By Steve Elliott
The advent of recreational marijuana in Colorado has led to some interesting business models. Now a hybrid that combines a traditional filling station with a cannabis dispensary is set to open two locations in Colorado Springs.
Gas and Grass, operated by Denver-based Native Roots, will open its first two locations in Colorado Springs next month, one at West Uintah and 17th Street, the other at Academy and Galley, reports Andy Koen at KOAA.
"It's really just kind of pairing the convenience in one specific stop," said spokesperson Tia Mattson.
The dispensary will have its own separate entrance and must follow all the same rules that apply to other medical marijuana stores in Colorado, according to Mattson. The gas station will be open to the public.
"I believe we'll have lottery tickets, beverages, cigarettes and similar things that you would pickup in a convenience store," Mattson said.
Native Roots' 11 dispensaries and retail marijuana stores operate all over Colorado. The stores have a uniform look with merchandise and pricing structures in common, like most any other retail chain.
The stores, in addition to cannabis products, sell marijuana themed shirts, hats and souvenirs. The gas station idea simply expands the other-than-cannabis business concept, Mattson said.
By Steve Elliott
If cannabis and alcohol are both legal for adult consumption, it would only make sense that it's OK to consume both of them socially in a bar -- wouldn't it?
That's the thinking behind a campaign underway in Denver to ask voters about allowing marijuana use in bars and other places that only allow adults over 21, reports Kristen Wyatt of the Associated Press.
Activists need about 5,000 signatures in order to qualify the question for this November's ballots.
The initiative would allow bars to permit cannabis use as long as customers bring their own stash and obey clean-air laws. That translates to either bringing marijuana infused edibles, or smoking outside on the patio, the way tobacco is regulated now. Outside smoking sites couldn't be publicly visible.
"Marijuana's now a legal product for adults in Denver, and it's really time that we give adults a place to use it legally and socially," said Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which led the 2012 Amendment 64 campaign to legalize recreational cannabis in the state.
"We shouldn't be requiring that you sit at home if you choose to use marijuana as an adult," Tvert said.
Recreational cannabis consumption is illegal in Colorado if used "openly and publicly or in a manner that endangers others." But the law doesn't bar use in private, 21+ clubs; the Denver measure would just clarify what qualifies as a private club.
Cannabis Science, Inc., a U.S. company specializing in the development of marijuana-based medicine and related consulting, has announced the acquisition of Equi-Pharm LLC, an American manufacturer and distributor of specialty horse and pet grooming and topical applications.
"We are excited about the future of Equi-Pharm under the medical direction and leadership of Cannabis Science, we already have a great response from our customers on the limited sales from our five horse related grooming and health products for the Equestrian market," said Dana Kennamer, vice president of Equi-Pharm, LLC. "We are currently developing the first three new cannabinoid-enriched pet products right now and will be available to the pet market within a matter of weeks through our current distribution channels.
"Right now we have a limited market share across the USA utilizing distributors and retail outlets in California, Kentucky, Ohio, Louisiana, Tennessee, and we just started European expansions," Kennamer said. "We expect that the enrichment of our current products and the development of our new formulas using Cannabis Science medical expertise we envision substantial growth year by year.
"Our goal of course, is to push Equi-Pharm and Cannabis Science to the front of the pack in the pet care industry," Kennamer said.
By Steve Elliott
Military veterans who use marijuana are invited to Denver on Saturday, September 20, where a pro-cannabis organization plans to host a weed giveaway for vets who want it.
The group Operation Grow4Vets will hand out marijuana and cannabis products from 11 a.m until 3 p.m. at the Quality Inn in Central Denver, reports Denver Nicks at Time. Total value of the products given away to each veteran who RSVPs for the event by noon on Friday will be worth more than $200, according to the group.
Non-veterans will be asked for a $20 donation at the door and will get more than $100 in marijuana products in exchange, organizers told ABC7 News Denver.
Grow4Vets' mission is to "reduce the staggering number of Veterans who die each day from suicide and prescription drug overdose," by providing them "with the knowledge and resources necessary to obtain or grow their own marijuana for treatment of their medical conditions," according to the group's website.
