Colorado Lawmakers Pass Bill to Allow Medical Marijuana for PTSD

Approximately 8 million adults suffer from PTSD, including many military veterans. (WikiMedia Commons/USMC)

DENVER, CO — Lawmakers in the Colorado legislature have passed a measure to add post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana in the state.

The measure, Senate Bill 17, will now be sent to the desk of Gov. John Hickenlooper for final approval.  It was approved

Previous attempts to add PTSD to the conditions that qualify a…

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Colorado: Marijuana Sales Surpass $1 Billion in 2016

DENVER, CO — Retail sales of marijuana in Colorado totaled well over $1 billion in the first ten months of 2016 and are estimated to reach $1.3 billion by year’s end, according to data provided by the state’s Department of Revenue.

The sales totals are an increase over last year, when retailers sold $996,184,788 in marijuana-related products.

Cannabis sales in 2016 have yielded an estimated $151 million in tax revenue to date, $40 million of which will be directed…

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Colorado Governor Signs Bill Allowing Medical Marijuana Use in Schools

Colorado Governor Signs Bill Allowing Medical Marijuana Use in Schools

DENVER, CO — Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has signed legislation, House Bill 1373 (aka ‘Jack’s law‘), permitting qualified patients access to medical cannabis formulations while on school grounds.

Stated the Governor: “My son, if he needed medical marijuana and he needed it during the day while he was in school, I’d want him to have that opportunity. … My hope is that this bill… motivates those schools to make sure these kids can get the medication they apparently need.”

Under the new law, which took effect upon…

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Colorado Lawmakers Approve Language Permitting Medical Cannabis Use in Schools

Colorado Lawmakers Approve Language Permitting Medical Cannabis Use in Schools

DENVER, CO — House and Senate lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved legislation, House Bill 1373, that seeks to permit qualified patients access to the use formulations of medical cannabis while on school grounds.

The measure now awaits action by Gov. John Hickenlooper, who indicated that he would sign the measure into law.

“My son, if he needed medical marijuana and he needed it during the day while he was in school, I’d want him to have that opportunity,” Hickenlooper said.

“Those kids have every right and expect that they…

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Colorado Passes Law to Help Young Medical Marijuana Patients

Colorado Passes Law to Help Young Medical Marijuana Patients

School Districts Must Now Establish Policies to Facilitate On-Campus Administration of Medical Marijuana

DENVER, CO — In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the Colorado Senate approved legislation mandating that school districts establish a policy to ensure that young medical marijuana patients can take their medicine on school grounds.

As a show of respect, the Senate directed their ‘yes’ votes to families and proponents in the gallery.

Last week the Senate Education Committee passed the legislation via a rare standing vote.  The bill had…

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Colorado Marijuana Chain Mindful Raises $3.9M From Investors

The long-standing Colorado medical and recreational marijuana chain Mindful has raised nearly $4 million, likely to help fund expansion efforts, according to a report by BusinessDen.com.

The company, which operates four storefronts across Colorado, raised $3.9 million from 10 investors, the online news site reported, citing an April 7 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Mindful spokesman Erik Williams confirmed that the report is accurate, but declined to comment…

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Colorado: Legal Marijuana Sales Total Nearly $1 Billion in 2015

Colorado: Legal Marijuana Sales Total Nearly $1 Billion in 2015

DENVER, CO — Colorado’s licensed sales of marijuana totaled nearly one billion dollars in 2015, according to economic data provided by the state Department of Revenue.

Licensed retail stores sold $996,184,788 worth of cannabis in the past year, resulting in $135 million in new tax revenue.

As mandated by state law, $35 million in tax revenue was earmarked for public school construction projects.

Total sales in 2015 far exceeded those of 2014, during which time retailers sold just under $700 million in cannabis-related products.

