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The struggle to enter California’s cannabis market: ‘So much heartache, so much pain’

Linda Grant sold weed in the streets of East Oakland for 35 years before California legalized marijuana in 2016. She’s been “going through hell” trying to open a licensed business ever since. Five years and two frustrating partnerships later, Grant still has to get a loan to pay for a business storefront before she can even apply for a license to operate. “It’s just ridiculous,” Grant said. “So much heartache, so much pain.” The process is daunting: business plans, tax returns, seed money. Even with state programs designed to close the gap, experts and advocates say the cost of entry and long list of requirements are still keeping people of color and low-income applicants from entering the state’s lucrative legal market. 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.

Did California city break its own laws scoring marijuana dispensary applications?

While Pasadena’s most prominent retail cannabis controversies have centered on technical details and surprise application requirements for the city’s top six applicants, a more fundamental question is making its way through the courts: Did the city abide by its own procedures when choosing the best contenders? Instead of using three scorers — each meant to independently judge a single application and provide three separate scores that would later be totaled and averaged, per city law — documents from a city consultant indicate only one person scored each application. Critics, including two City Council members, say the requirement was meant to insulate the city’s cannabis application process from undue biases and disproportionate influence from a single person; losing that safeguard may ha...

Colorado lawmakers want to stop employers from firing people for using weed in their personal time

Published: Jan 14, 2020, 6:18 am • Updated: Jan 14, 2020, 6:19 am By Saja Hindi Two Colorado lawmakers want to pass a law to protect workers who use marijuana when they’re off the clock. House Rep. Jevon Melton, D-Aurora, has introduced a bill to prevent businesses from firing employees for partaking in legal activities on their own time — even if the activities are only legal under state and not federal law. To pass, though, the bill will likely require some compromise to address expected objections from the business community. Melton says the measure would correct an oversight in Colorado law. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.