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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.

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.

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...

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