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Twelve Colorado towns voted on retail marijuana sales and taxes

11/5/20--Twelve towns voted on marijuana sales or tax issues (or both) this week. Unofficial results show that eight communities approved allowing retail pot businesses within their borders, while two towns rejected that possibility, and two more okayed special sales taxes on commercial marijuana transactions. Read

Editorial: Troubling lessons learned from legalization

10/1/20--As expressed by The Gazette editorial board, Colorado’s experiment with legal recreational marijuana — authorized by voters in 2012, with the first storefronts opening in 2014 — continues to charge ahead amid mixed results. Yet, at the same time, the question of whether the costs outweigh the presumed benefits continues to nag — at policy makers, even if many don’t care to admit it — as well as at the public at large. Read

Three Colorado localities voting on recreational marijuana in November election

10/13/20--Three localities in Colorado will vote on whether to allow recreational marijuana sales in their jurisdictions in November. For years, Littleton, Lakewood and Buena Vista have allowed medical cannabis to be sold. But the jurisdictions have blocked retail marijuana from being sold. Read

EDITORIAL: Troubling lessons learned from legalization

9/28/20--The national organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana, or SAM, has been assessing and chronicling the collateral damage in Colorado and across the country. Today, SAM released its fourth annual “Lessons Learned” report, a comprehensive review of the wide-ranging effects of legalization in states where it has been tried. As with previous years’ assessments by SAM, the Colorado-specific data is eye-opening and troubling. Read

Marijuana industry wants easier pesticide testing for extracted products

8/19/20--A powerful faction of Colorado's cannabis industry is pushing for more tolerant testing requirements for marijuana concentrates. Representatives of marijuana extraction companies, trade organizations and a testing laboratory told MED and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment officials that proposed pesticide testing levels for marijuana concentrates, such as wax, THC oil vaporizer products, bubble hash and live resin don't need to be so strict. Read

200826 HSA 4900 Jackson Street LLC FINAL

8/26/20--The Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR), in conjunction with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), is issuing a health and safety advisory due to the identification of potentially unsafe levels of microbial contamination on Retail Marijuana flower (bud/shake/trim) produced by 4900 Jackson LLC (DBA Sundance Gardens). Read

CDPHE releases latest Healthy Kids Colorado Survey data

8/3/20--Today, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) released the latest statewide and regional results from the bi-annual statewide Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS), the state’s only comprehensive survey on the health and well-being of young people, in middle school and high school. Read

Healthy Kids Colorado Survey data tables and reports

8/3/20--The purpose of the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey is to better understand youth health and what factors support youth to make healthy choices. The survey, conducted every two years, is supported by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado Department of Human Services, the Colorado Department of Public Safety, and an advisory group of state and local stakeholders. Read

Growing number of homeless encampments in Denver alarming to neighbors, schools and families

7/14/20--Homeless encampments, also known as 'tent cities' are growing exponentially in Denver. A growing chorus of critics say the city has been unable to control the issue during the pandemic, an inability to offer real solutions in a time of crisis. According to Terese Howard, homeless advocate with Denver Homeless Out Loud, her organization and others have been begging the city to do more. Read

Growing number of homeless encampments in Denver alarming to neighbors, schools and families

7/14/20--Homeless encampments are growing exponentially in Denver. Critics say the city has been unable to control the issue during the pandemic and doesn't have the ability to offer real solutions in a time of crisis. Read

Durango dispensary issues recall over pesticide concerns

7/10/20--Kinfolk Farms has issued a recall over concerns regarding banned pesticide use during plant production, according to the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division. Two marijuana harvest batches have been recalled after the MED and the Colorado Department of Health and Public Environment determined that growers were using banned pesticides. Read

Colorado sues Juul for marketing to minors

7/7/20--Colorado has filed a lawsuit against an e-cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs Inc., saying the company marketed products to children and downplayed health risks. State Attorney General Phil Weiser said Juul falsely suggested its vaping products are a healthy smoking alternative and can help people quit using cigarettes. Read

Rockflowr has the ability to reduce THC levels in CBD flower

7/6/20-- CBD of Denver, Inc., a full-line CBD and Hemp oil company ("CBDD") selling Black Pearl CBD and hemp products and the owner of CBD Social Network announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Rockflowr GmbH, has access to a proprietary process to reduce the THC level in cannabis flowers. Read

Stanley Brothers launch ReCreate Brand and COVID-19 Relief Program

6/18/20--Stanley Brothers, the parent company of the Charlotte’s Web CBD brand, are launching a new brand for THC products. The brand is called ReCreate, and its products will contain THC and CBD, combined with botanicals and other ingredients. Read

