CannaBiz: Centers' anxiety continues 

Blowing smoke?

The memo warning against the proliferation of medical marijuana sent by U.S. Attorney John Walsh to the Colorado Legislature caused ripples throughout Colorado Springs.

Rep. Mark Waller says he worries about the statute of limitations for Springs dispensary owners, should federal officials decide to prosecute. Rep. Mark Barker just wants to continue the state's drive to offer the industry legitimacy. And Senate Majority Leader John Morse says he hopes MMJ center owners understand the risk they're continuing to take.

They do, says Tyla Reimers, owner of Canna Caregivers and The Canna Center. Asked if she worries about feds kicking down her door, she says, "I think it's a matter of time. I basically go to work every day, and I'm just waiting for when, not if."

She adds: "I'm hoping it's not my door. But I would say that I'm certainly hoping my state is going to back me [if it is]. Because quite frankly, the state's culpable in all this. They're not only encouraging, by getting these rules going, they're also profiting from it."

Tanya Garduno agrees.

"It scares the crap out of all of us," says the president of the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council, with a laugh. "I think the federal initiative, where it was sent to clarify things, actually convoluted things a little more."

Gettin' ready

The Best Meds (bestmedscs.com) competition kicked off April 5 when co-organizer Rob Tillery dropped off 297 packs featuring 44 different strains to 19 participating medical marijuana centers across Colorado Springs. Each eight-strain, $50 pack could have been consumed in any manner, then graded by patients based on categories like appearance, smell, taste and potency.

So how was participation in the city's first cannabis competition?

"Better than 70 percent," Tillery says. "Every dispensary I went in only had one or two left, if they had any."

The contest stands out in that Tillery is using patient feedback to rate strains, as opposed to using clinical testing, as in the recent High Times Medical Cannabis Cup. Awards will be given out at the Green Leaf Expo at the Rustic Hills Event Center (3960 Palmer Park Blvd.) on June 11 and 12.

Keef crumbs

The state's MMJ "clean-up" bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in a much different form than when it was introduced, reports the Gazette. House Bill 1043 no longer contains a provision extending a statewide moratorium on new businesses for another year. It was also changed to allow select ex-felons to work at a center.


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