This is the true essence of entrepreneurship! If there is marijuana4sale, bring cookies.
This is the true essence of entrepreneurship! If there is marijuana4sale, bring cookies.
Colorado Retail Pot Shops Open for Business Jan.1, 2014
Marijuana Retailers opened for business on New Year’s Day in Denver, Colorado. 14 stores were granted the $5000/year license. Timothy Cullen, one of the first Marijuana Retailers, applied for his license on October 23, 2013. His license number, 402R-00078, was granted to Evergreen Apothecary LLC located at 1568 S. Broadway, Denver, Co. One store, Medicine Man, is now open for business and recently hired 25 new employees. They expect sales to at least double this year. One of the popular strains of marijuana for sale at $280/ounce is “San Fernando Valley OG Kush”. Medicine Man grows all their own marijuana and is required to attach a RFID (Radio Frequency I.D.) tag to each plant as a means of inventory control.
5 arrested for dumping garbage bag of pot in Civic Center and passing it out, police say
The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_20181528/5-arrested-dumping-garbage-bag-pot-civic-center#ixzz1pmiqRrDZ
Denver Police officers arrested five people in Civic Center this afternoon, after a garbage bag full of marijuana was allegedly dumped out, re-bagged and passed out to park patrons.
Around 12:30 p.m., officers were called to the park, near where Occupy Denver typically holds demonstrations and marches, after they received reports of the marijuana, said Sonny Jackson, a spokesman for the Denver Police Department.
The bag was dumped on a blue tarp in the northeast corner of the park, police said. About 30 people were in the park when the marijuana a was being distributed.
“Why they were doing this we don’t know,” Jackson said. “This is a public park and we cannot have people openly distributing marijuana.”
It did not appear that anyone was paying for the marijuana.
Officers on bikes, motorcycles and on foot responded to the scene.
Several people in the park recorded the incident on cell phones and video cameras as officers loaded the bag into a car.
As officers cleared the park, one woman called the cops “pigs” and “terrorists.”
It is unknown if any of the people taken into custody have been arrested at the park before. Their names have not been released.
Colorado pot-legalization initiative needs more signatures
Posted: 02/03/2012 07:34:43 AM MST
Updated: 02/03/2012 02:15:16 PM MST By John Ingold
The Denver Post
A proposed initiative to legalize limited possession of marijuana in Colorado needs more signatures to qualify for the ballot.
The Colorado Secretary of State’s office announced today that the campaign collected only 83,696 valid signatures. It needs 86,105 to qualify.
The campaign will now have 15 days to collect the remaining 2,409 valid signatures. Mason Tvert, one of the initiative’s proponents, said in a statement today that the announcement was unexpected but “just a very small bump in the road.”
“We are confident we will complete this process successfully and qualify the initiative for the ballot,” Tvert said.
Last month, the campaign turned in more than 160,000 signatures in boxes of petitions. But, after reviewing a sample of those signatures, the Secretary of State’s office could not conclusively project whether there were enough valid signatures on the petitions for the initiative to qualify.
That meant the Secretary of State’s office needed to go line-by-line through the petitions, verifying each signature. Today was the deadline to complete that task.
The initiative, a proposed constitutional amendment, would legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for people 21 and older. It would also allow people to grow a small number of marijuana plants in their homes.
The measure would also allow for people to open marijuana retail shops, but it would give communities the ability to ban those businesses. Lastly, it would legalize the growing of industrial hemp.
All such activities would remain illegal under federal law.
The initiative — for now known as Proposed Initiative No. 30 and dubbed by the campaign The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012 — is one of three separate proposed measures for the 2012 ballot that would legalize marijuana in Colorado.
Another, from Cannabis University of Colorado head Michelle LaMay, would prohibit judges from imposing penalties on anyone for marijuana possession of any amount. Supporters call the initiative The Relief for the Possession of Cannabis Act. The campaign behind it has announced it will begin collecting signatures this month.
Meanwhile, a third initiative was filed Thursday. That measure, which supporters call Legalize 2012, would create in Colorado’s constitution a fundamental right to use and possess any amount of marijuana for people over 18. It would allow for retail sales of marijuana “without restrictions that are onerous or burdensome.” It would require the state attorney general to file lawsuits to prevent the federal government from enforcing federal marijuana laws in Colorado. And it would create a state-funded commission that could help Colorado citizens facing federal marijuana prosecution with their defense.
That initiative has not yet had its first administrative hearing.
Read more: Colorado pot-legalization initiative needs more signatures – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_19885405#ixzz1liVKPtHX
Feds Target Financial Institutions Associated with Medical Marijuana Clinics
By SUSANNA KIM
Oct. 26, 2011
In its effort to shut down California’s booming medical marijuana dispensaries, the Justice Department is seeking to seize the property where the clinics are based, even going after at least one bank that holds the mortgage on a clinic.
