Before the code’s repeal, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies must determine whether:You can email all comments to the state here. There are also separate surveys for patients and caregivers, which close at 4 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 25.
1) the code serves the public interest;
2) the code should be continued; and
3) there are changes that need to be made to the code.
Colorado has about 5,000 registered caregivers, a designation created in the 2000 medical marijuana amendment that remains in place, even though the drug is now legal for all adults. Most caregivers grow pot for just a few patients, but some have waivers allowing them to grow hundreds of plants for more than six people.In an email sent to Laura Kriho of the Cannabis Therapy Institute, and copied by her to the Indy, state registrar Ron Hyman gives background on another change potentially made by proposed legislation:
The Health Department, which manages the state medical marijuana registry, wants a hard limit of 30 plants—six each for five patients, spokesman Mark Salley said Tuesday.
Today, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers' office announced that a state grand jury indicted Conley Hoskins, Dallan Dirkmaat, Brenden Joyce and nine others "for defrauding investors and running an illegal medical marijuana grow operation," reads the release. "The twelve indicted individuals face 71 criminal counts related to the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act (COCCA) and felony charges for tax evasion, securities fraud and money laundering."
More from the release:
“The first red flag that something was askew came from the careful oversight of Colorado’s Department of Revenue,” said Deputy Attorney General Matthew Durkin. “These individuals stole money from their investors to pay off personal debts and hid their illicit proceeds from law enforcement and taxing authorities and illegally expanded their medical marijuana production capabilities.”
The other nine indicted individuals are David Krause (DOB 03/27/51) Nathan Newman (DOB 09/29/81), Kurt Criter (DOB 03/09/73), Yesenia Melendez (DOB 08/26/90), Carlos Meza (DOB 09/29/89), Ryan Tripp (DOB 10/14/79), Dialyne Parker (DOB 03/09/76), Gerald Searle (DOB 11/06/78) and Audra Wimer (DOB 02/03/87).
The indictment alleges an elaborate pattern of racketeering that began in January 2008. Hoskins, Dirkmaat and Krause are accused of engaging in a scheme to buy, sell, deal, cultivate and/or distribute medical marijuana in Colorado and at least one other state while committing securities fraud, theft, forgery, evading taxes and attempting to influence public servants through deceit. The enterprise evolved into a distribution ring, in part, because many members had longstanding personal and business connections with one another.
Hoskins, and Dirkmaat’s ran business ventures together in construction, car washes and medical marijuana dispensaries. The dispensary that Hoskins owned and managed occasionally used the legal services of Dirkmaat and were co-located in the same building as the People’s Law Firm. The indicted dispensaries are Jane Medicals, LLC, and All Care Wellness Centers, LLC.
Over time, Hoskins’ business interests evolved and he drew on his personal relationships and business experiences to raise capital from investors. He then used those investor funds to run illegal grow operations in Adams, Denver and Larimer Counties.
The filing of criminal charges or an indictment is merely a formal accusation that an individual committed a crime. Each defendant should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. These cases will be prosecuted in Jefferson County by the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. The next appearance for most of the indicted individuals is July 9, 2013.
In this week's CannaBiz column, we wrote that House Bill 1114 — the effort to limit the amount of THC allowed in a Colorado driver's blood to 5 nanograms per milliliter — had passed out of committee and would likely see the full House before the end of the week.
As luck would have it, the full House gave the bill its first consideration yesterday, reported the Denver Post, and it seems like making it to the Senate for final consideration won't be a problem.
Two amendments to the bill passed Tuesday prevent a person's status as a medical-marijuana patient from being used as evidence of impairment or probable cause for a blood test. The bill requires a second, recorded vote in the House before heading to the Senate, but its passage in the House seems assured. No representatives spoke against the bill Tuesday.
The paper also noted that a bill that would allow Colorado MMJ businesses to take state tax deductions also passed the House.
Coming on the heels of an audit that showed major inefficiencies and incompetencies at the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, a part of the Colorado Department of Revenue, state legislators are seriously doubting the MMED's ability to also regulate recreational marijuana.
From John Ingold, at the Denver Post:
After [Rep. Brian] DelGrosso's comments Thursday, committee chair Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, abruptly called a recess, and committee members moved to an adjacent room to vent their frustrations.
"They need to tell us how they will do things differently," Sen. Cheri Jahn, D-Wheat Ridge, said of marijuana regulators.
"If you're in the real world, all these flipping people are gone," DelGrosso said.
"Heads should roll," said Sen. Vicki Marble, R-Fort Collins.
That theme continued in another Post story, by Eric Gorski, about outrageous expenditures by the MMED — then led by longtime regulator Matt Cook — including $250,000 spent on furniture in one year.
"I am speechless," said Rep. Angela Williams, D-Denver, the committee chairwoman. "It appears there was a shopping spree."
"Apparently," said Sen. Steve King, R-Grand Junction, "we haven't learned anything from $400 federal hammers."
The Colorado Office of the State Auditor, a state agency responsibly for checking facets of government, today released the first of two reports that shows the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division has failed to fully implement its mission to regulate and enforce in a variety of ways.