The event is open to the public and restricted to adults 21 and older. "Our events are open to the public to help grow visibility for our cause," Operation Grow4Vets founder and executive director Roger Martin explained.
A repeat of the event will be held in Colorado Springs next Saturday, September 27.
Cannabis Science, Inc., a United States-based company specializing in marijuana formulation-based drug development and related consulting, on Tuesday provided an updated guidance report on its current pre-clinical drug development programs underway, beginning with scientific cannabis cultivation programs in Europe and North America, testing multiple marijuana strains for multiple critical ailments.
"The company's efforts in Spain complement Cannabis Science's plans in Canada and the company's current, pre-clinical collaboration with the Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Health Care on Aging (INRCA) in Italy, where the company is testing toxicity and efficacy of cannabinoid formulations for neurobehavioral diseases including sleep disorders," said Mario S. Lap, director and president of European Operations at Cannabis Science.
The facilities are located in the Alicante region of Spain; the company said it has successfully initiated an agricultural program spanning combined 15 hectares parceled according to seed strains and growth cycles and protocols. The tests focus on production requirements and research framework to conduct scientific testing of the active constituents in the cannabis plant.
The company said it will set those protocols "to multiply optimal results into drug formulation regimens for pre-clinical studies."
The third annual International Conference on Cannabinoids, a multilingual conference bringing together industry experts and stakeholders, will be held at the Faculty of Medicine of Strasbourg, France, on October 22.
Cannabis Science, Inc., a U.S. company specializing in cannabis formulation-based drug development and related consulting, on Friday announce its sponsorship of the conference, hosted by L'Union Francophone pour les Cannab inoides en Medecine (UFCM iCare). Researchers, health professionals, and patients will discuss the development of medical cannabis in Europe and North America.
"Cannabis Science is delighted to contribute to the UFCM iCare initiatives to encourage discussion and promote innovation in the medical cannabis arena as the company strives to move forward in bringing cannabinoid-based medicines to patients on a global basis," said Dorothy H. Bray, Ph.D., director, president and CEO of Cannabis Science, Inc.
French law provides for a regulatory framework for the research and development of cannabinoid-based medicine that will then be available to patients in mainstream pharmacies. The upcoming conference of international experts is intended to facilitate patient-driven dialog with the researchers and with the industry.
UFCM, the leading medical cannabis charity in France, has assembled a team of prominent speakers including Professor Raphael Mechoulam from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in Israel and Professor Jerome Sèze from Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Strasbourg in France.
TinctureBelle disputes claim its candies resemble giant chocolate maker’s products
A small, family-owned medical marijuana company in Colorado, TinctureBell, on Wednesday responded to allegations made by the Hershey Company in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Denver, that TinctureBelle is selling marijuana-infused candies that resemble Hershey products.
“The lawsuit from Hershey came as a huge surprise to us,” said TinctureBelle President Char Mayes, “because we changed our entire label line approximately six months ago, long before these allegations surfaced last week. Our new packaging looks nothing like Hershey’s or anyone else’s.”
Hershey did not contact TinctureBelle before filing suit, according to Mayes. “The first we heard of it was from a reporter, who called last Thursday for a comment on Hershey’s lawsuit,” said Mayes.
“We were unable to comment because that was the first we had heard of the suit," Mayes said. "We have yet to be served.”
Colorado Springs-based TinctureBelle is licensed by the State of Colorado to manufacture and distribute cannabis-infused products.
“Our mission is simple,” said Mayes: “We wish to contribute to the health and well being of all MMJ patients, as well as assist our beloved MMJ community in building a positive reputation for the community and the many dispensaries in the state of Colorado that carry our quality line of products.”
By Steve Elliott
The board of directors of the Colorado Springs, Colorado-based company formerly known as Endocan Corporation, which specializes in cannabis and cannabinoid formulation-based health and wellness solutions, has selected the new name OmniCanna Health Solutions, they announced on Tuesday.