Chase bank received a letter to evict the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, according to Greg Anton, attorney for the clinic. The bank owns the note on the building in Fairfax, Calif.
According to Anton, the bank received a similar letter from U.S. attorney Melinda Haag for the northern district of California that was sent to the Alliance’s landlord on Sept. 28 and other medical marijuana dispensaries. The letters threatened that unless the owners evicted the cannabis clinics within 45 days, they could face criminal action.
Anton said he obtained a copy of the letter to JPMorgan Chase through the clinic’s landlord, as reported by the Bay Citizen.
A spokesman for JP Morgan Chase said he had no comment and would not confirm whether the bank received a letter from the U.S. attorney.
The Justice Department announced on Oct. 7 it is cracking down on the illegal distribution of marijuana in four federal districts in California, which has had a growing cannabis industry since legalizing medicinal marijuana in 1996 through Proposition 215.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney in the state’s Northern district said he could not comment on who received letters.
The U.S. attorneys for Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego revealed enforcement actions against at least 16 cannabis distributors in those federal districts. Deputy Attorney General James Cole said the department will not focus the investigation on individual patients with serious illnesses like cancer or their immediate caregivers.
Lynnette Shaw, owner of the Marian Alliance for Medical Marijuana, which calls itself the oldest medical marijuana dispensary in the state, said her landlord is planning to evict the business from the premises, though Shaw is hoping to obtain a court order or even an executive order that would bring a temporary stay on the U.S. Attorneys’ actions.
Shaw said she has obeyed all state laws for 15 years and never diverted medicine for non-medical purposes or sold out of state.
But she and her landlord, who she has been supportive since the time the clinic launched, are fearful of the Justice Department’s threats.
“My landlord is terrified, I would never do anything to endanger him,” Shaw said. “Now he’s asked us to remove marijuana from premises.”
On Tuesday, state and local legislators gathered with clinic owners in San Francisco prior to President Obama’s fundraiser event, calling on the president to intervene.
“This destructive attack on medical marijuana patients is a waste of limited law enforcement resources and will cost the state millions in tax revenue and harm countless lives,” California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano said. “President Obama needs to reverse this bad policy decision and respect California’s right to provide medicine to its residents.”
Aaron Smith, executive director for the National Cannabis Industry Association, said, “President Obama needs to immediately reign in the Justice Department for defying his administration’s stated policy to respect state medical marijuana laws.”
The Justice Department’s action places into question marijuana-related activities in 15 other states and the District of Columbia, which have legalized medicinal marijuana in some form.
Kevin Sabet, former Senior Policy Advisor to President Obama’s Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske, and currently a consultant to drug prevention and policy organizations, said financial institutions that deal with medical marijuana organizations should be on alert.
“Smoked marijuana remains illegal in all states, and federal law — while recognizing certain components of marijuana as having medicinal value — does not allow the whole marijuana plant to be smoked for any purpose, including purported medical purposes,” he said.
Sabet also warned that all states with legalized medical marijuana should pay attention to the enforcement actions in California.
“Remember, all actions have to be approved by Attorney General Holder, so it’s hard to imagine that California would be the only place the Department of Justice is focusing on,” Sabet said.
While dispensaries outside California have not received similar letters from the Justice Department, some have been audited by the IRS for taking business deductions that were related to “trafficking in controlled substances.” The IRS can penalize cannabis dispensaries based on section 280E of the tax code, passed during the Reagan administration in 1982, which prohibited drug dealers to take any deductions based on trafficking activities.
Jill Lamoureux, chairwoman of the National Cannabis Industry Association, said she knew of one audit in Colorado, the details of which are confidential. She said the deductions were accepted an no additional taxes or fines were assessed.
“If the IRS determines across the board that this industry cannot take standard business deductions it will severely limit the ability of these businesses to thrive serving patients and contributing to our state’s economies desperately in need of new growth industries,” Lamoureux wrote in an email to ABC News.
Sabet said the federal government is sending a message that the “rush” in the medical marijuana industry is “over.”
“People – including drug dealing organizations – flocked to the promise land of California thinking they could get rich off of this grey market, but the federal government is now reminding folks that there’s nothing grey about marijuana markets,” Sabet said. “‘Marijuana is an illegal drug and we take it seriously,’ is the message they seem to be sending.”
Sexy pot ads provoke debate over medical marijuana goals
By Peter Hecht
Published: Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 – 12:00 am
Last Modified: Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 – 6:58 am
In 2009, as Los Angeles’ booming medical marijuana economy inspired an emerald city of weed, Vanessa Sahagun found a business opportunity as “Chacha Vavoom,” maven of the 420 Nurses.
