Entries by Denver Post

Pot-license “points” systems in Aurora, Thornton invite legal scrutiny

Cities and towns in Colorado have devised all sorts of ways to decide how many pot shops can open and where, but two communities using a points-based system to evaluate and select prospective recreational marijuana businesses — Aurora and Thornton — are running into legal hot water. Aurora is facing a lawsuit alleging that it […]

Vermont man grew pot because he thought it’d be legal soon, police say

ST. ALBANS, Vt. — Vermont police have arrested a man who acknowledged growing marijuana to prepare for possible statewide legalization of the drug. St. Albans police say they came across Michael Marshall while investigating a hunting violation. Marshall fled into a house after a confrontation with police, and then consented to a search of the […]

New studies shine light on cannabis consumers’ spending habits

America’s legal marijuana market topped $6.5 billion in 2016 and is projected to grow to $24 billion by 2025, yet data-driven insights into consumers have remained elusive. Two new studies are shining a light on the cannabis consumer, providing insight into actual purchase behavior as the industry prepares for four new state recreational markets, including […]

Colorado House votes to bar cops from helping with federal marijuana crackdown

DENVER — Colorado may prohibit law enforcement officers from assisting in a potential federal marijuana crackdown. The state House voted 56-7 Wednesday to bar public employees from assisting federal agents in “arresting a Colorado citizen for committing an act that is a Colorado constitutional right.” The Colorado bill doesn’t specifically mention marijuana. But sponsors say […]

In a first, drug use eclipses alcohol in fatal crashes

By Ashley Halsey Iii, The Washington Post For the first time, statistics show that drivers killed in crashes are more likely to be on drugs than drunk. Forty-three percent of drivers tested in fatal crashes in 2015 had used a legal or illegal drug, eclipsing the 37 percent who tested above the legal limit for […]

Creating standards for cannabis industry gets ASTM International board approval

ASTM International, a century-old standards organization, gave the official go-ahead to establish a standards-writing committee for the cannabis industry, officials announced Tuesday. ASTM’s board of directors approved the formation of Committee D37, a group that will develop standards for cannabis, its products and processes, officials said. The committee, reported on by The Cannabist in March, […]

Colorado bill adding PTSD to medical marijuana list heads to governor’s desk

A bill to add PTSD to the list of Colorado’s medical marijuana qualifying conditions is headed to the governor’s desk. The Colorado Senate on Tuesday voted 32-2 to re-pass Senate Bill 17, which was amended in the House. What’s happened to this point: The state House on Friday passed SB 17 by a vote of […]

Colorado Supreme Court sides with Northglenn on local controls for marijuana licensing

Northglenn City Council—had the right to deny a medical marijuana license because the new dispensary was deemed superfluous, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday. The state’s highest court ruled that Northglenn’s code—language listing criteria such as “number, type, and availability” of existing medical marijuana centers when considering new applications was not “unconstitutionally vague.” Read the […]

Denver marijuana shops get green light to stay open until 10 p.m.

Denver marijuana licensees on Monday received permission from the city to keep their stores open until 10 p.m. — a move the industry says will help it compete with businesses in some neighboring cities. Stores that offer recreational or medical marijuana sales (or both) will get the option to adjust their hours beginning May 1. Denver […]

The Cannabist honored with journalism awards for health, business coverage

There are scores of stories to be told about the evolution of marijuana legalization in America, and cannabis journalism is receiving mainstream recognition. The Cannabist’s Alicia Wallace, who covers national business and policy matters along with Colorado-based topics, has received multiple honors for her in-depth reporting in the past year. The Denver Post, which oversees […]

Mayor Hancock: Denver to review 4/20 event that left Civic Center in “disrespectful state”

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock on Monday ordered a city review into rampant fence-hopping, public pot-smoking and slow trash cleanup that left Civic Center in a “disrespectful state” during and after last week’s 4/20 celebration. Delivering his most forceful critique of the annual event, Hancock said the city’s inquiry could yield penalties for organizers and affect […]

Videos from Civic Center show park was left a mess overnight after 4/20 event

Videos recorded by city security cameras in Civic Center show that cleanup activities following the large 4/20 celebration late Thursday night left plenty of trash strewn about the park. The clips, provided to The Denver Post by police in response to a public records request, show that organizers, volunteers and a hired cleanup crew didn’t […]

