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A recent report on 7News Denver titled “Lawmakers, patients push to subject marijuana to lab testing: labs find black mold in recreational flowers” may mislead the public into thinking that marijuana products in Colorado are unsafe, says the founder of one of Colorado’s oldest marijuana testing laboratories. “We’ve recently added highly sensitive, DNA-based testing for the dangerous types of mold and bacteria that are prohibited under State regulations, and  have not found any marijuana samples that wouldn’t pass”, says Ian Barringer of Rm3 Labs in Boulder. Simply looking at a mold-covered petri dish can’t tell you whether a sample is dangerous. “Every surface you touch is covered in mold spores. If we put some of these spores in a petri dish they’ll grow rapidly, and the longer they grow the worse they’ll look, whether or not they’re harmful. People have been smoking marijuana safely for thousands of years, and we’re only now beginning to learn the rare conditions when normal background mold levels turn into a hazardous situation.”

Legalization has led to much improved growing conditions in Colorado. “Modern grow facilities are multi-million dollar investments, and growers can’t afford to have unsanitary conditions that could cost them an entire crop. Grows going into production now look like high-tech clean rooms.”

Marijuana producers and the state’s testing industry are growing up together. “Since testing of recreational products for potency became mandatory less than a year ago, we’ve seen the industry take enormous strides in accuracy and consistency in the THC levels of their products. As we roll out more and more tests – residual solvents in concentrates, mold and bacteria in flower and edibles – we expect we’ll see these same kinds of improvements.”


Ian Barringer

Rm3 Labs Colorado LLC

Boulder, CO

Meg Collins

Cannabis Business Alliance

Denver, CO



For Immediate Release
August 6, 2012

Contact: Kristen Thomson
Thomson Public Affairs, LLC

DENVER – The Cannabis Business Alliance is dismayed by the Denver City Council’s introduction of a bill that will ban the advertising of medical marijuana except in print media. The City of Denver has repeatedly made the decision to regulate medical marijuana sales and collect the tax revenue from these businesses. We are troubled that the City is considering that the public advertising these legal and regulated business is no longer appropriate.

Cannabis Business Alliance is working to craft a more reasonable regulation that will allow advertising except through the very specific mediums of billboards, sign-spinners, and handbills. However, this proposal was rejected by the bill sponsors after other trade associations and the UFCW signed-off on the full ban on outdoor advertising. We feel this is a step too far as it reaches to anything that can be seen in public, including t-shirts, hats, pens, or any medium that could be seen as an advertisement for a business that someone may display in public. Under the proposal that was introduced tonight, medical marijuana businesses also could not participate in community events or sponsorships, should their logo be displayed on event advertisements or booths unless the event is for a charity. We feel this will result in further isolation of legal and regulated businesses in the communities in which they are located.

We hope that reason will prevail. The members of the Cannabis Business Alliance, like most medical marijuana businesses in Denver, advertise their businesses appropriately and responsibly. We have created a model for self-regulation of advertising and merchandising based off the best-practices displayed by our members. We hope businesses will endorse these policies rather than get behind a city-wide ban on outdoor advertising. This model is found on our website at here .

-Shawn Coleman, Executive Director



Join the Cannabis Community for a Fundraiser

To benefit the
House Democratic Caucus

Thursday, June 28
6:30 p.m.

Cannabis Community Fundraiser
700 West 11th Avenue
Denver Colorado, 80204

with guests:
Representative Claire Levy
Representative Crisanta Duran
Representative Mark Ferrandino

Sponsorship Levels:

Special Recognition: $1000 corporate sponsorship
Sponsor: $500 corporate sponsorship

Individuals: $100

To RSVP please call, Sadie Hansen at (303) 668-8665
or email her at

Contributions (unlimited dollar amount) can be made payable to:
CAGA (Colorado Accountable Government Alliance)
P.O. Box 372217, Denver, CO 80237
or online at

* Colorado Accountable Government Alliance or CAGA is a 527 organization and contributions are not deductible as charitable contributions for Federal income tax purposes.


Please see the below press release from our partners at the campaign to regulate marijuana like alcohol:

New Government Survey Highlights Need to Regulate Marijuana and Control Sales to Teens

Centers for Disease Control survey shows significantly more teens using marijuana nationally than cigarettes; Meanwhile, teen marijuana use in Colorado down since 2009

DENVER – The High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey released yesterday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control highlights the need to regulate marijuana in order to reduce availability and use among teens.

Significantly more teens in the United States are using marijuana than cigarettes, according to the survey. Just more than 23 percent of high school students nationwide reported using marijuana within 30 days of taking the latest survey, up from 20.8 percent in 2009. Meanwhile, 18.1 percent reported past-30-day cigarette use, down from 19.5 percent in 2009.

“Marijuana prohibition has utterly failed to reduce teen access to marijuana, and it is time for a new approach,” said Betty Aldworth, advocacy director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “Strictly regulating tobacco and restricting sales to minors has lent to significant decreases in use and availability, and we would almost surely see the same results with marijuana.”