Chacha and her “nurses” became a pot culture phenomenon. They savored bong hits on YouTube, modeled skimpy outfits to promote marijuana dispensaries – and stirred young men at medical pot shows teeming with sexual imagery.
“I was proud I was opening up a market creating ‘green jobs’ for these ladies,” said Sahagun, 25.
But now, the sexual marketing of medical marijuana – with racy promotions that often trump the beer industry’s swimsuit models – is at the center of an uncomfortable debate in the medicinal cannabis community.
Fifteen years after California voters legalized use of medical marijuana amid images of ailing AIDS and cancer patients, pot dispensaries featuring “bikini budtenders” suggest a different message: pot as a recreational pleasure.
“I’ve often said how offensive it is that we have naked girls with cannabis leaves or mini-mini-mini-skirts,” said Lanette Davies, a Sacramento dispensary operator who condemns others in the industry for marketing sex. “That has nothing to do with medication.”
Davies, whose family runs the Canna Care dispensary, said some in the industry “believe there is more money” marketing to recreational marijuana users. “That’s not what people voted in. That’s not why we’re supposed to be here,” she said.
Ryan Landers, a Sacramento AIDS patient who leads a medical marijuana policy group called “the Compassionate Coalition,” said trade shows featuring “Hot Kush Girl” contests and spicy ads “make my job a hell of a lot harder to convince people what we’re doing is true and real.”
Most medical marijuana dispensaries refrain from suggestive advertising – and some even feature multiple sclerosis patients or car accident victims who use cannabis for chronic pain.
But the California Organic Collective dispensary in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley touts bikini-clad counter attendants in ads that depict a buxom nurse holding a red, nipple-shaped stethoscope to her breast.
The Reserve dispensary in Sacramento County employed a model in a metal-studded brassiere and Old West gun belt to promote a super-potent “Green Ribbon” strain packing 25 percent of marijuana’s psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
“They claim to be offering medicine, yet they’re using marketing techniques reminiscent of some of the lowest standards of the beer industry,” said John Lovell, a lobbyist for the California Narcotics Officers Association.
At the “HempCon” medical marijuana trade show this month in San Jose, the event’s own marketing director took exception when she passed a booth for a magazine called Cali Chronic X. It featured seminude models posing suggestively with pot and exotic smoking accessories.
“I don’t know why we have to mix marijuana with porn,” protested Shawna Webb, a communications professional who uses medical cannabis for pain from a ruptured disk.
Webb said sex is the wrong image for the industry, particularly as California’s four U.S. attorneys are targeting pot dispensaries for prosecution and threatening their landlords with property seizures under federal drug laws.
But Jeffrey Peterson, publisher of Cali Chronic X and a performer known as “the 420 comic,” said he is making a stand against what he sees as prudish advocates who deny pot’s popularity as a recreational drug.
“How dare do these people, who think they represent the cannabis culture, single out the edge of this culture – because we are the cannabis culture,” he said.
Near Peterson at the San Jose trade show, Leslie Henck, a Bay Area go-go dancer, wore a bikini as the spokesmodel for a company selling joint-rolling machines. “You don’t have to look unhealthy to need medical marijuana,” said Henck, 19, who says her recommendation for pot helped her deal with anxiety.
“Sativa Grace,” a model for Cali Chronic X, came to the show dressed as a tawdry Alice in Wonderland. Sativa’s real name is Andrea Frye. The 21-year-old, who works in an adult novelties store, said she is empowering women.
“Hey, I may have sex appeal,” she said, “but I can smoke all day like a guy.”
Sahagun, a.k.a. Chacha Vavoom, started 420 Nurses as Los Angeles lit up with neon marijuana leaves from hundreds of new dispensaries. She sold outfits with hot pants sporting green medical marijuana crosses for women seeking pot modeling jobs.
“We went out with our cute uniforms, and I noticed a big response,” Sahagun said. “I knew there was a fire there.”
She said her “nurses” earn $10 to $25 an hour working in dispensaries or passing out business cards for doctors recommending marijuana – or $100 to $1,000 a day for promotional photos and videos.
At the “Kush Expo Medical Marijuana Show” in Anaheim this month, the 420 Nurses were joined by the Ganja Juice girls and a bikini troupe for an Orange County dispensary sponsoring the Expo’s “Hot Kush Girl” contest. A whooping, largely male throng cheered as 21 women competed for signature edition bongs and cash prizes.
“The marijuana industry is male-dominated, and dudes love to look at hot chicks,” said Ngaio Bealum, Sacramento publisher of a marijuana lifestyle magazine called West Coast Cannabis.
Bealum, who bills his publication as the “Sunset magazine of weed,” said he doesn’t run sexually suggestive ads.