"OmniCanna Health Solutions was chosen by the Board as a direct reference to the latin 'omnis' meaning 'all' and Canna in relation to 'cannabis and cannabinoids'," said Dr. Dorothy Bray, president of OmniCanna Health Solutions, Inc. "The 'health solutions' completes the full meaning and general mission of the Company to provide the wellness solutions using the full spectrum of legal cannabis and cannabinoid extract based products," Dr. Bray said.
The company's website has been changed accordingly to www.omnicanna.com .
According to the company, the name change began with appropriate regulatory filings with the Office of the Nevada Secretary of State, and the next steps are underway with FINRA for a symbol change to match the new name. The new symbol will be announced in the near term.
The company has also hired the accounting firm, Turner, Stone and Company, LLP to review and audit the Company's financials. "The OmniCanna Health Solutions name change will have no effect on the Company's share structure, corporate organization, business model operations, or corporate governance," according to a Tuesday release from the company.
By Steve Elliott
With voter-approved Amendment 64, recreational marijuana sales are now legal in Colorado. The law doesn't require stores to keep records on recreational customers, as medical marijuana dispensaries are required to do, but retail stores aren't prohibited from gathering information, either.
Store owners say they're taking a cautious approach, reports Eric Gorski at The Denver Post. Many of the shops are trying to balance customer privacy with their desire to know their customers, including, for instance, which strains of cannabis they enjoy.
"You have to find a healthy balance," said Brooke Gehring, of Bud Med, a chain of recreational and medical marijuana outlets in Colorado. "How do we capture information that is pertinent to the success of our new retail business, versus the privacy of adults who now have this right and are able to shop at our stores?
Customers punch their cellphone numbers or email addresses into tablet computers at the counter at Bud Med stores to receive promotional offers, according to Gehring.
The text of Amendment 64 forbids state officials from requiring customers to provide marijuana stores with any personal information other than a government-issued ID to confirm their age. Video cameras capture recreational marijuana customers; the required footage must be preserved for 40 days and can be inspected by state enforcement agents.
By Steve Elliott
Moriah Barnhart's determination to help her 2-year-old daughter, Dahlia, fight a cancerous brain tumor led them to become part of a new social phenomenon: medical marijuana refugees.
Within weeks of Dahlia being diagnosed, Barnhart packed the family's bags to move from Tampa, Florida, to Memphis, Tennessee, where the toddler could undergo treatment at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, reports Kelli Grant at CNBC. While in Memphis, Barnhart learned through her research that medical marijuana was a worthy treatment, and might mitigate the harsh effects of chemotherapy.
"It just was the safest and most viable, effective option," Barnhart said. "But it was illegal in Tennessee and Florida."
Thus the Barnharts joined the ranks of marijuana refugees who have relocated or are planning to move in order to gain safe access to medicinal cannabis. Twenty states and the District of Columbia currently allow the medical use of marijuana for certain conditions, and several other states have such laws being considered this year.
Advocates say they hear from plenty of families who move for safe access. "As soon as we have the intake form up, we're swamped with requests," said Lindsey Rinehart, cofounder of the Undergreen Railroad, organized to help patients and their families defray the expenses of moving to medical marijuana states.
Rinehart herself had to move from Idaho to Oregon last summer to treat her multiple sclerosis with cannabis.
The 10 Highest Cities In America By Movoto Real Estate
Colorado last week became the first state in the Union with legal sales of recreational cannabis, instantly conferring upon Denver the status of marijuana mecca.
But is Denver the highest city in the United States? That's what the Movoto Real Estate Blog set out to determine through the power of data, just as they've done with topics including which cities are the nerdiest, which are the worst dressed, or which is the best city in the whole country.
After extensive research, Movoto concluded that, yes, Denver really is the Mile-High City, but they also came up with a Top 10 list of the highest cities in America:
2. Colorado Springs
4. San Bernardino, CA
5. Aurora, CO
6. Santa Ana, CA
7. Irvine, CA
8. San Francisco, CA
9. Sacramento, CA
10. Los Angeles, CA
Now, I'm sure San Francisco's heads are quite exercised over the indignity of being outranked by Irvine, Santa Ana, and San Ber'dino, but are there any other surprises here?
Washington state is coming up fast with its own legalization law about to be implemented, but legal pot sales won't start until this summer.