Study: National medical marijuana laws would save lives — and a billion taxpayer dollars

A fascinating study in Health Affairs last year by a father-daughter pair of public policy researchers found that Medicare prescriptions for things like painkillers, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications dropped sharply in states that introduced a medical marijuana program. The implication? Offered the choice between taking medication prescribed by a doctor and self-medicating with pot, many […]

Here’s how Jeff Sessions has disrupted marijuana industry with words alone

As cannabis enthusiasts celebrate 4/20 across the country, the long shadow of the Trump Administration isn’t just a major buzz kill — it has also has sent chills across a blossoming cannabis industry and the wider decriminalization and legalization movement. The administration has yet to crack down on enforcement of federal drug laws in its […]

Denver cannabis church’s debut doesn’t go exactly as planned

A musky marijuana bouquet wafted into a south Denver neighborhood as 4:20 p.m. approached on 4/20. The International Church of Cannabis, which claims marijuana as its primary sacrament, officially opened for services at 3 p.m. Thursday in a 113-year-old house of worship at 400 S. Logan St. in the West Washington Park neighborhood. At 4:20 […]

7 protesters arrested for handing out free joints near U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON — The conflict between federal and local laws on marijuana played out in the shadow of the Capitol on Thursday, when seven pro-pot activists were arrested for doing something that’s been legal in Washington for the past two years — handing out free joints. U.S. Capitol Police said in a statement that they invoked […]

Two arrested after gunfire near Denver’s 4/20 celebration; no one hurt

A brief gunfire incident occurred early Thursday evening near the annual 4/20 cannabis celebration in downtown Denver. Police said nobody was hurt, and officers arrested two people soon after at least one shot rang out near 15th Street and Cleveland Place. It was unclear whether the incident was related to the 4/20 festival. In all, five […]

Colorado PTSD marijuana bill advances to House vote, gains amendments focused on children

Colorado doctors should be allowed to recommend medical marijuana in treating PTSD symptoms of adults, but there should be additional guardrails when it comes to children, state lawmakers decided Thursday. An amended Senate Bill 17, which would add post-traumatic stress disorder to Colorado’s list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, passed a second reading Thursday […]

Colorado House rejects late attempt to bar pot use in churches

The Colorado House on Thursday rejected a last minute attempt to ban pot use in churches, an amendment that was introduced on the same day the controversial International Church of Cannabis opened in Denver. Proposed by state Rep. Dan Pabon, D-Denver, the amendment to a broader bill on pot use would have barred pot use in churches, while still […]

Marijuana has truly gone mainstream, survey finds

By Christopher Ingraham, (c) 2017, The Washington Post Many marijuana users hide their stash in their closets. Most people who use marijuana are parents. There are almost as many marijuana users as there are cigarette smokers in the U.S. Those facts and many more are among the conclusions of new survey from Yahoo News and […]

Six essential Colorado cannabis tours, from party buses to free-form adventures

They won’t adorn you with a hemp lei when you step off the plane, but Colorado remains a top destination for travelers looking to celebrate the “high holiday” of April 20. Whether it’s to see the now seemingly annual Snoop Dogg concert or join thousands for the infamous 420 Rally at Denver’s Civic Center Park, […]

Denver 4/20 in the Trump era: Marijuana celebration or political rally?

There was a time — before the vendor booths, before the concerts with famous headliners, before the documentary crews and before the cannabis tour groups — when 4/20 in Denver meant a simple protest rally. Eleven years ago, only a couple thousand people gathered in Civic Center park for the annual marijuana smokeout in defiance of state and federal […]

Colorado’s first drive-thru pot shop opens on 4/20 (of course) in Parachute

By Alex Zorn The Post Independent It started with a late-night epiphany after people were knocking on the window of a Western Slope marijuana store. Thursday, Mark Smith’s dream will be realized when camera crews from “The Today Show” and other national programs are expected to descend on his shop in Parachute as it becomes […]

How to score free and discounted Lyft and Uber rides during Denver 420 festivities

Rideshare apps Lyft and Uber want to make sure Coloradans celebrating 4/20 don’t drive high. The respective rideshare juggernauts announced separate promotions to provide discounted and even free rides to and from festivities surrounding April 20, the unofficial annual marijuana holiday. Related: Colorado marijuana DUIs down 33 percent from first three months of last year […]