Previous studies have shown that cigarette use and availability among teens, which had been sharply increasing in the early 1990s, began steadily declining shortly after the 1995 implementation of the “We Card” program, a renewed commitment to strictly restrict the sale of tobacco to young people.

“By putting marijuana behind the counter, requiring proof of age, and strictly controlling its sale, we can make it harder for teens to get their hands on it,” Aldworth said.

Interestingly, the CDC report also found that Colorado has bucked the national trend of increasing teen marijuana use. Nationwide, past-30-day marijuana use among high school students climbed from 20.8 percent in 2009, to 23.1 percent in 2011. Meanwhile, in Colorado, it dropped from 24.8 percent to 22 percent. It is worth noting that from 2009 to 2011, Colorado enacted strict state and local regulations on the production and sale of marijuana for medical purposes, whereas no such regulations were implemented throughout the rest of the country.

“This report suggests that even the partial regulation of marijuana could decrease its availability to teens,” Aldworth said. “Those who shrug off this mounting evidence are shrugging off the health and safety of our young people.”

# # #


For Immediate Release: 5/13/12

As responsible members of the medical marijuana industry, MMIG, ACT4CO, CBA, and the UFCW have agreed to work together toward the Governor’s call. As such, we seek to introduce a bill that would enact the recommendations of the Marijuana DUID Workgroup, which was created last year by the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice (CCJJ) to study marijuana and driving. The Workgroup recommended increases in (1) public education; (2) collection of data and research; and (3) Drug Recognition Experts. To date, the recommendations of this Workgroup have been ignored.

Under the Governor’s Executive Order, D 2012-010 (5-10-12);
Colorado should enact a law that holds drivers under the influence of marijuana, or any other controlled substance, to the same standards as those applied to drivers under the influence of alcohol. We believe, therefore, that the General Assembly should consider taking appropriate legislative action to enact a law that holds drivers under the influence of drugs to a DUI per se standard.

In seeking to meet the call of the Governor, our industry recommends legislation that includes appropriate per se levels for all drugs, not just marijuana. With regard to THC, we propose a 15 nanogram per se standard, which researchers such as Jan Ramaekers, who testified to the CCJJ, have indicated is the level of THC in a person’s blood that guarantees impairment. A standard lower than 15 nanograms risks criminalizing the innocent, while undoing basic tenets of our criminal justice system such as proof beyond a reasonable doubt, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a jury trial.

As such, we hope to receive a fair hearing before the Colorado General Assembly. We ask that during a highly politicized Special Session of the General Assembly that legislators don’t play politics with people’s lives. We ask that any DUID bill brought forth, should be assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee as this type of legislation deals with a criminal matter.

We believe our proposal will give the state the resources it needs to keep our roads safe while respecting the constitutional rights of its citizens.



Shawn Coleman

Responsible Vendor Bill falls to end of session politics

DENVER (May 2, 2012) – SB12-154 was postponed indefinitely in House Committee on State, Veterans and Military Affairs by its House sponsor, Rep. Crisanta Duran, today, effectively killing the bill this session despite a broad coalition of support including the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA), Association of Cannabis Trades for Colorado (ACT4CO), the Medical Marijuana Business Alliance (MMBA), Sensible Colorado and the Association of County Sheriffs, whose common goal is a carefully regulated, well informed industry.

The responsible vendor program for medical cannabis businesses would have established a voluntary program of state-approved courses for medical cannabis professionals. The program was modeled on similar enhanced training programs in other industries, including real estate and hospitality.

The industry continued to support the bill despite a Senate amendment that severely damaged the bill by prohibiting former regulators and industry professionals — those who best understand the complex and dynamic regulations these small business owners face — from creating the course curriculum.

But what killed the bill was an amendment that would have made the program mandatory. Rep. Duran and the industry coalition supporting the bill agreed this violated the spirit of what was a carefully crafted voluntary program.

“We cannot continue to support legislation that would require small business owners to hire expensive outside consultants who would have less knowledge than the business owners themselves,” said Shawn Coleman, executive director of the Cannabis Business Alliance.

“Business owners and employees in the cannabis industry need to be educated about the laws and rules regulating the industry,” said Nick King, president of ACT4CO. “But participation in the program should be wholly voluntary and performed by individuals and organizations fully conversant with how the industry operates as well as knowledgeable about the regulations governing the industry. Patient advocate and Sensible Colorado Deputy Director Josh Kappel noted, “Any legislation that encourages responsible vendors is good for our communities and the patients who rely on those vendors for their medicine.”

The Colorado medical cannabis professionals who supported this legislation remain united in continuing to comply with our state laws, serving only qualified patients and being excellent members of the communities we serve. We will move forward with our collaborative work on best practices for business owners and patients and will continue our dialogue with the broader community on this valuable alternative to dangerous pharmaceutical treatments.

About the Cannabis Business Alliance
The Cannabis Business Alliance is a member based non-profit industry trade group for Colorado medical cannabis professionals focused on policy advocacy and best practices.


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