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Letters: Meeting with the enemy demonstrates hypocrisy; Bad for marijuana business, good for criminals; This land is our land; Agree to disagree (2/20/20)

Published: Feb 20, 2020, 10:14 am • Updated: Feb 20, 2020, 10:15 am By Dp Opinion Meeting with the enemy demonstrates hypocrisy This past weekend, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., secretly met with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Murphy justified this meeting by saying, “I think it’s dangerous to not talk to your enemies. Discussions and negotiations are a way to ease tensions and reduce the chances for crisis.” Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Colorado marijuana sales hit a record $1.75 billion in 2019

Published: Feb 18, 2020, 1:10 pm • Updated: Feb 18, 2020, 1:11 pm By Tiney Ricciardi Last year was the most lucrative 12 months for cannabis sales in Colorado since the state’s voters legalized recreational marijuana. Medical and recreational cannabis sales hit a record $1.75 billion in 2019, up 13% from 2018, according to data from the Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division. Marijuana tax collections also hit an all-time high, at more than $302 million in 2019. RELATED: “Where’s all that marijuana money?” Colorado’s pot dollars help schools, but maybe not as much as you think Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Marijuana banking bill gets pushback from Colorado’s Buck, Lamborn

Twelve members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including two from Colorado, are publicly pushing back against a federal bill that would give legal cannabis businesses access to banking services. Craig F. Walker , The Denver PostU.S. Rep. Ken Buck in 2014 (Denver Post file) In a Feb. 13 letter sent to Mike Crapo, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Reps. Ken Buck, R-Windsor, Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, and 10 other Republican representatives applauded the chairman’s concerns about the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act and urged him to “stand strong” in his assessment of the risks posed by allowing dispensaries, cultivations and other businesses access to the federal banking system. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Making cannabis normal at Oakland’s NUG

Published: Feb 16, 2020, 6:08 am • Updated: Feb 16, 2020, 6:10 am By Rex Crum It takes a lot of courage to start your own business. Taking an idea from concept to reality, and dealing with everything from finding a location for the business, keeping up with inventory, learning about distribution and making payroll can test the mettle of the most-confident entrepreneur. Now, consider doing all of that in a nascent industry that is dealing with all kinds of new governmental regulations, trying to shed a public stigma and is, well, known for the aroma of a certain type of plant. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.

Cambridge appealing decision after pot shop wins fight over two-year moratorium

Less than a month after Cambridge’s attempt to ban a medical marijuana dispensary from selling to all adults for two years was ruled unconstitutional in superior court, the city announced that it has filed an emergency motion to halt the ruling — a decision ripped by the local pot shop. “The City’s actions in pursuing an appeal reflect a contempt for the Court and the rule of law,” Revolutionary Clinics, one of the shops hit by Cambridge’s moratorium, said in a statement. “Rather than working toward solutions and sound policy that can have a tangible impact, the City continues to play politics.” The announcement comes after a Middlesex Superior Court judge ruled on Jan. 24 that the moratorium on Revolutionary Clinics opening a retail pot shop violated the Home Rule Amendment to the Massach...

Like sipping kombucha? Try a cannabis-infused variety next

SAN LEANDRO — Fans of House Kombucha, a locally-produced tea that’s sold at cafes, grocery outlets and a Berkeley taproom, will have another flavor to choose from by summer when they imbibe, one that’s exotic in its own way. The business, launched in 2009 at a farmers market in San Francisco, plans to manufacture cannabis-infused beverages in a warehouse at  2994 Teagarden St., which it has operated out of the past six years. The drinks will be concocted eight employees within a a 750-square-foot section of the building under the name “Fantasy Elixirs and Medicinals.” Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.

Why cannabis sponsors the cleanup of more Colorado highway miles than any other industry

Cannabis companies are the leading sponsors of Colorado highways, accounting for cleanup on two-thirds of the roads maintained by Clean Colorado — a program the industry has leveraged as a loophole in the state’s strict limits on marijuana advertising. Currently, 51 cannabis dispensaries, cultivators, manufacturers and edible producers sponsor roadways throughout the state, according to data from the Adopt a Highway Maintenance Corporation. Though they represent less than half of all organizations that participate in the Clean Colorado program, those cannabis firms’ reach spans about 198 miles, or 66% of the roads actively sponsored. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Boston’s would-be pot entrepreneurs lie in wait as city slow-walks new marijuana licensing board

Two Boston entrepreneurs’ plans to open the state’s third independent testing laboratory to check the safety of cannabis products — including vape cartridges — are being slow-walked as the city works to roll out a brand new marijuana licensing board amid an already slow-moving pot industry. “There is a dire need for marijuana testing and that’s where we are putting 99 percent of our attention … but we need to make sure we don’t get bogged down in the politics,” said Dimitri Pelekoudas, CEO of Assured Testing Laboratories. Pelekoudas and his partner Kris Nykbakken want to open a lab at 43 Freeport St. in Dorchester that would test the safety of marijuana flower, products and concentrates that can contain dangerous solvents and chemicals. State law requires all legally sold marijuana product...

California marijuana regulations remain complex, but growers steadily becoming compliant

FORTUNA– Save for a few adjustments in state laws, a cannabis permitting workshop in Fortuna on Wednesday carried out in exactly the same way as another workshop 18 months prior — each serving as an effective how-to on becoming legally compliant with California’s pot regulations. But for state officials walking attendees through the ins and outs of state policies, there’s one evident distinction between past and present workshops: whereas an August 2018 event packed the River Lodge with 100 growers and consultants, only about 15 people showed up to Wednesday’s occasion. Janice Mackey, a public information manager for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the decline in attendance signals good news that more and more cannabis growers are coming into compliance with California’s le...

The Lodge dispensary in Denver recalls marijuana products with high yeast and mold levels

A Denver dispensary issued a voluntary recall on several marijuana products Monday due to elevated levels of yeast and mold. The Lodge, which operates two locations in the Barnum and River North neighborhoods, recalled all retail plant material, including flower, shake, trim and pre-rolled joints, following an investigation by the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment that found a potentially unsafe level of yeast and mold, according to a news release. Products purchased from either location that bear the OPC codes 403R-01007 and 403R-00207 are subject to the recall. Customers and businesses that purchased these products before Feb. 7 should dispose of them or return them to the store. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Bill would scrutinize deals between communities, pot firms

Published: Feb 6, 2020, 7:03 am • Updated: Feb 6, 2020, 7:04 am By Associated Press By STEVE LeBLANC BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts House lawmakers approved a bill Wednesday that would tighten oversight of payments made by marijuana companies to the cities and towns that host them. The bill, which passed by a 121-33 vote, would give the state’s Cannabis Control Commission the power to review, regulate and enforce “host community agreements” following criticism that some local officials have used the contracts to demand more money from companies than is allowed under state law. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Whoopi Goldberg’s California cannabis company has shut down

Published: Feb 5, 2020, 7:52 am • Updated: Feb 5, 2020, 7:54 am By Cnn.com Wire Service By Alicia Wallace | CNN Business Whoopi & Maya, the medical cannabis company co-founded by Whoopi Goldberg, is closing up shop, according to a statement posted on its website. In an interview with CNN Business, Rick Cusick, a Whoopi & Maya board member who helped found the company with Goldberg and Om Edibles founder Maya Elisabeth, said he received word Friday from Goldberg that she planned to step away from the brand. Read the rest of this story on MercuryNews.com.

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