CBA Statement: Department of Justice rescinds all marijuana policies, jeopardizing legal cannabis industry

CBA Statement: Department of Justice rescinds all marijuana policies, jeopardizing legal cannabis industry

Cannabis Business Alliance Statement:

Department of Justice rescinds all marijuana policies, jeopardizing a legal cannabis industry that removes power from drug cartels while creating safety measures and supporting economic growth 

DENVER (January 4, 2018)The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA)  has released a statement on the United States Department of Justice’s decision to rescind all previously issued Department guidance concerning marijuana policy, including the Cole Memo, which has significantly limited which charges prosecutors can pursue in states where marijuana is legal.

“Eliminating the protection of states’ rights threatens a safe, regulated, taxable industry with professionally produced, lab-tested products and will push the entire industry back into the black market,” said Kevin Gallagher, Executive Director, Cannabis Business Alliance.  “Since Amendment 64 passed in 2012, Colorado has witnessed a wealth of positive affects; our economy is thriving, unemployment is the lowest it has been in four decades and cannabis education in our school systems has contributed to a decline in teen use. Policy makers and legislators in new and emerging markets count on Colorado as an established leader for regulatory framework. The legal cannabis industry removes the money and power from the hands of drug cartels and puts funds directly into state coffers.”

The Cannabis Business Alliance applauds Senator Cory Gardner and Senator Michael Bennett who have respectively taken action to address to concerns of Coloradans and cannabis industry professionals.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.): “Reports that the Justice Department will rescind their current policy on legal marijuana enforcement are extremely alarming. Before I voted to confirm Attorney General Sessions, he assured me that marijuana would not be a priority for this Administration. Today’s action directly contradicts what I was told, and I am prepared to take all steps necessary, including holding DOJ nominees, until the Attorney General lives up to the commitment he made to me prior to his confirmation. In 2016, President Trump said marijuana legalization should be left up to the states and I agree.”

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.): “In rescinding the Cole memo, the Attorney General failed to listen to Colorado, and will create unnecessary chaos and confusion.”

Gallagher continued: “The repeal of these policies is a complete infringement on states’ rights. President Trump made his position clear throughout his campaign when he stated that marijuana policy should ‘absolutely’ be left to the states. We can only hope that federal prosecutors will share his position and allow states to continue developing their own marijuana laws. This is a huge step backwards for cannabis prohibition and especially for the business owners who have gone about this the right way, following the rules and help to establish a respected regulatory framework for legalizing marijuana. Now is the time to come together and voice our concerns loud enough for the Department of Justice to reconsider.”

Public support for legalizing marijuana has reached a record high, according to a recent Gallup Poll which found two-thirds of Americans now support legalizing cannabis. Gallup first asked national adults about their views on the topic in 1969, when 12 percent supported legalization. In 2017, 64 percent of Americans support legalization.

The Cannabis Business Alliance encourages all cannabis business owners and industry professionals to contact their local representatives today.

Colorado has one of the country’s fastest growing economies, due in part to the legalization of marijuana. Colorado marijuana tax revenues greatly exceed original estimates of $70 million per year. Collections of $56 million in 2014 grew to $113 million in 2015. In 2016, the state reported roughly $1.1 billion in legal sales with over $200 million collected in tax revenue. Marijuana tax money has been used to improve a wide range of community programs and services, funding everything from school construction and public health and law enforcement to substance abuse prevention and fighting homelessness. As of January 2017, more than 23,000 people in Colorado have full-time jobs because of the legalized marijuana industry, and Colorado’s unemployment rate has consistently posted at around 2.3 percent, often ranking the lowest in the country, and the lowest rate in Colorado since at least 1976.

For more information, please contact Shawna McGregor at 917-971-7852 or shawna@rosengrouppr.com.

About the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA)The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) is an advocate and a resource for business owners, employees, patients and clients of the medical and adult-use marijuana industry. CBA promotes programs that will enhance the emerging marijuana industry’s place in Colorado’s business economy, create respect for the industry in the communities we serve, and support client and patient access, education and safety. For more information, visit www.cannabisalliance.org. Friend us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

 

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CBA Members Support Communities In Need This Holiday Season and All Year Long

CBA Members Support Communities In Need This Holiday Season and All Year Long

The Season of Giving

Cannabis Business Alliance Members

 Support Communities In Need

This Holiday Season and All Year Long

DENVER (December 22, 2017) — Holiday time is also the season of giving and many turn their thoughts toward supporting those in need. Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) members work to support the communities they operate in by partnering with worthy causes. Collectively, CBA prioritizes community outreach, and this is especially true during the season of giving. Included are some of the important programs supported by CBA members.

