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Colorado offers cannabis entrepreneurs free business education through a new program

Colorado’s cannabis entrepreneurs can look forward to a new technical assistance program aimed at providing education on business development within the industry. The Cannabis Business Office, which announced the program Monday, plans to partner on the initiative with Make Green Go!, a firm that offers business development services to marginalized communities. The free program will provide participants with self-paced learning curriculum, such as videos and coursework, to develop business plans, pitches, and marketing materials, along with other elements. “As the first state where voters supported legalizing the recreational use of cannabis, Colorado is a leader on programs, research and education that continue to create jobs and opportunities in the cannabis industry,” said Gov. Jared Pol...

Denver businesses seek hospitality licenses to let patrons smoke weed

A Cap Hill mansion-turned-B&B, an existing private club in RiNo and a new addition to South Broadway’s “Green Mile” are the first three businesses to apply for a marijuana hospitality license from the city of Denver. Denver has separate licenses allowing businesses to cultivate, transport and sell cannabis. But this new license — which opened up for applications in November — would allow businesses to let people consume cannabis products on site. Some establishments, including one of the three seeking a license, previously allowed patrons to do so. But Denver overhauled its cannabis laws last April, prohibiting private clubs from allowing on-site consumption without a license. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Drinkable weed: The newest trend in craft brews

Published: Jan 21, 2022, 4:03 pm • Updated: Jan 21, 2022, 4:04 pm By Russell Haythorn DENVER — Inside a small garage near Golden is another potential budding American success story. “Apple computer started in a garage. Microsoft also started in a garage,” Keith Villa said. “This location is exactly 10 minutes to the front door of Coors. I drove it for 32 years.” Villa’s name might sound familiar. He founded Blue Moon Brewing Company under the Coors brand in 1995. Now, Villa is brewing up what could be the next big thing in the Colorado craft beer market. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Oklahoma is the new “Wild West of weed” — and Colorado marijuana entrepreneurs are helping fuel the green rush

Published: Aug 9, 2021, 6:06 am • Updated: Aug 9, 2021, 6:24 am By Sam Tabachnik RJ Sangosti, The Denver PostCrews head back to work after a lunch break in the fields at Tribe Collective in Okemah, Oklahoma, on July 27, 2021. OKEMAH, Okla. — Chip Baker surveyed a vast field on the outskirts of an old hay farm an hour east of Oklahoma City, his ponytail waving in the thick, humid air, his voice growing excited. “This is probably the largest collection of Squirt in the world!” he boasted, pointing to an array of neatly plotted cannabis plants before him that will soon flower pounds of the popular strain. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

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...

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.

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.

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.

House votes to decriminalize marijuana at federal level

WASHINGTON — The Democratic-controlled House on Friday approved a bill to decriminalize and tax marijuana at the federal level, reversing what supporters called a failed policy of criminalization of pot use and taking steps to address racial disparities in enforcement of federal drug laws. Opponents, mostly Republicans, called the bill a hollow political gesture and mocked Democrats for bringing it up at a time when thousands of Americans are dying from the coronavirus pandemic. “With all the challenges America has right now, (Republicans) think COVID relief should be on the floor, but instead, the Democrats put cats and cannabis” on the House floor, said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. “They’re picking weed over the workers. They’re picking marijuana over (providing) the mu...

Banking for marijuana companies included in Congress’ new $3 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill

Cannabis industry advocates applauded House Democrats on Tuesday after a new $3 trillion federal stimulus bill included provisions to allow marijuana businesses access to banking. Introduced by House speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act includes wide-ranging goals to address the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, from offering financial assistance to state and local governments to forgiving student loan debt. Wrapped into the massive, 1,815-page bill is an initiative led by Colorado Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter known as the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would allow legal cannabis businesses to leverage traditional banking services. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Colorado won’t stop employers from firing workers for using weed off the clock

Colorado legislators decided Wednesday not to advance a bill that aimed to protect employees from being fired for using marijuana in their personal time. The 10 members of the House Business Affairs and Labor Committee voted unanimously against the bill, HB 20-1089, after nearly three hours of testimony from people on each side. Though the bill would have done nothing to prohibit employers from administering drug tests, many committee members cited the lack of an adequate test to determine whether an employee is intoxicated in the moment — much like a breathalyzer does for alcohol — as a reason to table it. Others thought the proposed change to the law was too broad. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

Marijuana banking bill gets pushback from Colorado’s Buck, Lamborn

Twelve members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including two from Colorado, are publicly pushing back against a federal bill that would give legal cannabis businesses access to banking services. Craig F. Walker , The Denver PostU.S. Rep. Ken Buck in 2014 (Denver Post file) In a Feb. 13 letter sent to Mike Crapo, chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Reps. Ken Buck, R-Windsor, Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, and 10 other Republican representatives applauded the chairman’s concerns about the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act and urged him to “stand strong” in his assessment of the risks posed by allowing dispensaries, cultivations and other businesses access to the federal banking system. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

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