recently stated that he would consider the world’s opinion on the matter, mainly in light of recent voter-approved initiatives to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Washington and Colorado.
A survey this week shows that a majority of American parents support medical marijuana legalization, and about half of them support legalization of marijuana for recreational use.
The author of the study was The Partnership at Drugfree.org, which is one of the harshest critics of marijuana use in the United States.
The Partnership at Drugfree.org addressed the growing acceptance of marijuana in the United States in their survey titled “Marijuana: It’s Legal, Now What?”.
The authors of the study stated, “With marijuana now legal for recreational use in Colorado and Washington State, for medical use in 18 states and the District of Columbia, and effectively decriminalized in 14 states, it’s clear that society’s approach to marijuana is changing dramatically.”
Seventy percent of the study’s respondents said they favorlegalization, while 52 percent favor marijuana decriminalization, and about 42 percent favor legalization of marijuana for recreational use. The Partnership at Drugfree.org interviewed over 1,600 adults, 1,200 of which were parents of children ages 10 to 19.
Support for each of the three legalization scenarios – medical legalization, legalization for recreational use, and decriminalization – increased from 3 to 11 percentage points when respondents were given more details explaining the meaning of each scenario.