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Organic certification at Maggie's Farm, City Council wants lower pot penalties and more 

Cannabiz

All's well at the farm

Though the state's regulations ban the use of some 60 chemicals in the growing process, Maggie's Farm (maggiesfarmmarijuana.com) was recently certified to be free of more than 300 different synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. The recognition comes from Clean Green Certified, a California-based business that says it uses the same criteria as the USDA's National Organic Program.

"We're not doing anything different than we were before," says owner Bill Conkling, "but we finally got somebody to come out and actually acknowledge and legitimize why we can call our product a premium product."

With two Maggie's MMJ centers in Colorado Springs, and recreational locations planned in Pueblo County and Manitou Springs, it's a product headed for ever more people. Conkling says he's ready for it, especially considering he says he applied for a license in Manitou the day after Colorado Springs announced its ban.

"Sure, I expect it to be busy. I mean, it's only one of two in all of El Paso County," he says of his Manitou location, which is tentatively slated to open to RMJ in late April. (Absolute Manitou Wellness Center will be the other.) Luckily, the space at 141 Manitou Ave. has "more capacity to do more sales than my largest, newest center has."

'We're overreacting'

At Monday's work session, Colorado Springs City Council directed city staff to come back in two weeks with ordinances prohibiting the possession of marijuana on city property, including the airport, changed to no longer include jail as a possible penalty.

"I understand the need for something at the airport, to protect ourselves from any federal regulations in the airport," said City Councilor Jan Martin. "But in the rest of the city I really think it should be treated like alcohol. And just like Councilor [Joel] Miller said, I don't want this showing up on somebody's record as a drug violation when it's legal in the state of Colorado. I think we're overreacting a little bit with these penalties."

Keef crumbs

• According to the Associated Press, the Colorado Supreme Court will soon hear the case of former Dish Network employee Brandon Coats, who was fired in 2010 after a drug test revealed marijuana use. Despite our state having increasingly progressive pot laws, nothing restricts employers from similar actions, and the Colorado Court of Appeals last year upheld the initial ruling that the firing was legal.

• Attorney General Eric Holder made headlines last week for saying in a speech that the federal government would soon announce rules that allow banks to work with marijuana businesses. However, notes POLITICO: "Such a legal memo wouldn't be enforceable in court and would amount to less than the kind of clear safe harbor many banks say they would want before accepting money from pot businesses."

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