To save the day
Denver legislators Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Tom Massey have become the de facto home team in the Capitol for medical marijuana. The pair put together last year's so called clean-up bill, and are this session attempting to inject a little life into a banking situation that has left MMJ business owners in the cold.
Next week, the pair will introduce in their respective chambers the Medical Marijuana Financial Cooperative bill, a piece of legislation that would "enable the state to issue a charter to a financial institution that would be a cooperative, that would be limited to serving the medical marijuana industry," says Steadman.
Dispensaries would still be unable to accept charge cards, or wire money between institutions, or do anything connected to the outside banking system. But the bill would allow a place for deposits — if it advances that far, that is.
"One, I don't know whether the bill really solves the problem, and two, I don't know if it's something that is politically viable, or how crazy various interests will go when they see it," says Steadman. "You know, the law enforcement community could decide this is a big sham for money laundering, or the banking and credit industries could decide they don't want anybody else to have a piece of the market that they can't have. I'm not certain, even though I've been talking with folks for quite a while."
'Rejected' beats 'denied'
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment confirms that it's working its way through the roughly 4,200 applications that were placed on hold due to medical recommendations that didn't come from a physician, but from an assistant instead.
Department spokesman Mark Salley says numbers on how many applications have been processed thus far are unavailable, but he adds that some applicants are being rejected, while others are being denied.
The difference is fairly important.
"Applicants with rejected applications do not need to submit an additional fee when returning their amended application materials," writes Salley in an e-mail. "Denied applications will require submission of the application fee (now $35) if the applicant submits a new application after the six months [that denied applicants are required to wait] have expired."
Just a note: In this issue you should find a copy of ReLeaf, our quarterly guide to all things medical marijuana in Colorado Springs. If yours is missing, feel free to request one in our offices at 235 S. Nevada Ave., or find it online at csindy.com.
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