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Pikes Peak pot pushed toward the ballot, and more 

CannaBiz

Peak region to vote?

Neither of the purveyors of pot in Manitou Springs are sharing an opening date for their recreational wares. An employee at Reserve 1 says it just turned in its application to the state, while Bill Conkling, owner of Maggie's Farm, simply texted back "Not yet" when asked.

Regardless, the group trying to kill their businesses, No Retail Marijuana in Manitou Springs (noretailmarijuana.com), reports that it turned in double the amount of signatures needed to make the November ballot — "as we all knew they would," says Conkling. City Clerk Donna Kast did not return a verifying phone call by press time, but the group is confident local voters will get a chance to just say no.

"We are in no way attempting to pass moral judgment on the use of medical or recreational marijuana," says NRMMS spokesman Tim Haas in a release. "We simply believe that the residents and businesses of Manitou Springs should not be the litmus test and the only community in the Pikes Peak Region to sell retail marijuana ..."

The proposed question would ask voters if Manitou should "prohibit the operation of retail marijuana stores as defined in the constitution of Colorado ... leaving intact the constitutional protection for medical marijuana patients and primary caregivers ..."

Meanwhile, Colorado Springs City Council will consider its own ballot question at a work session at 1 p.m., Monday, June 23. Leading the charge is Councilor Jill Gaebler.

Weed taxes under assault

Outspoken Denver attorney Rob Corry lost the marijuana-tax battle when 65 percent of Colorado voters passed Proposition AA last year, so he's continuing the war. Representing his group No Over Taxation, Corry has filed a lawsuit against Gov. John Hickenlooper and the state Department of Revenue alleging that paying Colorado's marijuana tax violates the Fifth Amendment, which protects against self-incrimination, because marijuana's still federally illegal and the state's laws are subject to the constitutional "supremacy clause." He's seeking unspecified damages and a refund of all related monies collected to date.

Talking to the Indy, former U.S. assistant deputy attorney general William Moschella says: "I think there's a rule of law problem here. ... [It's hard] to understand what's legal and what isn't." Speaking to Denver's 9NEWS, a spokeswoman for Colorado Attorney General John Suthers called the lawsuit "bizarre."

The bottom line

Colorado's recreational marijuana market is booming, with numbers from April showing the celebratory month yielded some $22 million in sales, an increase of 58 percent over pot's debut month of January. MMJ did even better, with sales around $32 million.

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