●     Love’s Oven creates a special 10 mg baked good every season and donates a portion of the proceeds to a cause. This year’s holiday treat is a Ginger Spice Cookie and a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Colorado Village Collaborative, which works to provide much needed shelter for the homeless through the building of tiny home communities.

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●     Wana Brands has donated more than $97,000 in product (retail value) to Grow for Vets, an organization dedicated to preventing suicide and helping provide vets with nonprescription drugs. The company has also supported The Gathering Place, a daytime drop-in center for women, children and transgender individuals experiencing poverty. This holiday season Wana Brands is participating in Boulder Homeless Shelter holiday drive.

●     Native Roots Dispensary has a comprehensive community engagement program that resulted in more than 450 volunteer hours company-wide in 2017. Each of their 20 retail locations partners with a unique organization to best serve the needs of community in which they operate. They additionally have dedicated tens of thousands of dollars to non-profit organizations from the Native Roots Foundation. This includes a partnership with the Denver Urban Scholars which partners with high-poverty schools to ensure at-risk students successfully transition from high school to career and college, and more than $15,000 to victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, where many Native Roots employees have family. You may currently stop by any Native Roots location to participate in their annual coat drive benefiting One Warm Coat.

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●     Craft Concentrates is always looking for ways to give back to their community and to help patients. This year they are supporting Sacred Heart House of Denver, a homeless shelter for families providing temporary housing, food and clothing for homeless families in Denver. Craft is donating clothing, groceries, toys and more to Sacred Heart House.  

CBA members have witnessed first-hand the positive impact that Colorado’s cannabis industry has had on Colorado. With the New Year approaching, the CBA encourages every cannabis business owner to develop a Corporate Social Responsibility program that supports causes that are meaningful to their company’s mission and values. 

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Shawna McGregor at 917-971-7852 or shawna@rosengrouppr.com.

About the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA)

The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) encourages sensible policies that stimulate economic development and consumer transparency for the medical and retail marijuana industry. CBA promotes best business practices through advising and communicating with its members and other industry representatives, thereby invigorating the communities we serve. CBA also supports education and safety to further protect employees and purchasers within regulated marijuana commerce. For more information, visit  www.cannabisalliance.org. Follow us on Facebook.

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Cannabis Industry Outlook 2018

Cannabis Industry Outlook 2018

Cannabis Industry Outlook 2018

Cannabis Business Alliance aims to increase efficiencies for growing industry

DENVER (December 20, 2017) — As the year comes to a close, the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) reviews the highlights of 2017 and provides an outlook for 2018.

Statewide Prosperity. Marking five years since Colorado citizens voted to pass Amendment 64—the legislative act which legalized adult-use marijuana in the Centennial State—2017 proved to be a year of enormous growth for the cannabis industry. In just the first eight months of 2017, the revenue from Colorado’s cannabis market reached $1 billion - an increase of 21 percent over 2016 numbers. According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, as of December 2017, taxes, license and fee revenue totaled over $226.1 million, 16 percent more than the final tally of $193.6 million in 2016. The high revenue resulted in a surge of tax-dollar-sourced funding for community programs and services ranging from school construction to substance abuse prevention.

Unemployment has also held steady at around 2.3 percent - often ranking the lowest in the country - with the cannabis industry providing more than 23,000 people in Colorado with full-time jobs as of January 2017, excluding contractors and ancillary businesses. Additionally, according to a 2017 study by CBRE, a commercial real-estate company, Colorado’s real estate market has been privy to the positive effects of cannabis legalization. The average sales price of marijuana-occupied industrial properties in Denver rose 17.6 percent in 2017 to $115 per square foot, up from $98 per square foot in 2014. Property values in the immediate vicinity of Denver’s retail marijuana establishments showed an 8 percent increase since Amendment 64 took effect in January 2014, according to a study from the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Legislation Takes Effect. The 2017 Colorado General Assembly Session resulted in a myriad of successful regulatory propositions for the cannabis industry, including a crackdown on black market cannabis products sold on websites such as Craig’s List (SB17-015). Additionally, HB17-1034 intended to enact licensing changes to the medical marijuana code to align with the retail marijuana code. CBA successfully amended the bill to allow medical MIP to MIP transfers.