Denver’s marijuana businesses lack diversity in ownership and employment, city study finds

6/8/20--The majority of Denver’s cannabis-focused businesses are owned and staffed by white residents, leading to a lack of opportunities for people of color to get involved in the industry, according to a city study released Monday. According to Denver’s Cannabis Business and Employment Opportunity Study, 74.6% of owners of licensed cannabis businesses within city and county limits are white, as are 68% of employees. Read

Marijuana Laws, Rules, and Regulations

5/18/20--The Denver Department of Excise and Licenses has formed a Marijuana Licensing Work Group (MLWG) to gather community input regarding the new marijuana licenses created by the State of Colorado in 2019, Denver’s Cannabis Equity Program, and the City’s 2020 Marijuana Workplan. Read

El Paso County breaks up three illegal marijuana grows

4/30/20--Three illegal marijuana growing operations were uncovered and raided in El Paso County on Wednesday, with more than 700 plants, worth an estimated $700,000, seized. Investigators also seized $28,000 and five firearms while serving search warrants at three locations, according to a sheriff’s office news release. Read

Denver auditor explains why he called out city’s marijuana tax use

5/1/20--In 2016, Denver Auditor Timothy O'Brien released a report calling for more transparency and efficiency in how the City of Denver spends cannabis tax revenue. Four years later, O'Brien's is taking the city to task over what the auditor believes are shaky cannabis tax collecting and reporting practices, as well as a lack of discipline over black-market delivery services. Read

Opinion | Despite COVID’s threat, Polis, Hancock capitulate to the pot lobby

4/21/20--In an op-ed published in Colorado Politics, Luke Niforatos, chief of staff and senior policy adviser at Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), discusses Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis decision to restrict marijuana businesses to operating on a curbside or takeout-style service only. As a result, the industry quickly revolted and Polis completely caved allowing full indoor sales to carry on as usual. It took even less time for Denver Mayor Michael Hancock to appease the influential marijuana lobby. Read

Colorado Ag Department Phytosanitary programs protect hemp farmers

4/21/20--The Colorado Department of Agriculture’s (CDA) Phytosanitary, Seed and Nursery programs facilitate export of hemp seeds and clones/transplants across the U.S. and the world and offer important protections for farmers. These regulatory programs mandate truthful labeling and freedom from pests and diseases. To facilitate movement of plants, CDA inspects the material and issues a phytosanitary certificate stating freedom of specific quarantine pests to meet the restriction. Read

The first to legalize: demographic and spatial influences on Colorado Amendment 64

4/10/20--Colorado was one of the first states in the US to legalize the personal use and possession of marijuana. Using various estimation techniques, the purpose of this study is to examine the possible demographic and spatial factors influencing the voting behavior of Coloradans on the issue of recreational marijuana legalization. Read

Citing a new study, advocacy groups say dispensaries should not be considered an essential business

3/30/20--A study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which is within the National Institutes of Health, reports smoking marijuana may increase a person's risk for contracting the novel coronavirus. Two national advocacy groups are citing the study as a reason for removing the “essential” designation from dispensaries in states where recreational use of marijuana is legal. Read

Long lines form outside liquor & marijuana stores after Denver mayor’s coronavirus announcement

1/23/20--Dozens of people stood in line outside Argonaut’s, a liquor store in Denver, following Mayor Michael Hancock's announcement issuing a stay-at-home order which first listed liquor stores and recreational marijuana shops as non-essential. Read

Dispensaries saw the biggest sales day of the year after Denver’s initial stay-at-home order looked to close them

3/25/20--When Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced recreational marijuana shops would be forced to close under the city’s stay-at-home order Monday, the response from customers was swift. They swarmed local dispensaries to stock up on products and caused enough of a stir that the mayor rescinded the moratorium just three hours later. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis deemed marijuana dispensaries “critical” retail businesses, meaning they’re allowed to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic with some restrictions, and on Monday, Denver dispensaries saw their biggest sales day of the year so far. Read

Advocacy group urges localities to disallow marijuana ‘hospitality’ businesses

3/11/20--Smart Colorado, an advocacy group seeking to protect children from marijuana, has sent more than 2,300 letters to localities and chambers of commerce in the state urging their jurisdictions to opt out of social consumption of marijuana. Read

Colorado cannabis retailer voluntarily closes over coronavirus concerns after spike in customer traffic; similar closures could follow

