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Marijuana banking debate returns to Congress and Rep. Perlmutter is optimistic

Eight years after it was first introduced, federal legislation that would give cannabis companies in Colorado and across the country access to the banking system is back in Congress. And its co-sponsors, Democrat and Republican, are sounding bullish. The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act, or SAFE Banking Act, has been introduced every Congress since 2013 by U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, an Arvada Democrat. It has passed the House on several occasions but never the Senate. Perlmutter expects that to change this year, he said during a conference call Friday. Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, has told Perlmutter that he expects the committee to debate and vote on the bill for the first time. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Colorado hits $10 billion in marijuana sold since legalization

Published: Mar 11, 2021, 11:49 am • Updated: Mar 11, 2021, 11:51 am By Tiney Ricciardi Colorado’s marijuana industry hit a milestone in January, topping $10 billion in sales since the legal market got off the ground in 2014. Cannabis consumers purchased $151,734,324 in recreational products and $35,869,373 in medical products during the first month of the year, for a total $187,603,697, according to sales figures released by the Department of Revenue this week. While sales remained flat from December to January, they increased significantly year over year — up 34.8% compared to the same period in 2020. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Colorado may see its biggest overhaul of marijuana laws since recreational legalization

They don’t make cannabis products like they used to, and there’s an increasing number of Colorado lawmakers who think that’s problematic. As recently as 2014, the vast majority of medical and recreational cannabis sold in Colorado was flower and only 11% was the high-potency concentrates consumed through dab rigs or vape pens. By 2019, concentrates took up a third of the market and flower was below 50%. With the rising popularity of high-THC concentrates, which are several times more potent than flower and edibles, come worries among deep-pocketed political groups and their statehouse allies that teenagers have too much access to it without enough knowledge of the effects. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Colorado marijuana sales hit $2.2 billion in highest-selling year yet

Published: Feb 9, 2021, 12:12 pm • Updated: Feb 9, 2021, 12:12 pm By Tiney Ricciardi Despite a global pandemic that disrupted many facets of commerce, Colorado’s marijuana industry experienced its most lucrative year on record with $2.2 billion in sales in 2020. According to figures released Tuesday by the state Department of Revenue, dispensaries sold $186,343,208 in cannabis products in December, up 6.4% compared to the previous month. The state collected nearly $32.4 million in taxes and fees in December, pushing the annual tax total to $387.4 million in 2020. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

A Colorado Democrat wants to cap THC levels in marijuana products at 15%

The lone medical doctor in the Colorado legislature is looking to cut back the THC content on the most potent cannabis products, among other changes that would have major impacts on the state’s cannabis industry. State Rep. Yadira Caraveo, a pediatrician and Thornton Democrat, said she is still revising the bill she plans to introduce this month, but one of the main provisions would ban legal marijuana products above 15% THC — the psychoactive compound responsible for the marijuana high. The ban would apply to flower and edibles. THC in flower products can top off close to 30%, while concentrates generally run at 70-80%. “Even if it’s the start of a conversation, I think it’s an important conversation,” Caraveo told The Denver Post on Thursday. “We led the way with legalization, but it doe...

Cannabis industry may finally move past cash as Democrats look to loosen banking restrictions

Colorado’s cannabis industry has been forced to deal primarily in cash for years due to banking restrictions that pot advocates and banking lobbyists say put shops, growers and others at risk of theft. The industry is now cautiously optimistic this year that, with Democrats in power in Washington, its eight years of trying to lift those restrictions on banks and credit unions will pay off. Because marijuana remains an illicit drug under federal law — and banking the proceeds of illicit drug sales is a federal crime — credit unions and banks are limited in their ability to work with cannabis companies, and take risks when doing so. As a result, the large and growing marijuana industry still remains cash-only, seven years after legalization in Colorado. “We’ve got people who are still dealin...

Majoring in marijuana? That soon could be common as universities adapt to a growth industry.

Published: Feb 1, 2021, 11:52 am • Updated: Feb 1, 2021, 11:55 am By Brooke Staggs Want practical experience growing marijuana, but have no idea how to get a plant? Or just not comfortable growing cannabis at home? Try stinging nettle, which is a plant that’s distantly related to cannabis and has similar growth patterns. That’s just one of many workarounds Dana Milstein had to learn as she developed curriculum for UC Riverside’s new extension program focused on cannabis, which is the first program of its kind at a public university in California. Read the rest of this story on ocregister.com.

Plaintiffs drop suit over marijuana delivery rules

Stung by an exodus of members since it filed suit to block new cannabis industry rules permitting home delivery, the business group that represents most of the state’s brick-and-mortar marijuana shops announced Monday morning that it is dropping the legal challenge. The Commonwealth Dispensary Association and its attorneys from Foley Hoag had argued in the suit that new delivery-only license types created by the Cannabis Control Commission violated the state’s marijuana law, which they said gives the retailers the right to deliver cannabis under their existing licenses. The lawsuit was seen by some as an attack on the disadvantaged entrepreneurs and small businesses that the CCC’s new delivery model was intended to help and a number of retailers publicly broke from the CDA as news of the s...

November marijuana sales push Colorado’s industry to $2 billion annually for the first time

Colorado marijuana sales in November pushed the industry’s annual revenue to $2 billion for the first time. In November, dispensaries sold $175.1 million worth of products, according to figures released by the Department of Revenue on Tuesday. Recreational sales accounted for about $140.5 million, while medical sales accounted for nearly $34.7 million, the agency reported. While the total is down about 12% compared to the month prior, it was enough to help Colorado hit yet another financial milestone in an already banner year for cannabis. From January through November 2020, consumers purchased slightly more than $2 billion, the Department of Revenue reported. The previous year, dispensaries reached $1.75 billion in annual sales, a record at the time. Read the rest of this story on DenverP...

Marijuana delivery, social equity reform and other Colorado cannabis trends to watch in 2021

Colorado’s marijuana industry experienced a banner year in 2020 — not in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, but because of it. Dispensaries across the state were declared essential businesses and allowed to operate while bars, restaurants and gyms were forced to close. That designation helped sales exceed analysts’ expectations. According to Roy Bingham, co-founder and executive chairman of Boulder data firm BSDA, the national market grew more than 45% to $18 billion in 2020, outpacing forecasts by about $2 billion, an increase attributable to “the COVID effect.” Cannabis consumers shopped less frequently but purchased more, including many newcomers with increased at-home time on their hands, he said. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

2020 is already the highest-selling year for weed in Colorado

Colorado dispensaries sold more marijuana in the first 10 months of 2020 than they did during a record-setting sales year in 2019. October sales totaled more than $199.7 million in October, pushing the state’s annual revenue to more than $1.8 billion, according to the Department of Revenue. By comparison, sales totaled about $1.75 billion in 2019, making this the highest selling year since recreational weed hit the market in 2014. Sales were poised to crush the record following several lucrative summer months, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Colorado hit an all-time monthly high in July with $226 million in sales. That was also the first time monthly totals surpassed $200 million. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Aurora says yes to recreational pot delivery in Colorado’s third-largest city

Aurora’s nearly 400,000 residents — at least the ones 21 or older — may be able to tap on a phone screen and order up pot gummies and marijuana flower for delivery to their doorstep as soon as early next year. The Aurora City Council on Monday night gave preliminary approval, by an 8-2 vote, to cannabis delivery in Colorado’s third-largest city. The ordinance will need a second vote in two weeks, and if it passes, deliveries of marijuana could begin in early 2021. That would likely make Aurora one of the first cities in the state where consumers can place an order for recreational weed from their couch and wait for it to arrive in the comfort of their homes. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.