2018 Outlook

Operational Efficiency & Economic Freedom. Concerns over the newly revised medical and retail rules that have been proposed by the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) are likely to spur efforts towards creating a more efficient and innovative cannabis industry in Colorado in 2018. Under the adjustments made to rule numbers M/R 1504 – for Medical and Retail Marijuana Testing Program – Sampling Procedures, cultivators and manufacturers are now required to test cannabis at a much higher rate than other significantly more harmful substances, such as alcohol. As a result, business revenue will suffer by losing a great volume of product through minimum sample weights and increased sample sizes should the regulations not be amended.

In addition to the cost burden for operators, the updated testing rules will place an enormous amount of pressure on the limited number of laboratories operating in Colorado, which are not are not equipped to handle the sheer volume of samples that will be required when the testing and sampling rules take effect in January 2018. CBA looks forward to working with Colorado lawmakers in the new year to modify the regulations and make way for renewed economic prosperity and industry efficiency.

Sunset Bill Review. CBA will work with Colorado officials and its Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) to continue research on appropriate cannabis regulations, requirements and testing procedures. As a fledgling industry, the specifications and regulatory codes regarding cannabis will continue to be examined in 2018 by DORA as part of its Sunset Review on retail marijuana - HB16-1261.

Also being tapped for a Sunset Review in 2018 is the 70/30 rule - implemented in 2011 - which states that medical producers must grow at least 70 percent the product they sell. Though intended to reduce black market activity, the regulation complicates business operations for small companies and those without cultivation centers. CBA aims to work with state lawmakers to amend the 70/30 rule and reconcile the difficulties the regulation poses for cultivators, manufacturers and vendors.

More States to Welcome Cannabis. In 2018, adult-use legalization programs are expected to come online in California (January 2018), Maine (Feb. 2018) and Massachusetts (July 2018).  With the 2018 midterm elections in November, ballot initiatives legalizing adult-use cannabis could be seen in Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Shawna McGregor at 917-971-7852 or shawna@rosengrouppr.com.

About the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA)

The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) encourages sensible policies that stimulate economic development and consumer transparency for the medical and retail marijuana industry. CBA promotes best business practices through advising and communicating with its members and other industry representatives, thereby invigorating the communities we serve. CBA also supports education and safety to further protect employees and purchasers within regulated marijuana commerce. For more information, visit  www.cannabisalliance.org. Follow us on Facebook.

 

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Member Spotlight: Next Frontier Biosciences

Member Spotlight: Next Frontier Biosciences

Marc Graboyes, CEO and Co-Founder, Next Frontier Biosciences

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Why did you join CBA?

  • CBA has begun an important dialogue on cannabis education and sensible policy, advocating for the same values that we stand for at Next Frontier Biosciences: supporting consumer safety, promoting transparency, elevating the role of cannabis in the business economy, and supporting our communities while establishing respect for the industry as a whole. As a cannabis company launching our new product line in Colorado, Next Frontier wanted to insert ourselves into the critical conversation CBA is spearheading and play an active role in pursuing these mutual goals, while offering a unique area of expertise in biotechnology and scientific formulation. As a CBA member, we are kept abreast of the latest regulatory and policy issues that could have enormous impact on our business.
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What are the tangible benefits of the membership?

  • Above all, we value the opportunity that CBA has provided to make our voice heard when it comes to the cannabis regulations that impact our business. Knowing how policy might affect our day-to-day business activities is key in this industry, and CBA ensures that its members are kept informed and able to weigh in on legislation that is coming down the pike. In addition, becoming a member of CBA has allowed us to stay in the loop when it comes to industry events, governmental working groups, as well as other initiatives. It has also helped us gain company visibility within the industry--even before our product line launched.

 

Examples on how the membership has saved you money, prevented you from making a mistake, provided you with a network etc.

  • CBA has introduced us to a network of industry leaders where we’re able to discuss and share best practices. The cannabis sector is nascent , and as such, there are still challenges in testing and labeling regulations that must be addressed in order for the industry to be successful. Within this network of business leaders, we are able to put our heads together to tackle and generate solutions to these issues, working toward fostering consumer trust and positioning the world of cannabis as the sophisticated industry that it is.
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Why is it important to be involved in the industry?