3/16/20--Fort Collins, Colorado, cannabis retailer Organic Alternatives closed voluntarily on Monday over concerns about the spread of coronavirus. This is one of the first known instances of a cannabis retailer voluntarily closing because of coronavirus fears, but many more marijuana shops likely could do the same soon despite the loss in sales they’ll experience. Read

3 Denver dispensaries recall marijuana products over high mold and yeast levels

1/12/20--Three Denver dispensaries issued a voluntarily recall on marijuana products Friday due to elevated yeast and mold counts. Altitude East, Altitude West, and Altitude the Dispensary made the recall after an investigation by the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment found “potentially unsafe levels of yeast/mold” in plant material, according to a news release. Read

Altitude Dispensary chain issues marijuana mold recall

1/10/20--Denver-based dispensary chain Altitude the Dispensary has issued a marijuana recall over mold and yeast concerns, according to a public health notice from the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment. The recall began after samples collected during DDPHE visits to Altitude dispensaries in late December failed state-approved contaminant testing, according to department inspection records. Read

Opinion: Teen suicide has become normalized in our state. This is a crisis.

12/8/19--In an Op-ed by Dafna Michaelson Jenet published in The Colorado Sun, Jenet refers to the growth of youth suicide in Colorado at a rate of 59% over the past three years as an all-out emergency and a public health crisis. According to a study by the United Health Foundation, teen suicide now accounts for one out of every five adolescent deaths, and the teen suicide rate in Colorado has grown at a rate nearly double the national average. Read

Three men arrested in Eagle County after being found with 82 pounds of marijuana in their car

11/2/19--Authorities in Eagle County arrested three men last week after finding 82 pounds of marijuana in their car. D’Trevion Turner, 20, Tryce Jackson, 19, and Latravion Briggs, 20, were charged with distribution of marijuana — more than 50 pounds, and conspiracy to commit distribution of marijuana — more than 50 pounds. The three suspects were arrested and booked into the Eagle County Detentions facility. Read

In random mold tests at 25 Denver dispensaries, 80 percent fail

10/30/19--Denver recently conducted random tests of more than two dozen local dispensaries to learn more about potential yeast and mold issues with marijuana, and the results weren't good. Of the reports filed between September 9 and September 11, twenty listed at least one or more hold and quarantine orders for cannabis flower, shake or pre-rolled joints, an 80 percent failure rate. Each of those disciplinary actions was tied to plant matter testing above the maximum allowed for total yeast and mold. Read

Is Pot part of Denver’s ozone headache? That’s what researchers want to find out

9/30/19--Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is conducting a study of terpenes, the organic compounds that make the cannabis plant smell so strong. The study will be the most robust of its kind and builds on the research of William Vizuete, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. His study found cannabis grows could contribute anywhere from 66 to 657 tons of emissions per year. Compared to the total VOCs found in the state, that’s about a half a percent to 3.5 percent increase. Read

Denver lawyer Robert Corry arrested on suspicion of DUI, his third arrest since June

10/2/19--Prominent Denver attorney Robert Corry was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence last week, his third arrest since June. Corry, who represents the Texas truck driver charged in April’s deadly Interstate 70 crash, was also cited for failing to report an accident, careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident involving injury, according to a Denver police probable cause statement. Read

The rate of teen suicide in Colorado increased by 58% in 3 Years, making it the cause of 1 in 5 adolescent deaths

9/17/19--According to a new report by the United Health Foundation, Colorado had the highest increase in the teen suicide rate in the U.S. since 2016. Dr. Linda Genen, the group’s chief medical officer for women’s health, said Colorado's teen suicide rate increased 58 percent from 2016 to 2019, but the reason is unclear. In the past three years, teen suicide in Colorado rose from 12.9 to 20.4 deaths per 100,000 adolescents ages 15-19, according to the report. Overall, that rate put Colorado as the sixth worst state. Read

Cannabis confusion over hemp, marijuana creates issues for Colorado law enforcement

8/23/19--It is increasingly becoming a more common case of confusion in Colorado involving two types of cannabis plants, marijuana and hemp. Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants but hemp contains a much lower level of the psychoactive ingredient THC. Read

Democrat Jared Polis takes same stage as Donald Trump Jr. to tout bipartisanship amid shouts for “recall”

7/12/19--During the 10th annual Western Conservative Summit, Democratic Gov. Jared Polis extended a hand to his political rivals by stating, “our state of Colorado is big enough for all of us to live our lives according to our values” even as his critics responded with shouts for a “recall.” Polis is a prominent advocate for “Medicare for All.” He signed legislation this year to expand access to marijuana. Read

