There's a lot of noise right now around marijuana clubs. There's the Hive Co-Op in Lafayette, "billed as Colorado's first cannabis-friendly coffee and tea shop," as put by Boulder's Daily Camera; there's the A-64 Lounge that KOAA-TV reported KC Stark and Jack Roth want to start in Colorado Springs later this year; and then there's a local venture called Club 710 (facebook.com/studio64club710).
Though that name might become Studio 64 once a physical location is found, right now Club 710 is operating something like a Meetup group, getting together at different spots. R&R Bar and Grill (460 N. Murray Blvd., 321/626-9469) is where the group held its initial membership drive last Sunday, says 710 co-owner Robert Tillery, noting it drew roughly 70 people; seventeen of them became members.
"A lot of recreational smokers haven't been able to go out and enjoy that social atmosphere that you get in a club or a bar setting, because they don't drink," says Tillery, who's running the group in conjunction with Weed Pimp Clothing. "And they really enjoyed being with like-minded individuals who could share different strains, suggestions and flavors, and talk about growing. ...
"A lot of people got to sample some different smoking methods. It's really like this whole community of recreational-slash-medical users who got together in a social setting for the first time in Colorado Springs."
A second membership drive for those 21 and up is set for 7 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 13 back at the grill. Ten bucks gets you in the door, with $5 going toward a membership. Club dues start at $20 for a month.
Tax that grass
When Colorado Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino came through the Independent last week, he, along with Rep. Pete Lee and Rep.-elect Tony Exum, made it clear that a tax on recreational marijuana would be pushed in the House. Previous Colorado Springs legislators, including House Minority Leader Mark Waller and Senate President John Morse, have expressed doubts that they can be compelled to act by the provision in Amendment 64 that reads, "the General Assembly shall enact an excise tax ... not to exceed fifteen percent," but Ferrandino's going ahead anyway.
"The voters overwhelmingly passed Amendment 64 with a provision in there asking the Legislature to refer something to the ballot," he says. "And when you have tobacco [and] alcohol both having excise taxes on them, it makes no sense to have recreational marijuana not have an excise tax on it."
As for any Republican colleagues who may balk at either moving ahead with marijuana legislation, or a new tax: "If you don't like it, that's fine — then work to repeal it. But until it gets repealed or gets struck down by a court, then you have an obligation as a sitting, sworn legislator to uphold that constitution and implement that constitution."