  • The cannabis industry is  rapidly evolving, but the companies within it must ensure that growth is moving in a positive direction, toward constructive change that will help keep the public safe and educated. Being actively involved and having a strong voice in the conversation is absolutely essential for conveying the benefits that cannabis can provide while educating consumers about safe and responsible consumption.

Adult-use Cannabis Legislation Reaches Five-Year Milestone

Adult-use Cannabis Legislation Reaches Five-Year Milestone

Denver (October 26, 2017) - Five years ago this November, Colorado citizens voted to pass Amendment 64, the legislative act which legalized adult-use marijuana in the Centennial State. In recognition of this milestone, the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) has issued a release commenting on the significant growth experienced by the cannabis industry since Amendment 64 was passed.

“Colorado has been brilliant in spearheading the movement to make marijuana a legitimate mainstream industry,” said Kevin Gallagher, Executive Director, Cannabis Business Alliance. “Since Amendment 64 passed in 2012, our state has witnessed a wealth of positive affects; our economy is thriving, unemployment is the lowest it has been in four decades and cannabis education in our school systems has contributed to a decline in teen use. While many opponents were wary at the start, we can safely say that over the last five years Colorado has pioneered and instituted a fully regulated, compliant cannabis industry, and that we have done so with success.”

Colorado has one of the country’s fastest growing economies, due in part to the legalization of marijuana. In 2016, the state reported roughly $1.1 billion in legal sales with over $200 million collected in tax revenue. Colorado’s marijuana sales have already brought in $1 billion in revenues in just the first eight months of 2017, an increase of 21 percent over 2016 numbers. Marijuana tax money has been used to improve a wide range of community programs and services, funding everything from school construction and public health and law enforcement to substance abuse prevention and fighting homelessness. As of January 2017, more than 23,000 people in Colorado now have full-time jobs because of the legalized marijuana industry, not including contractors and ancillary businesses. Legalized marijuana has created jobs outside of the immediate industry as well. Colorado’s unemployment rate has consistently posted at around 2.3 percent, often ranking the lowest in the country, and the lowest rate in Colorado since at least 1976.

Colorado’s real estate market has also experienced a boom as a result of the 2012 legislation. According to a 2017 study by CBRE, a commercial real-estate company in Colorado, the average sales price of marijuana-occupied industrial properties in Denver rose from $98 per square foot in 2014 to $115 per square foot in 2017 - a 17.6 percent increase. A study from the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, found property values in the immediate vicinity of Denver’s retail marijuana establishments showed an 8 percent increase since Amendment 64 took effect in January 2014.

“The cannabis industry has helped Colorado become an economic powerhouse,” Gallagher said. “Marijuana tax revenues are at an unprecedented high and the state has set an example for emerging markets, by managing to strike a balance with its taxation rates. If taxes are too high, the black market flourishes, too low and the state misses significant revenues for public priorities. Amendment 64 removes power and money from drug cartels and puts funds directly into state coffers.”

Contrary to recent resistance against the amendment the legalization of adult-use marijuana has seen many upsides for the state while none of the negative scenarios suggested by fear mongers and prohibitionists have materialized. In fact, since adult-use cannabis became legal, the state has seen a reduction in crime. Colorado's property crime rate fell by 5 percent between 2012 and 2015, and since 2009, both property and violent crime rates have fallen by 3 percent and 6 percent respectively. A  report from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released in December 2016 found that teen marijuana use in Colorado fell dramatically in the year following the amendment and federal survey data confirms that instituting a legal cannabis industry reduced youth access to cannabis, similar to alcohol regulations. Schools and organizations such as the Marijuana Education Initiative (MEI) are working in conjunction to provide students a with a balanced and informed understanding of the consequences of cannabis consumption for adolescents.

Amendment 64’s legalization of adult-use marijuana has offered benefits that extend beyond state economies and budgets, including the provision of unparalleled medicinal options for patients including veterans suffering from PTSD and women--who experience PTSD at a much higher rate than men, as well as children with debilitating conditions such as epilepsy and spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, among others. 