As Mass. debates marijuana cafes, Colorado’s burgeoning scene offers insights

7/9/19--The 11 states with legal recreational pot are grappling with how to handle public and social consumption. In Massachusetts, regulators are moving cautiously on pot cafes after health and law enforcement officials in Governor Charlie Baker’s administration mounted opposition last year over concerns about increased cannabis consumption and stoned driving. Read

Reefer madness or pot paradise? The surprising legacy of the place where legal weed began

6/30/19--There are ripple effects after five years of legal marijuana in Colorado. The state's first-in-the-nation experiment has reshaped health, politics, rural culture, and criminal justice in surprising ways that often defy both the worst warnings of critics and blue-sky rhetoric of the marijuana industry, giving a glimpse of what the future may hold as more and more states adopt and debate full legalization. Read

Haleigh’s Hope, Inc. lab receives FDA compliant, GMP certification on manufacturing practices for all hemp CBD products manufactured by the company

7/1/19--After years of requests to obtain GMP certification, a requirement set forth by the FDA for all consumable products manufactured for commercial distribution in the United States, Haleigh's Hope, Inc. announces that the company's efforts finally paid off on May 9, 2019. After several lawsuits and successful policy changes, GMP certification is now possible for state and federally compliant cannabis manufacturing facilities. Read

Colorado kids and teens are dying at a rate higher than the U.S. average — and suicide is to blame

6/17/19--Colorado is among the wealthiest, healthiest states in the nation but has a higher teen and child death rate than the national average, a rate that has grown worse over the past two decades. The reason is suicide, which reached an all-time high in 2017 and is the leading cause of death for Coloradans ages 10-24. Read

Twenty years after Columbine, Colorado schools are assessing an astonishing number of student threats

4/10/2019--Colorado Sun investigation to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1999 Columbine shooting found the number of threat assessments at Colorado school districts has surged in recent years, multiplying more than tenfold in some districts. School officials say they are a necessary step to prevent student violence of all types, including the worst-case scenario, a mass shooting like Columbine, which left 13 victims dead and woke the nation to the possibility that classrooms could become killing grounds. Read

Denver says no to ‘magic mushrooms’: Historic vote on psilocybin unlikely to pass

5/8/19--Voters in Denver appeared to have voted down a first-in-the nation plan to decriminalize the use and possession of "magic mushrooms" known for sending users on psychedelic journeys. Unofficial results suggested Measure 301 was on track to fail, with 46.5% in favor and 54.5% opposed. Read

Colorado’s marijuana laws are about to change…big time

5/7/19--Colorado lawmakers have approved changes to measures opening the state to social pot use and commercial marijuana delivery, as well as approving new medical conditions for medical marijuana. Additional changes could come through that address sunsetting laws in the state's medical marijuana program and pot industry. Read

State’s second-largest dispensary chain opposes marijuana use bill

4/26/19--Although a bill that would impose regulations on social marijuana use is largely supported by the marijuana industry, The Green Solution, Colorado's second-largest dispensary chain, came out in opposition of House Bill 1230 during the bill's first state Senate hearing in a finance committee on Thursday, April 25. Read  

Cannabis lobby gains new clout in Colorado as its spending tripled in the past five years

3/13/19--As Colorado’s marijuana industry has grown to top $6 billion in sales in its fifth year of legalization, the cannabis lobby at the Capitol is also growing, in numbers, spending and stature. A Colorado Sun analysis of state level lobbying spending illustrates the rise of the cannabis lobby since July 2012, with spending more than tripling from fiscal 2013 to more than $955,000 in 2018. Spending in the first seven months of fiscal year 2019, almost $670,000, is almost equal to the sum spent in all of 2017. Read

City of Denver unveils Turn Over a New Leaf program to wipe clean low-level marijuana convictions

1/9/19--The city of Denver is outlining how thousands of people with low-level marijuana convictions can have those crimes expunged from their records as part of a new city program called Turn Over a New Leaf. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock first announced the plans in December. Because the state legislature has yet to enact laws that would automatically vacate low-level marijuana offenses, individuals can obtain relief only by filing motions in each case. Read

State of Marijuana

1/9/19--As Colorado began its fifth year of legalized recreational marijuana in 2018, The Denver Post decided it was important to let readers know about the state of the industry as its fifth anniversary loomed, a large part of which hinged on its financial successes. Read