Legal…

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Colorado’s Marijuana Revenue Exceeded Projections in 2015

Colorado’s Marijuana Revenue Exceeded Projections in 2015

Colorado’s Regulated Marijuana System Generated More Than $135 Million in Revenue for the State in 2015, Including More Than $35 Million for School Construction Projects

DENVER, CO — Colorado’s regulated marijuana system generated more than $135 million in revenue for the state in 2015, including more than $35 million for school construction projects, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

There were just under $588 million in adult-use marijuana sales in Colorado from January-December 2015, producing approximately $109.1…

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ASA Releases New Report on State Medical Marijuana Programs

ASA Releases New Report on State Medical Marijuana Programs

With the release last year of the first detailed analysis and comparison of state medical marijuana laws, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) created a patient-focused tool to identify effective programs and problem areas. That groundbreaking report was followed by the release of ASA’s new, far more detailed report on state programs, which reflects the many new states that have added programs as well as others that have improved their existing programs.

Like the original report, this latest white paper enables advocates, policy makers and…

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ASA Report Evaluates Medical Marijuana Programs Nationwide

ASA Report Evaluates Medical Marijuana Programs Nationwide

Patient Advocates Hope Report will Help State Legislators “Make the Grade” in 2016

WASHINGTON, DC — Americans for Safe Access (ASA) issued “Medical Marijuana Access in the US: A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws,” on Tuesday. The annual report evaluates the array of differing state medical cannabis programs across the country from a perspective often overlooked in policy debates: the patients’ and provides policy makers with model legislation and regulations. With dozens of states already seeing legislative…

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Chart of the Week: Top Regulatory Compliance Issues for Colorado Cannabis Companies

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By Becky Olson

With cannabis poised to take its place as one of the most heavily regulated industries in the world, compliance is and will increasingly be the name of the game for marijuana companies.

So how are cannabis businesses faring in this area?

In Colorado – home to the nation’s largest recreational industry and second-biggest medical cannabis market – the most common regulatory compliance infractions are related to physical inspections and security of business premises,…

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ASA Weighs in on Proposed Changes to Colorado Marijuana Regulations

ASA Weighs in on Proposed Changes to Colorado Marijuana Regulations

Last week Americans for Safe Access (ASA) submitted comments to Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) on proposed regulatory changes to the state’s cannabis program.

Colorado is mulling changes in response to a number of developments, notably issues surrounding the accuracy of cannabis labeling and accidental of overexposure related to edibles. MED deserves praise for investigating emerging issues and promptly moving to address those issues while considering input in a public manner.

Colorado is an important state for medical…

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Vets Sue Colorado for Right to Use Medical Marijuana for PTSD

Vets Sue Colorado for Right to Use Medical Marijuana for PTSD

DENVER, CO — Four war veterans and a victim of sexual assault sued Colorado for refusing to allow medical marijuana to be prescribed for post-traumatic stress disorder — an odd case for a state that allows marijuana to be used for fun.

The plaintiffs include an Army sniper who served two tours of duty in Iraq, an 11-year veteran who worked in an explosive ordnance disposal unit in Iraq, an infantryman in an elite unit who suffered traumatic brain injuries in two tours of “heavy combat” in Afghanistan, and a woman who was sexually molested when she was 5.

All of them “self-medicated” after their trauma, and were prescribed drugs for PTSD. One tried to kill himself. All of them say medical marijuana has relieved their symptoms more effectively and with fewer side effects than…

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Colorado Health Officials Reject Medical Marijuana For PTSD

Colorado Health Officials Reject Medical Marijuana For PTSD

DENVER, CO — Citing insignificant research, Colorado health officials voted Wednesday against adding post-traumatic stress disorder to the list of ailments eligible for treatment with medical marijuana.

The 6-2 vote came despite a recommendation from the Colorado Chief Medical Officer and a panel of physicians to make PTSD the first condition added to Colorado’s medical marijuana eligibility list in 15 years. Board members said they weren’t swayed by the recommendation because studies on using pot for PTSD are lacking.

“We can’t have physicians counseling people in favor of it because we don’t have data to show it’s correct,” said Jill Hunsaker-Ryan, one of the board members who voted no.

