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Colorado legislature

The Libertarian Party, born in Colorado 50 years ago, still seeks elusive mainstream acceptance

The United States’ third-largest political party — what its main founder considered “the last, best hope for freedom in America” — took root a half-century ago in a living room in Westminster. The TV flickered on, David Nolan would later recall, as the then-28-year-old advertising executive and his wife gathered in their duplex with three friends in August 1971. They listened, aghast, as Republican President Richard Nixon announced plans to intervene in the economy in once-unthinkable ways to deal with inflation and high unemployment. In that moment, the five who were among a growing movement of people skeptical of government interference in personal and economic lives decided they needed a new political home. Within months, the Libertarian Party was born. And in August, the national party...

Colorado’s legislative session is wrapping up. Here’s what lawmakers are passing.

Published: Jun 2, 2021, 11:57 am • Updated: Jun 2, 2021, 12:03 pm By Saja Hindi, Alex Burness Bills live and die in quick succession in the final days of the Colorado legislative session, which must end by 11:59 p.m. June 12. Here’s a quick glance at some of the remaining major bills, where they stand and what’s next for them. The following list will be updated as lawmakers take votes. Public-private insurance plan (HB21-1232) Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Marijuana regulation bill overwhelmingly passes in Colorado House

The Colorado House of Representatives passed the state’s most substantial marijuana regulation policy since legalization on Thursday, intending to crack down on youth access to high-potency THC products and tighten rules for the medical marijuana market. HB21-1317 passed overwhelmingly, 56-8, and moves on to the state Senate, where it is also expected to pass. The bill is a product of months of negotiations led by House Speaker Alec Garnett, and calls for the Colorado School of Public Health to analyze existing research “related to the physical and mental health effects of high-potency THC marijuana and concentrates.” The analysis could inform new restrictions in the coming years. 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...

Colorado governor to mass-pardon 2,700-plus marijuana convictions

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis plans to mass-pardon 2,732 convictions of low-level marijuana possession through an executive order Thursday after signing a bill earlier this year that gave him that authority. “This really catches Coloradans up with where the law is today,” he told The Denver Post. House Bill 1424, passed by the General Assembly earlier this year, included a provision that allows the governor to pardon those who have convictions on their criminal records for possessing up to 2 ounces of marijuana — the current legal limit for medical marijuana users. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis says pardons for marijuana convictions can start in 90 days

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill into law Monday that allows him to mass-pardon Coloradans with minor marijuana possession convictions, although he has not said exactly how the process will work. Lawmakers passed House Bill 1424 on June 15, the last day of the 2020 legislative session. The bill aims to make the legal marijuana industry more accessible to people of color and those who were previously convicted on drug charges that wouldn’t be crimes now. It expands the social equity program for marijuana business licenses to Colorado residents who have been arrested or convicted on a marijuana offense, been subject to civil asset forfeiture from a marijuana offense, or lived in an area designated as high crime or economically disadvantaged. “For decades now, the Black community has b...

Colorado lawmakers let governor mass-pardon marijuana possession convictions

The governor would be able to mass-pardon marijuana convictions for possession of 2 ounces or less if he signs a bill that gives him that authority. It was the last amendment to the last bill considered Monday before Colorado’s General Assembly ended its work for the year. Lawmakers added the mass expungement option to House Bill 1424, which aims to open the marijuana industry to people of color and those who were previously convicted on drug charges that wouldn’t be crimes now. A spokesperson for Gov. Jared Polis didn’t directly answer whether he would sign it but sounded supportive Tuesday afternoon. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

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.

Colorado lawmakers consider bill to automatically clear past marijuana convictions

One key detail could determine whether an upcoming bill in Colorado’s statehouse stands to affect hundreds of thousands of people, or perhaps just a few hundred. State Rep. Jonathan Singer, a Democrat from Longmont, is vowing that “there will be a bill” introduced in 2020 to allow for statewide expungement of criminal records for all people convicted of low-level marijuana offenses in Colorado prior to legalization. The big question now: Should the bill require that the state automatically clear these convictions — including for now-legal activities like minor possession, use and possession of paraphernalia — or should it require that people apply for expungement? Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

New Colorado laws include red flag gun measure and insulin cost cap

Law enforcement has gained a controversial new gun-seizure tool, transgender people can change their birth certificates more easily and the minimum wage rose in Denver as new laws took effect Wednesday in Colorado. More than a dozen new measures that impact workers, patients, gun owners, people awaiting release from jail and marijuana consumers became law Jan. 1. One new law concerns plumbing inspections, while another requires that landlords deal with reported bedbug infestations within four days. Most of the laws or legal changes were not controversial, although some spurred heated debates during last year’s legislative session. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.