To determine a city's ranking, Movoto measure seven different criteria:
• Marijuana dispensaries per capita
• Number of residents with medical marijuana cards
By Steve Elliott
Denver International Airport announced that marijuana is banned there, despite its legal status in Colorado, but it's still allowed at the Colorado Springs Airport, according to an official there.
"We talked to TSA about that issue," said John McGinley, assistant aviation director at Colorado Springs Airport, reports Bonnie Silkman at KRDO. "If they find it in someone's possession, they refer it to our law enforcement.
"If our law enforcement says it's within the legal limit, they're going to take no action," McGinley said. "In that case, TSA is not on their own going to throw the marijuana in the trash."
The question had arisen because marijuana is still illegal under federal law.
When KRDO asked a TSA spokesperson about the policy, the answer backed up McGinley's assertions.
"TSA's screening procedures are focused on security," the spokesperson said. "If an officer discovers an item that may violate the law, TSA refers the matter to law enforcement. There has been no change to this policy or how it is implemented in the field."
Meanwhile, Denver International Airport officials are sticking to their policy of banning marijuana.
By Steve Elliott
Colorado voters last year approved Amendment 64, legalizing marijuana possession, cultivation and sales for those 21 and older. But when recreational pot stores open on January 1, 2014, they may run out of weed, according to many experts.
Although more than 100 stores have applied, complicated licensing rules and operational regulations may mean that only about a dozen pot stores could open on New Year's Day, reports CBS News.
"We are definitely going to run out of cannabis," said Toni Fox, owner of Denver's Discreet Dispensary, reports Gabrielle Karol at Fox Business. "The question is when."
Fox expects to get clearance to open on January 1, and estimates her stock will be depleted by January 6. She expects to sell to at least 100 customers a day.
"We're anticipating $300,000 in revenue in January," she said.
Although Coloradans approved recreational marijuana legalization, about 70 cities across the state have banned pot shops. Cities not allowing recreational marijuana stores include Colorado Springs, the second-largest city in the state.
By Steve Elliott
The first gram of legal marijuana hasn't even sold yet in Colorado, and won't until January 1. But the politicians are already fighting over the tax revenues that will come flowing from the cannabis industry due to the passage of Proposition, which imposes special excise taxes on ganja at the wholesale (15 percent) and retail (10 percent) levels.
Gov. John Hickenlooper on Thursday presented a budget proposal that he said funds a "bare-bones" regulatory scheme for legalized recreational pot sales, but he said it "would not have made anybody proud," reports Megan Schrader at The Gazette of Colorado Springs. But fortunately, he told the Joint Budget Committee, voters approved Proposition AA.
The taxes are expected to generate $67 million annually, according to estimates from state government officials, but there's an element of uncertainty, as there's never been a legal marijuana market in the modern United States.
"What we're going to see is a regulatory environment that is going to have the resources to have every bit as much accountability and enforcement as we see in alcohol," Gov. Hickenlooper said. "That's what most voters in Colorado wanted to see."
By Steve Elliott
Endocan Corporation, a U.S. company specializing in cannabis and cannabinoid formulation-based health and wellness solutions, on Friday made public its ongoing negotiations with third parties in Colorado to start cooperative and joint venture arrangements for production, testing and distribution of Endocan brand products.
"This includes the long-awaited Endocan product line expected for release in early 2014, with Colorado seen as an early target market in the United States for testing in several critical ailment categories," a company press release states.
According to the company, Endocan's presence in Colorado "stems not only from the legal medical cannabis regulatory environment but also from the general openness with which Colorado has embraced cannabis, including the extension of legalization to recreational cannabis use for individuals over the age of 21, with a forward looking regulatory and taxation policy."
"This environment speaks highly of the future of Endocan Corporation's development opportunities in the state, with an estimated $200 million medical cannabis market at this early stage," the press release states.
"Colorado has now been my home for three years, my family having relocated to Colorado Springs," said Robert Kane, chief financial officer and senior vice president of business development at Endocan. "We have found Colorado to be a progressive, open-minded state with a compassionate position on improving the quality of life of its citizens.