The vote was the third time the board has rejected petitions to add PTSD to the…

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The Colorado’s Supreme Court Unfortunate Ruling On Employment Discrimination

The Colorado’s Supreme Court Unfortunate Ruling On Employment Discrimination

Earlier this week, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that employers in Colorado can fire employees for cannabis use even if they are medical cannabis patients. At the center of Monday’s ruling is Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic that used cannabis to control leg spasms while off duty from his job. Coats had argued that his usage was protected under Colorado state law, but the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that he could be fired because cannabis is illegal under federal law.

Here are some key takeaways to help you understand the ruling:

This Ruling is Very Narrow

Law professor Sam Kamin told the Denver Post that the ruling “really comes down to interpreting this one word in this one statute.” Because cannabis is not legal under federal law, the Court ruled that the Colorado law…

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Colorado Supreme Court Affirms Employers Rights to Fire Medical Marijuana Patients for Off-Duty Marijuana Use

The case involved Brandon Coats, a 34-year-old quadriplegic, who uses marijuana to help with spasms and seizures due to a debilitating car accident. Coats worked as a customer service representative for Dish Network for three years until he was randomly drug tested and subsequently fired for testing positive for THC.

The highest court in the state has now firmly sided with employers on this issue, giving advocates a clear message that state protections are needed.

The case and many others like it highlight the gray areas and legal fixes needed in Colorado and other states that have reformed their marijuana laws. Given that the substance remains illegal under federal law, any rights bestowed upon civilians by state law fall far short of fully protecting medical marijuana patients and…

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Colorado: Supreme Court Affirms Employees Can Be Fired For Off-The-Job Marijuana Use

Colorado: Supreme Court Affirms Employees Can Be Fired For Off-The-Job Marijuana Use

DENVER, CO — Members of the Colorado Supreme Court have unanimously affirmed lower courts’ rulings that employers possess the authority to fire employees for their off-the-job use of marijuana.

The Court found that the plant’s legal status under state law does not make the act of consuming cannabis “lawful” under the state’s Lawful Off-Duty Activities Statute.

The Justices opined:

“The supreme court holds that under the plain language of section 24-34-402.5, C.R.S. (2014), Colorado’s ‘lawful activities statute,’ the term ‘lawful’ refers only to those activities that are lawful under both state and federal law. Therefore, employees who engage in an activity such as medical marijuana use that is permitted by state law but unlawful under federal law are not protected…

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Colorado Marijuana Sales Total $700 Million in 2014

Colorado Marijuana Sales Total $700 Million in 2014

DENVER, CO — Retail sales of marijuana totaled just under $700 million in Colorado in 2014 – the first full year during which sales of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes were allowed.

Total sales for the year were $699,198,805, according to data tabulated by the Colorado Department of Revenue. Sales of medicinal cannabis totaled some $386 million for the year, while marijuana sales at recreational outlets totaled $313 million.

Although retail sales of cannabis to anyone age 21 and older began officially on January 1, 2014, few commercial outlets were operational at that time.

Tax revenue from sales of recreational marijuana totaled some $44 million for 2014. That total includes revenues from the imposition of a special 10 percent sales tax and a 15 percent excise tax…

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Colorado Sells Nearly $700 Million in Marijuana in 2014

Colorado Sells Nearly $700 Million in Marijuana in 2014

DENVER, CO — Colorado raked in nearly $700 million in recreational and medical marijuana last year, according to newly released data from the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Medical and legal adult-use recreational marijuana sales combined for a total of $699,198,805 in sales, with medical marijuana topping the charts at $385.9 million.  Coming in a close second was recreational pot, totaling $313.2 million in sales.

Colorado state Sen. Pat Steadman (D-Denver) said he is“feeling very encouraged by what we’re seeing so far. Everyone keeps calling this ‘Colorado’s experiment with marijuana legalization,’ but so far everything seems to be working better than planned. … Right now we’re still rolling things out, but it just seems to be rolling out smoother than anyone…

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