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Social equity in marijuana industry still largely pipe dream

DENVER — Terrence Hewing was working for a package delivery company in 2007 when police approached his cargo van in suburban Denver. He was early for a pick up, and someone out for a walk called authorities after seeing him napping in the driver’s seat. Officers found about a pound of marijuana inside the vehicle. That led to a couple of days in jail, thousands of dollars in legal fees and a felony conviction for drug possession. Hewing lost his job and, because of his criminal record, for years struggled to find housing and a stable, well-paying career. “I felt like I was in a certain box in society,” he said. “There’s people that don’t have felonies and people that do. It makes you almost feel kind of outcast.” Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Cannabis industry says access to banking services ‘can’t happen soon enough’

Cannabis industry insiders say a push by federal lawmakers to allow banks to provide services to pot shops in states where they are legal “can’t happen soon enough.” “Access to banking and capital is probably the largest barrier of entry for getting into this industry,” said David Torrisi, president of the Commonwealth Dispensary Association. As a haze of marijuana legalization has spread across the nation, banks have generally been unwilling to do business with companies that sell marijuana or related products, which are still illegal under federal law. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

System crash snarls dispensary sales on 4/20, the biggest marijuana holiday of the year

Published: Apr 20, 2021, 5:32 pm • Updated: Apr 20, 2021, 5:32 pm By Tiney Ricciardi A point-of-sale system powering Colorado dispensaries went down Tuesday on the biggest marijuana holiday of the year. Denver-based FlowHub said an outage caused by a third-party authentication service caused the service to crash on April 20, colloquially known as 4/20. It’s unclear how many dispensaries in the state have been affected and a company representative was not immediately available for comment. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Vicente: This 4/20 celebrate that marijuana businesses and their employees are now “essential”

For decades, April 20 has been recognized as an unofficial marijuana holiday in Colorado and around the country. While this year’s “4/20” may not be marked by large public rallies or concerts due to enduring COVID-19 safety restrictions, there are plenty of reasons for the cannabis community to celebrate — including recent legalization announcements in New Mexico, New York, and Virginia — and for cannabis industry workers to be recognized. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the risks and sacrifices of frontline workers to help others have been celebrated and praised with red hearts in windows and yard signs thanking hospital workers and those who provide our groceries and public services. These folks absolutely deserve our praise and gratitude. Additionally, though, there is a group of more...

U.S. House again passes Colorado congressman’s marijuana banking bill

Published: Apr 19, 2021, 7:03 pm • Updated: Apr 19, 2021, 7:06 pm By Justin Wingerter The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday passed the SAFE Banking Act, a longtime priority for Coloradans in Congress and local cannabis companies. The House voted 321-101 on the bill, with all Colorado Democrats in favor and two Colorado Republicans opposed. A third Republican, Rep. Lauren Boebert, did not vote. It now moves to the U.S. Senate, which is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, and some in the latter party worry passing it will increase marijuana use and foreign investments. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Weed delivery will happen in Denver starting this summer, to be followed by more dispensaries and consumption clubs

Denver’s about to become even more marijuana-friendly, with weed delivery likely starting this summer after the Denver City Council unanimously agreed Monday to overhaul the local industry with two sweeping measures. The changes have been in the works for several years, with city officials also wanting to make the industry more equitable. The first bill lets dispensaries hire third-party vendors to deliver weed directly to customers and removes Denver’s 220-store recreational dispensaries cap, which has been in effect since 2016. People who want to deliver weed or open a new store must meet the state’s social equity criteria. The second change would legalize bars where customers could bring their own weed to smoke, as well as clubs that could sell small amounts of pot to be smoked there. D...

Steve Fox, who helped legalize marijuana in Colorado, has died at 53

One of the leaders of Colorado’s first-in-the-nation recreational marijuana legalization movement, Steve Fox, has died at the age of 53. Fox was the lead drafter of Colorado Amendment 64, which passed in 2012 with a little more than 55% of the vote, and he also lobbied for legal weed in the state capitol. “We are truly heartbroken to share news of the passing of our partner and dear friend Steve Fox,” wrote the cannabis law group Vicente Sederberg LLP, where Fox was a leader since 2010. Fox also served as a managing partner of VS Strategies since co-founding the group in 2013. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Planet 13 hiring 250 ahead of cannabis superstore’s debut in Santa Ana

Published: Apr 13, 2021, 2:14 pm • Updated: Apr 13, 2021, 2:17 pm By Kevin Smith A Las Vegas cannabis dispensary is looking to hire 250 workers for a soon-to-be-completed superstore in Santa Ana as the company expands its operations amid a gradually improving COVID-19 economy. Planet 13 hopes to fill the Orange County positions by July. It also will be adding 40 cash registers and 80 additional employees at its Las Vegas store, boosting companywide staffing by 330. The 45,000-square-foot Santa Ana location at 3400 Warner Ave. will be called Planet 13 Orange County. Read the rest of this story on ocregister.com.

Denver could soon allow weed delivery, plus more recreational shops and consumption clubs

Denver is poised to overhaul the local weed industry with a pair of laws that would bring cannabis products to your door and make the lucrative business more equitable. The Denver City Council will first vote on the overhaul package Monday night. If it passes, the second vote and final vote will come hours before the unofficial cannabis holiday of April 20, when Mayor Michael Hancock is expected to sign it into law. Both bills have been in the works for several years, according to Eric Escudero, spokesman for the city’s Department of Excise and Licenses. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Pot regulators launching online catalog of marijuana products

The Cannabis Control Commission is launching an online catalog of the myriad marijuana products available at the state’s pot shops and dispensaries to help cops, parents and regulators alike tell the difference between what’s legal, and what’s not. The first-in-the-nation regulators’ catalog won’t exactly compete with Leafly and Weedmaps — so don’t expect genetic information or flavor profiles. Instead, the idea is to compile basic information and photos in one place so that police, regulators, consumers, and parents can get a better sense of the type of products that are part of the still-young legal cannabis world, and can tell the difference between what’s legal and what’s not. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

Grand Junction voters approve lifting 10-year moratorium on marijuana dispensaries

Published: Apr 7, 2021, 3:32 pm • Updated: Apr 7, 2021, 3:32 pm By Kieran Nicholson A 10-year moratorium on marijuana sales has been overturned by voters in Grand Junction. On Tuesday voters handily approved ballot questions 2A, Taxation on Regulated Marijuana, and 2B, Lifting Moratorium on Marijuana Businesses, according to voting results. On the 2A question: 9,235 voters said “yes”; with 7,309 voters casting a “no” vote. On the 2B question: 9,755 voters approved, with 7,055 voters disapproving. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

New York legalizes pot

New York adults over the age of 21 can now possess and use marijuana — even in public — under a legalization bill signed Wednesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, though legal sales of recreational-use cannabis won’t start for an estimated 18 months until regulations are set. Passed after several years of stalled efforts, the measure makes New York the 16th state to legalize adult use of the drug, though South Dakota’s measure is in legal limbo. New York becomes the second-most populous state, after California, to legalize recreational marijuana. Legalization backers hope the Empire State will add momentum and set an example with its efforts to redress the inequities of a system that has locked up people of color for marijuana offenses at disproportionate rates. Read the rest of this story on Boston...