In extension of its health benefits, legal marijuana has also helped address the opioid epidemic that is wreaking havoc on the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the opioid epidemic kills 91 Americans every day. Fortunately, new research shows the correlation between states with legalized marijuana and reduced rates of opioid related deaths. A 2017 study published by the American Public Health Association found that the legalization of cannabis in Colorado was associated with short-term reductions in opioid-related deaths; the state saw a 0.7 deaths per month reduction in opioid-related deaths after cannabis was legalized. A study published in 2014 in the journal JAMA found that states with legal medical marijuana experienced a nearly 25 percent drop in opioid related deaths, compared to states that do not have legal medical marijuana. Other studies have found that marijuana is effective at controlling chronic pain, meaning people may choose it over opioids, when they have the legal option, and that pain killer prescriptions drop after states adopt medical marijuana laws.

Since Amendment 64 passed, six more states have legalized marijuana for adult use and more than half the country now has access to medical marijuana. Public support for legalizing marijuana has reached a record high, according to a recent Gallup Poll which found two-thirds of Americans now support legalizing cannabis. Gallup first asked national adults about their views on the topic in 1969, when 12 percent supported legalization. In 2017, 64 percent of Americans support legalization.

“Colorado’s regulations have created an overwhelming shift from the black market to a fully regulated market,” Gallagher added. “The Centennial State leads by example and legislators across the country are recognizing the positive wave of change Amendment 64 has brought. We have quite literally set the regulatory framework for those that follow us. Those that choose to deviate from this model, may find it challenging to eradicate black market operations. From providing undeniable comfort to those dealing with chronic health issues, to improving both our economy and real estate market, and bringing a welcome alternative to harmful opioids, cannabis’ impact continues to exceed expectations.”

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Shawna McGregor at 917-971-7852 or shawna@rosengrouppr.com.

About the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA): The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) encourages sensible policies that stimulate economic development and consumer transparency for the medical and retail marijuana industry. CBA promotes best business practices through advising and communicating with its members and other industry representatives, thereby invigorating the communities we serve. CBA also supports education and safety to further protect employees and purchasers within regulated marijuana commerce. For more information, visit  www.cannabisalliance.org. Follow us on Facebook.

CBA Statement: As prohibitionists spread false accusations,  hard data prove legal cannabis is safe and has overwhelming acceptance while strengthening the economy through job growth and tax revenue

CBA Statement: As prohibitionists spread false accusations,  hard data prove legal cannabis is safe and has overwhelming acceptance while strengthening the economy through job growth and tax revenue

Cannabis Business Alliance Statement:

As prohibitionists spread false accusations, hard data prove legal cannabis is safe and has overwhelming acceptance while strengthening the economy through job growth and tax revenues

 

DENVER (August 31, 2017)The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) has released a statement in response to a recent report by anti-legalization organization SAM that attempts to claim that states that provide legal cannabis have failed to comply with the Cole Memo.

“States such as Colorado diligently uphold the responsibilities outlined in the Cole Memo and are working stringently to advance regulatory and compliance frameworks as a blueprint for other states that have seen the benefits of removing cannabis profits from the pockets of drug cartels and into schools and public health programs,” said Kevin Gallagher, Executive Director of the Cannabis Business Alliance. “Colorado is doing it right, and policymakers in states that have not yet come online are watching the Centennial State closely as a successful model for stimulating local economies while keeping constituents safe. SAM’s frivolous claims are just another prohibitionist attempt to halt the positive strides of an industry that has been proven to be an economic force in states where marijuana is legal,” Gallagher said. 

Colorado’s cannabis industry has taken every precaution to ensure public health and safety, and statistics verify the state’s overwhelming success. Legalization of adult-use marijuana has not encouraged crime. In fact, Colorado's property crime rate fell by 5 percent between 2012 and 2015. Since 2009, both property and violent crime rates have fallen by 3 percent and 6 percent respectively. Legal cannabis has not resulted in an increase in youth use. A report from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released in December 2016 found teen marijuana use fell sharply in Colorado in the years 2014 and 2015, after the opening of that state's recreational marijuana market, federal survey data show, confirming that instituting a legal cannabis industry reduces youth access, similar to alcohol regulations. According to an NIH report also released December 2016, marijuana use declined among 8th and 10th graders and remains unchanged among 12th graders compared to 2011, despite the changing state marijuana laws and past-year use of marijuana is at its lowest level in more than two decades among 8th and 10th graders.  Organizations such as the Marijuana Education Initiative (MEI) have developed cannabis specific educational curriculum with a progressive and sensible approach to prevention and intervention. Since 2015, the MEI has worked directly with schools and students to promote a balanced and informed understanding of the effects of youth marijuana consumption.