And Bic Pho, marketing director for the Yerba Buena Medical Cannabis Club’s six San Jose dispensaries, junked ads with bikini models after deciding they projected a bad image for medical marijuana.
“I just didn’t feel it was appropriate. So we stopped,” he said. Now the dispensaries advertise a damsel, fully clothed, in pirate’s attire.
“We went with a pirate theme,” Pho said, “just something to remember us by.”
Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/11/28/4083460/sexy-pot-ads-provoke-debate-over.html#ixzz1f1BeX4rN
“Medical marijuana advocates take their battle to the courts”
By Peter Hecht
By Peter Hecht The Sacramento Bee
Published: Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 1A
Last Modified: Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011 – 12:10 am
Copyright 2011 The Sacramento Bee.
They are the public face of a litigious battle to redefine federal authority on medical marijuana.
With emotion and printed placards – “Marijuana is medicine, Let states regulate!” – about 200 people protested at the U.S. courthouse in Sacramento Wednesday against a federal crackdown on California dispensaries and property owners leasing to medical cannabis businesses.
But the real action may result from five lawsuits filed in recent days against U.S. government officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder, California’s four U.S. attorneys and President Barack Obama’s director of national drug control policy.
The suits assert that federal prosecutors are violating equal protection laws and states’ rights, and constitutional protections for in-state commerce. The ultimate goal may be to force the government to negotiate a settlement that spells out what it will tolerate in California and other states permitting medical marijuana use.
“We would like to get a rational dialogue going with the federal government about how to handle medical cannabis in California,” said Matt Kumin, a lead attorney in lawsuits filed in each of the state’s federal judicial districts. The suits seek injunctions to stop the seizure of properties of landlords leasing to medical marijuana operations.
A fifth suit, by the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access, seeks to bar federal actions “to dismantle the laws of the state of California.”
Don Heller, a former Sacramento federal prosecutor, said the suits could force a definitive answer by the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of federal “supremacy and states rights and who shall prevail with respect to marijuana.”
“It has been nibbled at and now it really should be decided,” he said.
In an announcement last month, U.S. prosecutors broadly asserted that dispensaries in California are profiteering in violation of both federal and state law. They’ve brought charges that some bad actors have trafficked medical marijuana out of state or pocketed millions of dollars from cultivation operations for marijuana stores.
U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner in Sacramento said in a statement Wednesday that California prosecutors “will continue to enforce federal narcotics laws, unless and until ordered to do otherwise.”
In contrast, marijuana advocates are suing on behalf of people such as Ryan Landers of Sacramento, who uses medical marijuana for symptoms of AIDS, or Briana Bilbray, a cancer patient who uses cannabis and the daughter of San Diego Republican Rep. Brian Bilbray.
The suits also challenge threats to seize properties of landlords who rent to dispensaries, including the El Camino Wellness Center, one of Sacramento’s leading medical marijuana outlets, or the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, California’s longest operating medicinal cannabis provider.
Kumin said plaintiffs want to know why the federal government has taken little action in Colorado, which permits a heavily regulated, for-profit medical marijuana industry, while launching aggressive actions in California.
The government’s stance is that all marijuana – medical or otherwise – is illegal under federal law. But Kumin said the Colorado model suggests California may be able to negotiate standards for medical marijuana distribution that would ward off federal intervention.
Santa Clara Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen said a U.S. Supreme Court battle is unlikely to produce positive results for the medical marijuana movement.
Uelmen unsuccessfully argued a 2001 case for the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Club, in which the Supreme Court ruled no “medical necessity” exempts marijuana from federal law. In 2004, the court rejected California medical user Angel Raich’s claim that federal marijuana laws intruded on constitutionally protected state commerce.
But Uelman said legal actions may force the government to negotiate with the advocates.
Uelmen represented the Santa Cruz Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) in an eight-year battle against federal authorities after a 2002 raid on the pot garden of a colony of severely or terminally ill patients. It resulted in a 2004 ruling permitting the group to grow marijuana and a 2010 agreement to drop the suit on the condition the government would no longer raid the garden.
Uelmen said authorities may be less accommodating for dispensaries the government views “as a ploy to run commercial operations to sell marijuana.”
In a parallel effort to the lawsuits, advocates are drafting a ballot initiative for statewide regulation of California’s medical marijuana industry, hoping it may diminish incentives for federal intervention.
California Board of Equalization member Betty Yee joined courthouse protesters Wednesday, decrying federal actions against dispensaries that she described as “responsible corporate citizens who pay state sales taxes.”
Kumin said he hopes the lawsuits can “enshrine” support for medical marijuana in California into federal law or policy. “We believe there are judges out there who are brave and ready to look at the utter contradictions,” he said.