“Marijuana is not a factor” in war on drugs, Homeland Security Secretary says

Two high ranking Trump administration officials; two vastly different positions on marijuana. Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to revive the war on drugs, and a crackdown on weed appears to be a major part of that. He is expected to pursue harsher punishments for using and distributing marijuana, which were relaxed under President Trump’s predecessor, […]

Marijuana DUIs drop 33 percent in the first quarter of 2017 compared with last year, but officials still concerned

The number of citations for driving while under the influence of marijuana dropped by 33.2 percent in the first quarter of 2017 compared with the same period last year, but the number of people using marijuana and then driving continues to be a concern for Colorado officials. “We’re still troubled by the fact that marijuana users are […]

Colorado lawmakers pass measure allowing counties to levy, collect marijuana taxes

State lawmakers approved a bill Monday that would allow counties to levy and collect sales tax on recreational marijuana, a move inspired by a standoff between Adams County and three of its cities that could wind up in the state Supreme Court. The measure, if signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper, would allow counties […]

Dispute over marijuana taxing authority in Colorado may continue — despite state bill designed to defuse it

A bill designed to resolve a high-stakes standoff over taxing authority between Colorado counties and cities when it comes to recreational marijuana sales is expected to pass out of the legislature Monday. But the measure, if signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper next month, may not stop a protracted legal battle between Adams County […]

Wanted: cannabis tracking system for billion dollar market

DENVER — Washington state regulators have begun accepting bids for a new seed-to-sale tracking system to keep tabs on marijuana commerce, a deal with an initial value of about $3 million. The competition likely will be fierce, given that the contract involves one of the nation’s largest cannabis markets. But businesses won’t be squaring off […]

Jared Polis: Leave cannabis regulation to the states, President Trump

Editor’s note: The Denver Post opinion pages solicited commentary from various marijuana policy and industry leaders, as well as the public, for a special cannabis-themed edition of the Sunday Perspective section the weekend before 4/20. The Cannabist will be presenting these op-eds throughout the week. It turns out we are more the rule than the […]

Digging into the details of Canada’s new law legalizing marijuana nationwide

Canada on Thursday released a plan to legalize recreational marijuana use across the country by July 2018. With a solid Liberal majority in government the plan is widely expected to become law, but it would leave the details of implementation, including commercial regulations, to individual provinces. The bill’s backers framed it as an effort to […]

El Paso County passes on medical marijuana testing businesses

A relatively new sector of the medical marijuana industry – labs that test the drug for potency and contaminants – will be welcome in Colorado Springs, but not in unincorporated El Paso County. On Tuesday, the Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve amendments to the county’s existing medical marijuana policy, including one that […]

4/20 in Denver: The best concerts around this year’s high holiday

Scenes from Snoop Dogg’s Wellness Retreat concert on 4/20. (Seth McConnell, The Know) Bob Marley flags, $4.20 sandwich specials, friends visiting from less cool states — it’s that time of year when the whole city starts to feel like a University of Colorado dorm. That’s right: It’s almost 4/20. Per usual, Denver will be in full party mode […]

Colorado ends plans for pot clubs over Trump uncertainty

By KRISTEN WYATT DENVER (AP) — Colorado lawmakers on Thursday backed off plans to become the first U.S. state to regulate marijuana clubs, saying approval of Amsterdam-style pot clubs could invite a federal crackdown. It was perhaps the starkest display yet of legal pot states’ uncertainty on how to regulate the drug under President Donald […]

Canada unveils official marijuana legalization plan

Canada is advancing plans to become the first Group of Seven nation to legalize recreational marijuana nationally, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is keeping key details hazy and allowing arrests to continue while parliament debates his plan. Trudeau’s justice minister introduced proposed laws Thursday in the Ottawa legislature that set a minimum consumption age of […]

Erie should keep ban on retail marijuana sales, committee says

Erie should uphold a year-and-a-half-long ban on recreational marijuana sales, according to a recently unveiled report by the Retail Marijuana Ad-Hoc Committee, a task force created by the town last year to examine if such an option would be viable. The committee on Tuesday night cited a number of factors that could be set in […]