The SAM report claims that “businesses arget any f he arijuana roducts hey ell oward ids, uch s ot candies, ookies nd ce ream.” However, Colorado’s rules for infused products mandate that the products cannot be shaped like animals or be in packaging designed to appeal to children. As of October 1, 2016, regulations also require all packaging as well as cannabis-infused products be marked with a “Universal Symbol” - a diamond enclosing the notations “!THC” or “!THCM”.

“Between child-resistance, prohibited advertising of cartoon characters, opaque packaging, and warning statements, Colorado infused products manufacturers are doing more than any other industry to make edibles less appealing and accessible to children,” Gallagher added. “Additionally, when a child does end up in a hospital due to accidental ingestion, it is more likely from edibles that were homemade by the parents, rather than edibles that were purchased in a legal dispensary and provided in child proof packaging. CBA stresses that parents should treat their cannabis as they would any other product that should not be accessible to children under the age of 21: lock it up and keep it out of sight.”  Legal cannabis products are less likely to be accidentally ingested by kids than dish detergent packets, diaper rash cream, and even alcohol-infused chocolates. With more than five million infused product units sold each year and diminishing cases of accidental ingestion, the industry feels strongly that it is headed in the right direction. Colorado law mandates that children under the age of 21 are not allowed to step foot into a dispensary, unlike drug dealers who do not card their customers, and expose under age children to black market marijuana as well as deadly drugs such as heroin and designer drugs that are killing youth at an alarming rate. CBA fully supports full enforcement against black market marijuana operations.

Colorado has one of the country’s fastest growing economies, due in part to the legalization of marijuana. Colorado marijuana tax revenues greatly exceed original estimates of $70 million per year. Collections of $56 million in 2014 grew to $113 million in 2015. In 2016, the state reported roughly $1.1 billion in legal sales with over $200 million collected in tax revenue. Marijuana tax money has been used to improve a wide range of community programs and services, funding everything from school construction and public health and law enforcement to substance abuse prevention and fighting homelessness. As of January 2017, more than 23,000 people in Colorado now have full-time jobs because of the legalized marijuana industry, and Colorado’s unemployment rate has consistently posted at around 2.3 percent, often ranking the lowest in the country, and the lowest rate in Colorado since at least 1976.

“It is important that states take a thoughtful approach to marijuana taxation. If the taxes are too high, the black market flourishes, too low and the state misses significant revenues for public priorities. Colorado leads by example, taking power and money out of the hands of drug cartels and putting funds directly into state coffers,” Gallagher continued.

The SAM report also attempts to falsely link legalized marijuana with an increase in traffic incidents. “There is no clear evidence linking legalized marijuana to an increase in traffic incidents or fatalities in Colorado,” Gallagher said. “Prior to 2014, proper coding did not designate cannabis use in traffic incidents, and this issue persists even to this day, with many studies lumping cannabis use with prescription and illicit drugs such as opioids, and there are no standards for testing crash victims.”

While opposition groups like SAM aim to bring the enormous benefits of marijuana to a screeching halt, legalized cannabis continues to offer unparalleled medicinal options for patients including veterans suffering from PTSD, as well as women--who experience PTSD exponentially more than men--often as a result of domestic abuse. Cannabis has also been effective for children with debilitating conditions such as epilepsy and spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Pulling back in any way would not only prohibit those who need marijuana most from getting it, but also go against the will of the American people.

More Americans are in favor of legalized marijuana than ever before. The latest Harvard-Harris Poll survey found that 49 percent of Americans believe marijuana should be legalized for both medical and recreational use and 37 percent believe marijuana should be legalized for medicinal purposes only, meaning that 86 percent of respondents support legalization in some form. Only 14 percent of respondents believe marijuana should be illegal.

 

Legal marijuana can also help to address the opioid epidemic, which has recognized by the current administration as a widespread national epidemic. The opioid epidemic kills 91 Americans every day, according to the Centers of Disease Control. Fortunately, a wealth of new research points toward cannabis as a potential solution to prescription painkiller addiction. A study published in 2014 in the journal JAMA found that states with legal medical marijuana experienced a nearly 25 percent drop in deaths from opioid overdoses, compared to states that do not have legal medical marijuana.

