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21 indicted in Colorado in connection with international black market marijuana and money laundering scheme

Federal and local law enforcement on Thursday announced the takedown of a black market marijuana and money laundering scheme in Colorado — an operation comprising 21 individuals growing millions of dollars worth of illicit pot across metro Denver and funneling their profits back to China through social media apps. Drug investigators seized thousands of plants, hundreds of pounds of packaged marijuana and roughly $1 million during the investigation that began in August 2020, authorities said in a news conference at the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Centennial. “I want to emphasize that while this is a micro-cell in our state of Colorado … we believe that this is going on on a macro-level across the entire United States, said John Kellner, the district attorney for Arapahoe and...

Pride Month: Celebrating ties between California’s cannabis and LGBTQ movements

Throughout June, Californians can buy a cannabis-infused gummy that looks and tastes like rainbow sherbet. When they do, San Mateo-based edibles company PLUS will give money to a nonprofit that advocates for incarcerated people who are trans and gender-variant. Customers who buy upscale joints or cannabis flower this month from Venice-based Stone Road will be supporting the LGBTQ Freedom Fund, which covers bail for LGBTQ people behind bars. And for every limited edition can of cannabis-infused Blueberry Mint Acai Sparkling Elixir sold this month by the company ReCreate, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Equality of California will get $1. Read the rest of this story on ocregister.com.

Ticker: Pot smokers welcome, Amazon says; German biotech buys Cambridge rival for $1.7B

Published: Jun 2, 2021, 4:05 pm • Updated: Jun 2, 2021, 4:05 pm By Boston Herald Wire Services Amazon said it will stop testing jobseekers for marijuana. The company, the second-largest private employer in the U.S. behind Walmart, is making the change as states legalize cannabis or introduce laws banning employers from testing for it. In March, a New York man sued Amazon, saying the company rescinded his job offer at an Amazon warehouse because he tested positive for marijuana, even though the city banned employers from testing job applicants for cannabis in 2020. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

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.

Amazon will stop marijuana drug testing for many job applicants

Amazon will no longer test many prospective employees for marijuana use prior to employment, as more states where the company operates continue to legalize the plant. In a blog post Tuesday, Amazon CEO Dave Clark said applicants for positions that are not regulated by the Department of Transportation — meaning those that do not require driving — will not be screened for cannabis. Instead, the company will treat the substance like alcohol, doing impairment checks on the job and testing after any incident. “In the past, like many employers, we’ve disqualified people from working at Amazon if they tested positive for marijuana use. However, given where state laws are moving across the U.S., we’ve changed course,” Clark wrote. 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.

California man stranded in Mexico after admitting marijuana use reunites with with family

Nearly two years after he told the truth about having once smoked pot – a bit of honesty that left him stranded in Mexico, separated from his family, and blocked from re-entering the United States – a Southern California man walked back into his home last month and surprised his children. Emily, 7, was napping in the living room, so it took her a moment to realize that the man waking her up was her father, Jose Palomar. She threw her arms around him and cried. He cried too. Next, he went upstairs in their Corona home to surprise 12-year-old April, who ran toward him and also started crying. Joshua, 14, was in the garage, playing video games, but he too sprung up for a hug. “He’s a little more grown up since I last saw him,” Palomar said. Read the rest of this story on ocregister.com.

Denver to issue new cannabis business licenses but not in some neighborhoods

Published: May 12, 2021, 6:19 am • Updated: May 12, 2021, 6:21 am By Cuyler Meade Denver begins accepting new applications for cannabis business licenses next month — but not for certain neighborhoods. The city’s Department of Excise and Licenses on Friday informed marijuana industry insiders of neighborhoods that the city feels already have an “undue concentration” of marijuana stores and/or cultivation facilities. Related Articles Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

DA: Hyde Park man held without bail in connection with the killing of a man who went to buy pot from him

A Hyde Park man accused of murdering a man who tried to buy marijuana from him last year was ordered held without bail Monday. Emmanuel Maldonado, 21, was arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court on a charge of second-degree murder, three counts of armed assault with intent to murder and single counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition in connection with the death of Storlen Webster, prosecutors said. Judge Michael Doolin ordered Maldonado held without bail at the request of Assistant District Attorney David McGowan. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.

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.

Boston pot supermarket given green light, may open this week

Published: Apr 26, 2021, 6:37 pm • Updated: Apr 26, 2021, 6:39 pm By Meghan Ottolini, Joe Dwinell One of the country’s biggest legal marijuana companies is ready to open a pot supermarket in downtown Boston — possibly as soon as later this week, the Herald has learned. Ascend is preparing a “soft opening” with a target date of Thursday for a 16,000-square-foot dispensary on Friend Street across from North Station and TD Garden. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has backed the shop. It will be the city’s biggest dispensary and wary West End neighbors say they’ll be keeping an eye on how it all rolls out. Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.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.