Board to vote on clubs
On Thursday, El Paso County's Board of County Commissioners will consider a resolution that would extend the temporary moratorium on cannabis social clubs in the county. These are the businesses operating in a legal gray area, taking advantage of the fact that users can partake of the drug in a private area. Some accept "donations" in lieu of payment for marijuana dispensed on site, while others mandate you bring it yourself.
The measure sounds like a setback for supporters, but it's actually the lesser of two evils; commissioners considered banning the clubs outright at a previous meeting. They continued the moratorium with the support of Commissioners Peggy Littleton, Darryl Glenn and Dennis Hisey.
There are no clubs currently operating in the unincorporated areas of the county (those affected by the board), but that hasn't stopped Studio A64 owner KC Stark from protesting the county's potential actions. (By way of background, the city of Colorado Springs tried earlier this year to kill Stark's downtown club. A majority of City Council backed its continued existence.)
"The original cannabis club will not let liberty die in the name of reefer madness," Stark says in an email. "This is a violation of our Colorado constitutional rights under [Amendment 20/Amendment 64]; as well as a ... dire affront to all the principles our founding fathers (and mothers) lived and died for."
Watch it grow
Reality TV continues to come for Colorado cannabis, with two shows focused on the state's industry.
The first, from MSNBC, debuted over Thanksgiving weekend. Pot Barons of Colorado is a six-part series airing Sundays at 8 p.m. MST focusing on Denver-based people like Jamie Perino, owner of Euflora, and Medicine Man's Andy Williams. "The series takes viewers deep inside this budding industry filled with financial opportunity, but also fraught with danger," says the network. "Another branch of the industry looked at in the series is edibles."
And from CNN comes High Profits, an eight-part series debuting sometime in 2015 that focuses on the couple who own Breckenridge Cannabis Club. "The BCC has grown from a $515,000 per year medical marijuana dispensary with four employees," says CNN in a release, "to a $5,000,000 per year business of 30 employees."
Crime out, cash in
The United States' legal marijuana is hurting Mexican cartels, NPR reported Monday. Here's Nabór, a 24-year-old grower in Sinaloa: "Two or three years ago, a kilogram of marijuana was worth $60 to $90," he says. "But now they're paying us $30 to $40 a kilo. It's a big difference. If the U.S. continues to legalize pot, they'll run us into the ground." Hear more at tiny.cc/96l7px.