“CBA maintains that cracking down on legal cannabis businesses merely pushes a safe, regulated, taxable industry with professionally produced, lab-tested products back into the black market. We highly encourage policy makers in emerging states to speak directly with people involved in Colorado’s cannabis industry regarding regulatory and compliance framework,” Gallagher concluded.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Shawna McGregor at 917-971-7852 or shawna@rosengrouppr.com.

About the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA)

The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) encourages sensible policies that stimulate economic development and consumer transparency for the medical and retail marijuana industry. CBA promotes best business practices through advising and communicating with its members and other industry representatives, thereby invigorating the communities we serve. CBA also supports education and safety to further protect employees and purchasers within regulated marijuana commerce. For more information, visit  www.cannabisalliance.org. Follow us on Facebook.

 

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Cannabis Business Alliance Statement: More research and proper coding needed to determine the true impact of legal cannabis in traffic incidents

Cannabis Business Alliance Statement: More research and proper coding needed to determine the true impact of legal cannabis in traffic incidents

DENVER (June 23, 2017)The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA)  has released a statement in response to a recent insurance study by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) linking the legalization of recreational marijuana with an increase in car crashes reported to insurers.

“There is no clear evidence linking adult-use marijuana to an increase in traffic incidents or fatalities,” said Kevin Gallagher, Executive Director of the Cannabis Business Alliance. “Prior to 2014, proper coding did not designate cannabis use in traffic incidents, and this issue persists even to this day, with many studies lumping cannabis use with prescription and illicit drugs such as opioids. While the HLDI has released a study that seems to find an increase, studies from the American Journal of Public Health and Columbia University have found that incidents were not statistically different or had decreased significantly. Unfortunately, what we are seeing with the HLDI report is just another attempt to incite reefer madness, this time for the benefit of the auto insurance industry,” Gallagher said.

The HLDI is a non-profit research organization funded by auto insurance companies. Contrary to the findings of the HLDI, researchers at the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) released a study on June 22, with compelling evidence, which combats the claims of the insurance research organization. 

In an effort to evaluate car crash fatality rates in the first two states with legalized adult-use marijuana, AJPH researchers used the US Fatality Analysis Reporting System to compare year-over-year changes in car crash fatality rates before and after the legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington and Colorado. The study concluded that just three years after the legalization of recreational marijuana, changes in car crash fatality rates for Washington and Colorado were not statistically different from those in similar states without recreational marijuana legalization.

The findings of the HDLI are inconsistent with both the Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado State Patrol who have previously reported a decrease in the number of driving impaired accidents since adult-use cannabis was legalized. The State of Colorado and the marijuana industry have partnered to initiate several drugged driving education campaigns to raise awareness about the dangers and laws surrounding driving while under the influence of cannabis including “Drive High, Get a D.U.I.” amongst others.

A 2016 study by researchers at Columbia University examined traffic fatalities in 19 states before and after enacting medical marijuana laws. Although on average there was an 11 percent reduction in fatality rates, the results varied across states. Seven states saw a reduction in fatalities, while two had an increase, and the other 10 didn't change. 

Gallagher added: “Connecting the legalization of adult-use marijuana to an increase in traffic incidents is a belligerent move by the auto insurance industry. As we work to combat these claims, the cannabis industry continues its effort in educating consumers on the laws surrounding driving. It is never appropriate to operate any vehicle while under the influence of marijuana.”

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Shawna McGregor at 917-971-7852 or shawna@rosengrouppr.com.

About the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA)

The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) encourages sensible policies that stimulate economic development and consumer transparency for the medical and retail marijuana industry. CBA promotes best business practices through advising and communicating with its members and other industry representatives, thereby invigorating the communities we serve. CBA also supports education and safety to further protect employees and purchasers within regulated marijuana commerce. For more information, visit www.cannabisalliance.org. Follow us on Facebook.

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Member Spotlight: Verts

Member Spotlight: Verts

  • Why did you join CBA?

    • Verts joined CBA to stay on the front lines of the industry, and also to play an active role in keeping cannabis legal, and helping it to become more accessible for consumers in Colorado and in states where legalization is moving forward.

