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Denver City Council Approves 5 Percent Marijuana Tax

July 30th

By | The Daily Chronic

DENVER, CO — The Denver City Council approved a five percent marijuana tax when recreational sales begin next year in a 7-5 vote Monday afternoon. The municipal tax, which voters must now approve, would be in addition to a proposed 25% state wide tax, which also must be approved by voters in November. The tax [...]

Denver City Council Approves 5 Percent Marijuana Tax was written by and appears in full on The Daily Chronic. Want to stay up to date on cannabis news worldwide? Visit The Daily Chronic - The Voice of the Reform Generation

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Colorado Springs Bans Recreational Marijuana Retail Stores

July 24th

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Officials in Colorado’s second-largest city voted on Tuesday to ban recreational marijuana shops, becoming the largest community in the state to utilize an opt-out provision of a law that legalized the non-medical use of pot.

After two hours of public comments, the Colorado Springs City Council voted 5-4 to bar retail pot stores from opening within the city limits. The debate and vote came after Mayor Steve Bach publicly said he would veto the ordinance if the council approved allowing the recreational outlets.

“I say we should stand with our neighbors on this issue,” Bach testified before the vote, referring to nearby communities in the same county that have banned the pot shops.

Colorado Springs has a population of about 420,000 with a large military and evangelical Christian presence and is one of the most conservative and Republican areas in a state which in recent election cycles has turned leftward.

Last year, Colorado and Washington were the first U.S. states to legalize recreational marijuana, and the Colorado law allows cities or counties to outlaw marijuana stores in their communities. Nearly . . . . . READ MORE

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Colorado Springs, CO: No Recreational Marijuana Stores

July 23rd

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — Colorado’s second largest city, Colorado Springs, is on the verge of banning recreational marijuana retail stores, forfeiting a projected $3 million in  recreational marijuana sales taxes for the city.

The City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on whether or not to ban retail pot shops under last year’s Amendment 64, which legalized retail sales of cannabis to adults in the state.

Four of nine city council members have said that they plan on voting against allowing retail marijuana stores in the city, but even if the council votes to allow the retail sale of marijuana to adults 21 or older, Mayor Steve Bach says he will veto any ordinance allowing the stores to open in the city.

There does not appear to be enough support on the council to overturn a mayoral veto.

Colorado Springs is the second largest city in the state, behind Denver.  Located at the base of Pike’s Peak and the Rocky Mountains, the city is a popular tourist destination, with an estimated 5 million visitors annually.

It was projected that recreational marijuana sales in the city would generate approximately $3 million annually in tax revenue for the city.  Sales would be limited to one ounce of pot for Colorado residents or a quarter of an ounce for out of state visitors.

Colorado Springs is the county seat of El Paso County, where Amendment 64 passed by 10 votes.  Even before the election, county commissioners for El Paso Count. . . . . READ MORE

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Lessons from the Netherlands for Marijuana Legalization in the US

July 19th

AMSTERDAM — The US states of Colorado and Washington voted last year to legalize marijuana and are moving forward toward implementing legalization. Activists in several states are lining up to try to do the same next year, and an even bigger push will happen in 2016.

With public opinion polls now consistently showing support for pot legalization at or above 50%, it appears that nearly a century of marijuana prohibition in the US is coming to an end.

Exactly how it comes to an end and what will replace it are increasingly important questions as we move from dreaming of legalization to actually making it happen. The Netherlands, which for decades now has allowed open marijuana consumption and sales at its famous coffee shops, provides some salutary lessons — if reformers, state officials, and politicians are willing to heed them.

To be clear, the Dutch have not legalized marijuana. The marijuana laws remain on the books, but are essentially overridden by the Dutch policy of “pragmatic tolerance,” at least as far as possession and regulated sales are concerned. Cultivation is a different matter, and that has proven the Achilles Heel of Dutch pot policy. Holland’s failure to allow for a system of legal supply for the coffee shops leaves shop owners to deal with illegal marijuana su. . . . . READ MORE

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Colorado Releases Marijuana Growing, Sales Regulations

July 1st

DENVER, CO – Detailed rules for how recreational marijuana in Colorado should be grown and sold starting next year were released Monday.

The state department that will regulate marijuana released more than 60 pages of rules for how marijuana sales will be licensed and regulated. The Colorado Legislature set broad parameters earlier this year, but many nitty-gritty rules were left to the Department of Revenue.

Marijuana possession by adults has been legal since last December in Colorado, but retail sales don’t begin until January. The voter-approved marijuana legalization measure adopted last year required the department to release rules by July 1. The rules released Monday don’t apply to medical marijuana dispensaries.

The rules require labels to include potency, expiration dates and a disclaimer that marijuana isn’t legal outside Colorado and hasn’t been safety-tested.

Recreational marijuana will also come with the disclaimer that “there may be health risks associated with the consumption of this product.”

Marijuana labels won’t be allowed to make claims that the product brings any health benefit.

The rules also detail exact specifications for who can work in marijuana businesses and how the drug can be transported and stored.