"The Division has not adequately defined the oversight activities it must perform," the report concluded, "or determined the resources it need to implement the regulatory system envisioned by the General Assembly to oversee Colorado's emerging medical marijuana industry."
In a press release, the Medical Marijuana Industry Group says the state needs to do as good a job with compliance as the business owners it sometimes hammers on.
"The [MMIG] calls upon the state to properly fund the enforcement division responsible for oversight of the medical marijuana industry," says Michael Elliott, the group's executive director, in the release. "The responsible business owners who are members of MMIG are doing their part to make sure the system works. Our members follow the law and expect state officials to give the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division the budget it needs to ensure proper enforcement. We want more inspectors and oversight of the industry."
The Associated Press had one Colorado legislator's reaction to the news:
"We can't move forward unless we have a baseline. We have a baseline now," said Barbara Brohl, head of the Department of Revenue, which oversees the MMED. She assured lawmakers hearing the audit, "When we come back here in one year, this will be significantly different."
Brohl pointed out significant staff turnover in the MMED, which has to lay off a majority of its staff because of budget shortfalls. Her argument got a sharp response from Sen. Lois Tochtrop, D-Thornton.
"It's not an excuse," Tochtrop said. "You have guidelines, by statute and by rule, and they should be followed."
On Friday, BuzzFeed (your favorite work time-waster and mine) posted an article with an anonymous edibles baker in California, complete with a lovely spread of photos of the baker at work.
Author Emily Fleischaker followed the owner of Ruby Doobies, who works out of Los Angeles. While the cookies and cakes RD offers ring familiar with those of us in the Centennial State, the business side of her operation is decidedly different.
For one, RD has no website ("it's not considered wise to have one," the baker says, alluding to her reasons for anonymity) and she barters for her shake. Her products are also sold not with prices, but donations, since you can't make a profit off medical marijuana in California. All of this leaves RD on terribly precarious ground.
Like Colorado MMJ companies, the industry is inherently hazardous, from the lack of bank backing to the schism between state and federal laws. However, RD faces the added danger of a highly unregulated system. California MMJ is a somewhat underground industry as compared to that of Colorado, which is litigiously tracked from seed to sale.
But you knew all that. And you may also know that Colorado's own Jessica Catalano is making edibles incredibly easy to do at home. When the Indy interviewed Catalano last July, she was just about to put the finishing touches on her cookbook The Ganja Kitchen Revolution, a treasure trove of recipes that include your basic sweets as well as medicated soups, entrees, drinks and breakfast items. Most notably, Catalano breaks down the self-medicating process with a precise dosing chart that converts THC and bud amounts to conventional kitchen measurements. You can now buy it here.
Meanwhile, RD's baker is still working out of her home kitchen 20 to 30 hours per week, and hopes to soon move on to savory edibles. If the response from a hundred BuzzFeed commenters from across the country means anything, she has the support of the people.
The other day we got an e-mail letting us know the video was ready. Strap on your YouTube glasses, and fire it up. (The action gets going around 1:35.)
——— ORIGINAL POST: Nov. 30, 2012, 1:02 P.M. ———
The Rocky Mountain Kyngz really require no explanation. Like the picture of a dollar bill on their Facebook page shows, it's all about the "Richest Dollar Pursuit." (I mean, they attended Stack Your Money University.)
Anyway, the Kyngz just seem to be a fun-loving bunch working to go hard and celebrate a certain lifestyle. To that end they've released their latest joint, titled "Amendment 64." (Look for the video soon.)
Some of our favorite parts:
• "I'm from that smoky state, you can see us from the coast / Rocky Mountain Kyngz, yeah we smoke the fuckin' most / Legalized weed, man, thanks to your votes / What up Colorado, roll another one to make a toast"
• Them Colorado chicks smoke the most, bakin' them goodies, blowin' clouds like a ghost / RMK, yeah we on the way, smokin' good all day, from that dispensary"
• "Been legal, red-card holder / I could smoke from the Springs up to Boulder / Without one weight on this kid's shoulders, now everyone statewide can — thank you voters / The police-man can't trip no more / Feds stay out this unless you want civil war"
This upcoming Tuesday Raul Perez and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy are hosting an informational session on the effects of Amendment 64 "and what we as citizens can expect," reads an e-mail from Perez. "Learn about the personal protections, the retail and taxing process, and the incredible importance of Hemp.
"The event will take the form of two Q&A sessions, the first will be led by Raul Perez and Michael Mangin Chairs of SSDP and [Young Americans for Liberty] at UCCS respectively. Then we will have an audience driven Q&A," Perez writes. "Our panel members are Mark Slaugh, Jason Lauve and Loring Wirbel. Mark is the CEO of iComply, a local cannabis regulatory company, and he was the southern Colorado director for the pro a64 campaign. Jason is the publisher of Cannabis Health News Magazine and is a longtime hemp activist. Loring is the Pikes Peak ACLU Chapter Chair and has long advocated for the rights of American citizens."