Marijuana: 5 years later

1/1/19--Marijuana has been legal in Colorado for five years. For some it's been a great thing, others don't think so, and the state is still figuring it out.Growth in population and economy have been just one side effect. There has also been an increase in dispensaries on the Western Slope. Furthermore, the state report said tax revenue jumped from a little more than $67 million in 2014 to $247 million in 2017, that's more than a 266 percent jump. Read

The little town that pot built

12/4/18--Although Garden City is smaller than a square mile and has fewer than 300 residents, it has been transformed by marijuana use. The town could afford to spend $3 million on downtown infrastructure upgrades thanks to its four bustling marijuana retailers. Since pot is now legal for recreational use, as well as medical use, the town raked in over $2 million from sales taxes alone last year — mostly from the sale of bud, pre-rolled joints, edibles, and other pot products. Read

Rocky Mountain high

11/18/18--At least a dozen states are considering marijuana legalization. According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, 60 percent of Americans reportedly support full legalization of marijuana for adults. Full Measure staff visited the very first state to allow retail pot stores: Colorado. They found a lot of happy people, but also some hard lessons for other states considering the same path. Read

New report claims marijuana legalization hurting Colorado more than helping

11/19/18--A new study from the conservative Centennial Institute claims for every dollar Colorado gains from marijuana legalization $4.50 is spent mitigating the effects. According to Peter Marcus, a spokesman with Terrapin Care Station, a dispensary chain, the report is largely based on assumptions – pointing to a recent state report by the Department of Public Safety that in his opinion mentioned only a handful of negative impacts. Read

State issues $2.7 million in medical marijuana research grants

11/21/18--The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has awarded $2.7 million in grant funding for two research studies to investigate the potential therapeutic uses of marijuana. Both research studies are random controlled trials, the type of research considered to be the “gold standard” in the scientific community. One study will research marijuana as a treatment for chronic spine pain and will evaluate its use as a therapy to reduce prescription opioid use. The other will research the efficacy and safety of cannabidiol (CBD) to treat children with autism spectrum disorder. Read

Report on marijuana’s impact on Colorado since legalization finds benefits amid some trouble spots

10/27/18--A new state report on marijuana issued by the Colorado Department of Public Safety found that arrests have dropped significantly since recreational sales began in 2014. The report also concluded that use among youths does not appear to be increasing, that traffic deaths directly attributable to marijuana are down, and revenues have nearly quadrupled since 2014 to $247 million. However, organized crime charges are up, as well as arrests for smuggling marijuana edibles and concentrates. Hospital and emergency room visits and poison control center calls have also grown. Read

Colorado’s ‘marijuana czar’ is setting his sights on the rest of America

10/18/18--Andrew Freedman, a veteran of the marijuana legalization wars, set his sights on helping to enact new laws and perhaps build a better world at it. Although marijuana might seem to be an odd place to start on that quest, Freedman views it through the lens of social justice, economic potential, and public health. He believes the need for more marijuana research is critical and thinks a lot about the welfare of the public. Read

Two-day stint for Palisade trustee

4/13/18--Jesse Loughman, owner of Palisade's only retail and medical marijuana stores, resigned as a trustee in Tuesday's municipal election less than 48 hours later in order to keep his day job. Loughman said he learned from officials with the state's Marijuana Enforcement Division that he could not act as a town trustee while holding marijuana licenses for the town. Read

Sheriff’s Office: $3.1 million of illegal marijuana seized in 3 months

10/5/18--The El Paso County Sheriff's Office seized about $1.5 million worth of processed illegal marijuana and $1.6 million illegal marijuana plants from July 1 to September 30. New numbers were made public on Friday for the office's third-quarter statistics on illegal and black market marijuana enforcement efforts. Read

D60 discussing medicinal marijuana policy

10/6/18--Pueblo City Schools is looking at its policy when it comes to marijuana for medical use in the schools. Since 2016, District 60 has abided by the state law and allowed parents or primary caretakers to administer medicinal marijuana products to students on campuses. Read

Violent crime up 25 percent in Colorado since 2013, latest CBI report shows

9/28/18--All forms of violent crime in Colorado steadily increased over the past five years, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s latest annual report on statewide crime statistics. In 2017, 23,098 violent crimes were reported, a 25 percent increase from 2013, according to the report released Thursday. Read

Legal dispensaries on edge

9/29/18--The U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver says it's shifting its marijuana enforcement from bustling illegal grow operations to targeting dispensaries that use their licensed businesses and legal grows as fronts for more lucrative illegal drug trade. Read

Colorado Crime Statistics

9/29/18--Colorado Department of Public Safety reports statistics for the number of DUI cases, drug narcotics violations, and drug narcotics equipment violations. Read