The Dowd effect, a co-op is born (sort of), more 


More than she could chew

As you just may have heard, New York Times opinion columnist Maureen Dowd published a piece last week on her experience with recreational pot in Denver. The marijuana first-timer described munching on a THC-infused chocolate bar in her hotel, eating more and more until she "felt a scary shudder go through [her] body and brain." The delayed onset of the edibles put her in a paranoid state, she reported, for eight hours.

While Dowd herself probably drew more attention than her subject — Funny or Die has a pretty great "first draft" of her column at tiny.cc/bat7gx — the idea, of course, was to highlight what Colorado's up against with marijuana edibles, which could be accidentally or unknowingly ingested by children and others unaware of their THC content. In a press release in response to Dowd's column, Tony Newman of the anti-drug-war Drug Policy Alliance acknowledged, "I know many people who are regular marijuana smokers who have stories about eating too much marijuana and finding themselves on a whole other level of high that was scary and intense."

Colorado's Marijuana Enforcement Division is still trying to come up with a way to label the THC intensity of products — maybe color-coding them, much like ski slopes — to protect consumers. In the meantime, another edibles plot thickened last week with Hershey Co. filing a trademark-infringement lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Denver against TinctureBelle, Colorado maker of Hasheath bars, Dabby Patties and other candies with names that sound a little familiar.

Not banking on it

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill on Friday designed to provide basic banking services to marijuana businesses ... or at least to give it a shot. HB14-1398 aims to create "A cooperative association ... for the twofold purpose of providing specified financial services to its members and creating a source of credit for them."

These "cannabis credit co-ops" wouldn't be able to offer all the services of a bank, nor would they be insured. But in operating much like a credit union, under the regulation of the state commissioner of financial services, they would provide a safer place for the bank-banned businesses to stash their cash.

If, that is, the Federal Reserve, were to go along with the idea. Which isn't exactly a given. As Don Childears, president and CEO of the Colorado Bankers Association, told the Denver Business Journal last week: "They'll never get access to the Federal Reserve System, and if they can't do that, the co-ops will never be formed."

Golden opportunity gone

The city council of Golden last week voted unanimously to ban the operation of recreational marijuana shops within its city limits.


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