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ReLeaf: Fall 2011 

It's fascinating to watch an entire industry shift over time, as it responds to the forces to which we all respond: government regulations, financial pressures, the asshole-criminal element.

At the Independent, we wind up with a pretty good view of Colorado Springs' medical marijuana industry, because every three months we call each center in the area and talk with the people in the middle of it all. Based on our most recent round of check-ins, we can say without hesitation that the changes to the local MMJ community just keep on coming.

For instance, earlier in the year, we noted that, at the same time center owners were being hit with fees from the city and mandated infrastructure costs from the state, pot prices were dropping through the floor, to as low as $200 per ounce ("Seeking solid ground," ReLeaf, April 21). Well, now prices are on the rise again: This time around, we heard a lot more about prices averaging around $280 per ounce, with top-shelf eighths often in the range of $30 to $45, as opposed to $25 and lower.

(Of course, the centers' costs haven't disappeared, as evidenced by the $2,200 licensure fee due to the city of Colorado Springs by Friday, Sept. 30.)

Whether the changes are big or small — a lot of centers have bumped their closing time to 6:45 p.m., to be as compliant as possible with state regulations — they're real, and they affect the people who depend on MMJ. So we'll continue to watch the undulations, and bring you what we see, in ReLeaf and in our weekly CannaBiz column.

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