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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.

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...

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.

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 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.

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...

Former Corona City Councilman Nolan accused of marijuana violations

Former Corona City Councilman Steve Nolan has been cited on suspicion of illegal cultivation of marijuana and possession of marijuana for sale, the Riverside County jail log shows. Nolan, a 58-year-old former Anaheim police officer, was cited by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Investigations Bureau at his Rising Sun Road home at 3:20 a.m. on Jan. 14. The citations are misdemeanors. Southern California Edison is participating in the investigation, SCE spokeswoman Taelor Bakewell said. She didn’t have any further details. Marijuana growers sometimes illegally tap into electricity sources. Solar panels cover the roof of Nolan’s home. Read the rest of this story on ocregister.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.

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.

Orange County’s Democratic leaders celebrate historic House vote to decriminalize marijuana

Published: Dec 4, 2020, 6:04 pm • Updated: Dec 4, 2020, 6:05 pm By Brooke Staggs Orange County’s all-Democratic congressional leadership celebrated Friday after the House approved a bill to decriminalize and tax cannabis at the federal level. The vote, they believe, reverses what supporters describe as a failed policy of criminalizing marijuana consumption, and it takes steps to address racial disparities in enforcement of federal drug laws. “Decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level is long overdue,” said Rep. Harley Rouda, D-Laguna Beach. Read the rest of this story on ocregister.com.

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