Denver has more marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks, public schools or liquor stores, city and corporate records show.
The Denver City Council has moved to regulate the medical marijuana industry and where dispensaries may locate, which has created an increase in sales-tax license applications. The city, as of last week, had issued more than 300 sales-tax licenses for marijuana dispensaries, The Denver Post reported Sunday.
Arjan is the founder of the Green House Coffeeshops and Seed Company, the most successful cannabis business in the world. Winner of many international awards (32 High times Cannabis Cups, 17 Highlife Cups, and dozens of other awards), a true leader in cannabis genetics. The vision, passion and hard work of Arjan earned him the distinction of being the "King of Cannabis" but he does not rest on his laurels (so to speak), as he continues to search the planet to collect cannabis genetics and landraces with his longtime side-kick Franco and the team known as the Strain Hunters.
Already Four States Have Marijuana Legalization Bills In Play; Californians To Vote On Legalization in 2010
It can readily be said that 2009 was one of the busiest and most productive years in cannabis law reform since NORML’s founding in 1970. However, it appears as if 2010 is going to be an even busier year–notably marked by the increasing number of actual state legalization bills and a voter initiative in America’s most important state.
Currently, there is legalization legislation pending in California, Massachusetts, Vermont, and a legalization bill was just introduced this week in Washington. Frankly, most of these bills do not have a strong prospect in passing this time out, however the immense public discussion that is generated is crucial for overall reform efforts.
The formula is simple: No public discussion or debate about legalization, obviously equates to no substantive law reforms. This is what regrettably happened in the United States, Canada and Europe from 1980-2000, buttressed by extreme federal anti-marijuanism in the form of the DARE program in the public school, the blitzkrieg of Partnership for a Drug-Free America ads polluting media airwaves and omnibus federal crime bills overloaded with severe and costly penalties (i.e., mandatory minimum sentencing, civil forfeiture, mass drug testing, etc…). However, since the turn of the century, there have been ever-increasing public discussions and debates about marijuana prohibition–principally driven by the creation and implementation of medical cannabis laws in thirteen states–which is leading to greater public support for reform.
In the good old days a coffeeshop had its own group of growers/suppliers, which meant the coffeeshopowner had influence over the strains their growers produced, and we knew how the cannabis was grown. The prices were the same all over the Netherlands, just because there were no other takers in our line of business. Sure, some people would buy a kilo to take abroad, or even some more, but they bought from coffeeshops, not from the growers. There was a raise in prices during and after the holiday season, for two reasons: Growers take holidays too, when they do, they cannot grow, so they lose production time, like half a harvest. Another reason is the heat of summer, marihuana plants are pretty easy to grow, but when the temperature in a growroom goes above 27 degrees centigrade, the growth stuns.
Inside the green neon sign, which is shaped like a marijuana leaf, is a red cross. The cross serves the fiction that most transactions in the store -- which is what it really is -- involve medicine.
The U.S. Justice Department recently announced that federal laws against marijuana would not be enforced for possession of marijuana that conforms to states' laws. In 2000, Colorado legalized medical marijuana. Since Justice's decision, the average age of the 400 persons a day seeking "prescriptions" at Colorado's multiplying medical marijuana dispensaries has fallen precipitously. Many new customers are college students.
Customers -- this, not patients, is what most really are -- tell doctors at the dispensaries that they suffer from insomnia, anxiety, headaches, premenstrual syndrome, "chronic pain," whatever, and pay nominal fees for "prescriptions." Most really just want to smoke pot.
One of the primary reasons for NOT following Europe and the United States by introducing 'degree's of decriminalisation' for cannabis users has always been the governments inability to work out how to recoup the losses legalising cannabis would inevitably manifest upon big lobbying industries such as pharmaceuticals, petroleum and alcohol.
The fact is, as soon as cannabis becomes deregulated (for medical use for instance), the pharmaceutical industry stands to loose billions of pounds in over-the-counter sales of popular pain-killers such as paracetamol and aspirin. And they're not about to take such a loss lying down.
You'd think that supplying medical marijuana to someone who needs medical marijuana — and has already had a licensed physician attest to that — would be enough to qualify a person as a "primary caregiver."
But you'd be wrong, at least according to the Colorado Court of Appeals. Four weeks ago, in upholding a Boulder court decision, the Court of Appeals concluded that "to qualify as a 'primary caregiver' under Colorado Constitution article XVII, section 14, a person must do more to manage the well-being of a patient who has a debilitating medical condition than merely supply marijuana." Ironically, that ruling came in the case of Stacy Clendenin, who'd been busted in 2006 for growing marijuana in her Longmont home specifically for patients — a very grassroots interpretation of caregiving that likely aligns with what Colorado voters envisioned when they approved Amendment 20 and made medical marijuana legal back in 2000. Even so, Court of Appeals judges seemed to think that a caregiver has a more "significant responsibility" than merely supplying the marijuana so intrinsic to a patient's well-being. But what, exactly?
There was an old hippy saying in the '60s: "If the government figured out a way to tax it, marijuana would become legal." As of last week, Colorado has apparently crossed that Rubicon—at least for the prescribed version.
John Suthers, the state's Republican attorney general, issued an opinion on Nov. 16 that yes, the state of Colorado does have the authority to tax medical marijuana. The opinion was in response to a request for legal clarification from Colorado's Democratic Governor (and former Denver District Attorney) Bill Ritter. The governor's office hasn't indicated whether they support taxing medical marijuana, they simply wanted an official opinion on the state's authority to do so.
The same day they rejected a gay marriage ballot measure, residents of Maine voted overwhelmingly to allow the sale of medical marijuana over the counter at state-licensed dispensaries.
Later in the month, the American Medical Association reversed a longtime position and urged the federal government to remove marijuana from Schedule One of the Controlled Substances Act, which equates it with heroin.
A few days later, advocates for easing marijuana laws left their biannual strategy conference with plans to press ahead on all fronts -- state law, ballot measures, and court -- in a movement that for the first time in decades appeared to be gaining ground.
A new industry has taken root in Detroit with the opening of the city's new 'MedGrow Cannabis College'.
Here students learn how to grow marijuana professionally, debating the 'finer points of inhaling' and which plants 'give the biggest hit'.
And no this isn't some tiny research lab, it's clear what this is about -- making money and building an industry.
At first glance it could be any other coffee shop in America. Chocolate croissants are stacked behind the counter and patrons lounge on sofas. There are, however, a few crucial differences.
A shelf is lined with large glass jars, containing what appear to be plant samples. The customers do not have coffee pots in front of them, but "vapourisers" with digital readouts indicating when the plant samples have been heated to precisely 375F, at which point a thin mist rises from them into large transparent plastic bags. The patrons "sip" on the bags using the kind of valves that you might see on a diver’s oxygen tank.