City threat level: low
With the El Paso County Board of Commissioners set to reconsider adding an MMJ center ban to the county ballot on Aug. 26, it raises the question: Will the board's actions influence City Council to weigh a similar decision?
"I don't think so," says Mayor Lionel Rivera. "The six of us that supported dispensaries aren't going to be changing our minds."
City Councilor Sean Paige agrees.
"My read is that a majority of this Council probably won't refer a ban to the ballot," he says. "I think most on this City Council understand that this is a constitutionally protected right that we're just going to have to deal with and find a way to accommodate."
After 1284, now what?
Betty Aldworth, the new executive director of Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation (2801 E. Colfax Ave., #300, Denver, commr.org), is inheriting an organization in debt to its lobbyists, and facing a fundamental shift in its priorities.
Previously led by high-profile activist Matt Brown, the group has always focused on seeing state MMJ regulations enacted. House Bill 1284 achieved that, leaving these advocates temporarily at a loss.
"We will definitely be shifting the direction and role of CMMR," says Aldworth, 34. "I'd like to see CMMR become the research hub of Colorado for medical marijuana patients, providers, caregivers and community members who are not patients but are interested."
The 15-year Coloradan was vice president of Full Spectrum Laboratories, which provides detailed cannabis analysis. She also has 10 years' experience leading nonprofits, and represented the scientific community on the Department of Revenue's rule-making advisory board. (Her membership is under review now that she's left Full Spectrum.)
With all that, how's it going?
"I'm absolutely nervous," she says. "But I also feel like CMMR has a lot to offer."
Boasting $250,000 in renovations, Eagle's Nest Wellness Center (8455 W. U.S. Hwy 24, Cascade, eaglesnestsanctuary.com) will hold its grand opening in the old Swiss Miss building tomorrow, Aug. 20.
Owner, priest and biochemist Lono Ho'ala was forced to move his established Eagle's Nest retreat due to zoning issues, and picked the area landmark as the new site for his holistic and naturopathic medicines, nature walks and "rational, reality-based classes." There's also a dispensary, which the religion of Ho'ala Huna considers a natural offshoot of its proclivities.