The department’s rules indicate it plans to establish seed-to-sa. . . . . READ MORE

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Colorado Governor Signs Law Regulating State Hemp Production

June 15th

DENVER, CO — Governor John Hickenlooper has signed legislation, Senate Bill 241, into law creating a new program within the Department of Agriculture to oversee the regulation of commercial hemp production.

Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only minute (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Senate Bill 241 classifies cannabis possessing no more than three-tenths of one percent THC as an agricultural commodity and establishes a 9-member committee within the state Department of Agriculture to oversee the creation of regulations governing the licensed cultivation of hemp for commercial and research purposes. The Department must adopt regulations for the new program no later than March 1, 2014.

Unlike similar laws enacted in other states, SB 241 does not mandate farmers seeking state-issued hemp cultivation licenses to also seek federal approval. The federal Controlled Substances Act makes no legal distinction between marijuana and industrial hemp.

Federal legislation, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to e. . . . . READ MORE

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Judge Strikes Down Colorado Rule Restricting Marijuana Magazine Sales

June 12th

DENVER, CO — A federal judge on Tuesday struck down a provision of Colorado’s marijuana legalization law that would have required stores to sell cannabis-themed publications behind the counter, like pornography.

Magazine publishers and bookstores had filed a lawsuit against the state last week, arguing that the measure, passed by the Colorado legislature this spring, should be overturned before it takes effect on July 1.

U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch’s ruling came a day after the state attorney general’s office, which would have defended the measure in court, agreed with the plaintiffs that it was unconstitutional.

“The defendants have conceded the invalidity of the code provision cited in the complaints,” Matsch said in his order granting a permanent injunction.

Colorado voters approved the recreational use of marijuana by adults last fall and charged lawmakers with setting up regulations to sell and tax cannabis products.

Supporters of the behind-the-counter provision said it was aimed at reducing juveniles’ exposure to the material.

But publi. . . . . READ MORE

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Colorado “Pot as Porn” Magazine Restriction Declared Unconstitutional

June 9th

DENVER, CO — The Colorado legislature’s plan to require marijuana related magazines to be treated as pornography and displayed behind the counter went up in smoke Thursday when Attorney General John Suthers said the provision was unconstitutional and would be ignored.

“No magazine whose primary focus is marijuana or marijuana businesses is required to be sold only in retail marijuana stores or behind the counter in establishments where persons under twenty-one years of age are present, because such a requirement would violate the United States Constitution, the Colorado Constitution, and section 24-4-103(4)(a.5)(IV), C.R.S,” the Attorney General’s office said in a statement Thursday.

The unusual provision to treat pot magazines like pornography was a late amendment introduced by Republican Rep. Bob Gardner to Colorado’s bill to establish a regulated marijuana market for adults, making Colorado the first — and only — state to require stores that allow entry to shoppers under age 21 to place pot magazines behind the counter.

“We applaud the Attorney General’s decision to declare as unconstitutional this absurd rule that marijuana-related publications be treated like pornographic material,” said Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project.

“The idea that stores can prominently display ma. . . . . READ MORE

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Colorado “Pot as Porn” Magazine Restriction Declared Unconstitutional

June 8th

DENVER, CO — The Colorado legislature’s plan to require marijuana related magazines to be treated as pornography and displayed behind the counter went up in smoke Thursday when Attorney General John Suthers said the provision was unconstitutional and would be ignored.

“No magazine whose primary focus is marijuana or marijuana businesses is required to be sold only in retail marijuana stores or behind the counter in establishments where persons under twenty-one years of age are present, because such a requirement would violate the United States Constitution, the Colorado Constitution, and section 24-4-103(4)(a.5)(IV), C.R.S,” the Attorney General’s office said in a statement Thursday.

The unusual provision to treat pot magazines like pornography was a late amendment introduced by Republican Rep. Bob Gardner to Colorado’s bill to establish a regulated marijuana market for adults, making Colorado the first — and only — state to require stores that allow entry to shoppers under age 21 to place pot magazines behind the counter.

“We applaud the Attorney General’s decision to declare as unconstitutional this absurd rule that marijuana-related publications be treated like pornographic material,” said Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project.

“The idea that stores can prominently display ma. . . . . READ MORE

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Colorado Law Enforcement Applauds Historic Marijuana Regulations

May 29th

DENVER – A group of law enforcement officials is celebrating today after Colorado’s governor John Hickenlooper signed six bills establishing a regulatory framework for the state’s newly legalized marijuana market into law Tuesday.

LEAPThe bills are the result of months of work of a specially appointed task force that looked into the issue and made recommendations for how to implement the proposition legalizing marijuana voters overwhelmingly approved last November.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of law enforcement officials opposed to the war on drugs, while not endorsing all measures called for in the bills, was optimistic about the future of legalized regulation in Colorado.

“Yesterday Colorado became the first place in history to implement full taxation and regulation of marijuana,” said former judge Leonard Frieling, a LEAP speaker. “Taxpayers win under this system. Courts win und. . . . . READ MORE

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