Denver officials scrutinizing out-of-state CBD products sold in local pot shops

Denver is clamping down on CBD products that originate outside of Colorado. A bulletin issued Wednesday by Denver Environmental Health’s Public Health Inspections Division outlines a policy prohibiting out-of-state-made cannabidiol (CBD) products intended for human consumption. “It has come to DEH’s attention that some CBD products originate from unregulated manufacturing facilities, have been illegally shipped […]

This new cannabis church pushes limits of Denver’s social-use pot law

A 113-year-old church in Denver has found a higher calling. The International Church of Cannabis opens its doors on April 20, the unofficial annual marijuana holiday. The renovated church at 400 S. Logan St. is the headquarters of Elevation Ministries, a newly formed Colorado nonprofit religious organization that claims cannabis as its primary sacrament. This […]

This is how Colorado could help pot shops under a federal marijuana crackdown

Concerned about a potential crackdown from President Donald Trump’s administration, Colorado lawmakers are advancing a bill that would allow recreational pot to be reclassified as medical marijuana so that it could not be seized by federal authorities. The legislation would allow a one-time transfer prompted by a change in law or a shift in federal enforcement policy […]

Colorado cannabis sales top $126M in February 2017 amid federal uncertainty

In a month when the phrase “greater enforcement” was uttered by the Trump administration in relation to marijuana, Colorado’s cannabis sales continued their surge. In February, licensed shops brought in nearly $126.1 million in sales, with more than $86.4 million in recreational revenue and $39.6 million in medical marijuana revenue. It’s the third-highest monthly sales […]

So how do you get marijuana through TSA when traveling?

Cannabis users had a brief but intense moment of euphoria this week after the Transportation Security Administration seemed to give a green light to air travelers to pack medical marijuana in checked or carry-on luggage. But the TSA’s apparent new acceptance of THC – which appeared on its website – went up in smoke almost […]

Sessions’ right-hand man, Steven Cook, thinks Holder DOJ was “soft on crime”

When the Obama administration launched a sweeping policy to reduce harsh prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, rave reviews came from across the political spectrum. Civil rights groups and the Koch brothers praised Obama for his efforts, saying he was making the criminal justice system more humane. But there was one person who watched these […]

Colorado bill making it a crime to grow recreational weed for others heads to gov’s desk

DENVER — Colorado was set Monday to outlaw marijuana growing co-ops soon after the state Senate unanimously approved a bill (HB17-1221) making it a crime for people to cultivate recreational pot for other people. The bill supported by the office Gov. John Hickenlooper passed 35-0 but it was unclear when he would sign it. There […]

44 in Congress support effort to keep DOJ handcuffed in medical cannabis states

A bipartisan collection of nearly four-dozen U.S. House members want the feds to maintain their hands-off enforcement position toward states that have legalized medical marijuana. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican lawmaker from California, has spearheaded spending bill amendments that prevent the Justice Department from meddling in medical marijuana states. On Monday, he announced that he […]

Colorado set to prohibit marijuana co-op growing operations

DENVER — Colorado was set Monday to outlaw marijuana growing co-ops soon after the state Senate unanimously approved a bill making it a crime to for people to cultivate recreational pot for other people. The bill supported by the office Gov. John Hickenlooper passed 35-0 but it was unclear when he would sign it. There […]

Cannabis companies flock to Canada as US laws keep them off stock exchange

When Hadley Ford created a company for investing in the fast-growing business of legal marijuana, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. investment banker left New York and headed north of the border. While more than half of U.S. states allow marijuana for medical or recreational use, the drug is still outlawed by the federal government, […]

New law: Courts can’t force medical marijuana abstinence for users awaiting trial

DENVER — Marijuana use won’t be banned while people await trial in Colorado. That’s according to a new law (SB17-178) signed Thursday. Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a measure forbidding a court from saying that criminal defendants who are marijuana patients must abstain from pot as a condition of bond.   Read the complete story at […]

New federal bill would reschedule marijuana as Schedule III

The latest marijuana-centric bill before Congress would place cannabis as a Schedule III substance, a classification shared by Tylenol with codeine, ketamine and dronabinol. Two Florida congressmen, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz and Democratic Rep. Darren Soto, introduced legislation Thursday that would transfer marijuana to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act from its current standing […]