Credit union sues feds, new cannabis hotel opens and more 


Happy hotel-ing

According to a statement from owners at the MaryJane Group, the Hotel San Ayre (3320 W. Colorado Ave., hotelsanayre.com) has officially reopened as what the company calls a Bud+Breakfast property. It promises "comfortable, cannabis-friendly lodging and amenities ... [plus] a continental Wake+Bake Breakfast; a 4:20 Happy Hour with complimentary beer, wine and hors d'oeuvres; and a safe, social, cannabis-friendly environment." Rates start at $129 per night for the Mountain Room and its queen bed.

Application denied

Denver-based Fourth Corner Credit Union sounded in November like it would soon open as the first marijuana bank in Colorado, serving a cash-dependent constituency that can't seem to buy a break from the federal government. All it needed was insurance from the National Credit Union Administration and a master account from the Federal Reserve.

"This is the end of the line from the state's side," Gov. John Hickenlooper's director of marijuana coordination, Andrew Freedman, told the Denver Post at the time. "We've done all we can do."

However, last week the Reserve branch in Kansas City denied the application for a master account, and now the credit union is suing in federal court, demanding, as the New York Times reported, "'equal access' to the financial system."

"I felt all along like they were trying to figure out a way to deny our application," Fourth Corner representative Mark Mason told the Times. Now, "a federal judge who is only concerned in applying the law can make the decision." A professor of legal studies quoted by the paper says the lawsuit is unlikely to succeed.

Still, there's some hope, as reported in last week's CannaBiz by Griffin Swartzell: The Senate Appropriations Committee recently passed a bill including a clause that would ban the Treasury Department from using federal funds to punish banks that work with the cannabis industry. The U.S. House of Representatives was previously scheduled to debate the bill but tabled it until after it returns from a monthlong recess on Sept. 8.

Busted in Aspen

According to the Aspen Times, two dispensaries in the mountain town were stung by the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division for selling marijuana to a minor. In an email to the Times, Native Roots Colorado CEO Josh Ginsberg confirmed an employee sold to an undercover operative and added, "Saying that I'm appalled and outraged by this act would be an understatement." The paper cited "multiple sources" in suggesting Alternative Medical Solutions was the other dispensary.


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