    • Craft was one of the first vendors in our store. Kevin was super helpful on all of our compliance questions, and after speaking with him it became pretty obvious that joining CBA would be worthwhile for our team.

  • What are the tangible benefits of the membership?

    • Being able to have a voice, and have it be heard and validated is really important.  

  • Examples on how the membership has saved you money, prevented you from making a mistake, provided you with a network etc.

    • Having a community of business leaders we can discuss our concerns with has been extremely beneficial for our business. Whether we have questions about  existing laws or the  new bills that are going into legislation, we know we can rely on this group to provide accurate information.

    • There’s such a diverse crowd of members in the CBA, all from different facets of the industry. Having this collective group of cannabis industry leaders to discuss tough topics with is invaluable.  Whenever we have a question about a law or regulation, all we have to do is shoot an email and we know we’ll have clarification, from an honest and credible source. And it happens a lot, especially with how fast the industry is changing and growing.

  • Why is it important to be involved in the industry?

    • Simply put cannabis helps people. And Colorado is quite literally leading the world in helping to fix the stigma associated with this plant. The industry has some come such a long way from black market basement grow operations, and to ensure that we never go back, anyone involved in the industry needs to do their part to keep it safe and keep it legal. We wanted to do this right. Rules were put in place for a reason, and it’s our duty as leaders on the world stage to see that proper rules and regulation continue to be put into action as our industry matures and grows.

Cannabis Business Alliance lauds Colorado General Assembly for a Successful 2017 Legislative Session

Cannabis Business Alliance lauds Colorado General Assembly for a Successful 2017 Legislative Session

DENVER (May 12, 2017) — As the 2017 General Assembly Session comes to a close, the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) applauds legislators for another productive session in regards to the continued regulation of the legal cannabis industry in Colorado. 

“CBA commends the work of our elected officials for continuing a sensible approach to the further regulation of an already overly regulated cannabis industry,” noted Peggy Moore, Board President, CBA. “As the cannabis industry continues to flourish in Colorado, it is critical that the state has the opportunity to research and measure the effectiveness of current regulations. The work conducted this session will continue to enable the success of a fledgling industry that supports state coffers while diverting power from the black market and organized crime.”

Highlights from the session include:

Medical Marijuana License Issues (HB17‐1034): Concerning licensing changes to the medical marijuana code to align with the retail marijuana code. CBA successfully amended the bill to allow medical MIP to MIP transfers. Signed by the Governor.

Gray and Black Market Marijuana Enforcement Efforts (HB17‐1221): Creates the grey/black market marijuana enforcement grant program in the division of local government in the department of local affairs, which will award grants to local governments to reimburse for training, education, law enforcement & prosecution costs associated with grey/ black marijuana markets. Sent to the Governor on 5/2/17.

Prevent Marijuana Diversion to Illegal Market (HB17‐1220): Aims to stop diversion of legal marijuana to the illegal market by limiting the number of plants that can be possessed or grown on a residential property to 12 plants, with 6 or fewer being mature. Sent to the Governor on 5/2/17.

Authorize Marijuana Clinical Research (HB17‐1367): Allows for research and development of marijuana in Colorado by creating a marijuana research and development license for research purposes. Under the bill, a marijuana research and development licensee may contract with a public research institution of higher education or another marijuana research and development licensee. SB 275 was amended into the bill on the Senate floor. Passed both Houses, sent to the Governor.

Unlawful Marijuana Advertising Bill (SB17‐015): Makes advertising of an unlicensed marijuana product (ie, Craig’s List) a level 2 drug misdemeanor. Signed by the Governor on 4/4/17.

Allow Medical MJ Use For Stress Disorders Bill (SB17-017): Adds acute stress disorder and PTSD to the list of debilitating medical conditions for the purposes of the use of medical marijuana. Awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Medical Marijuana Inventory Shortfall Fixes (SB17‐111): The bill allows the department to determine the percentage, but limits them from going below 30 percent. A medical marijuana center may transfer medical marijuana to another medical marijuana center or medical marijuana infused product manufacturer if all direct beneficial owners of the licensed businesses are the same. Sent to the Governor.

Marijuana Business Efficiency Measures (SB17‐192): Allows businesses who have tested above the approved levels to retest the product a second time. Requires the MED to adjust the average market rate quarterly and creates another tier to tax retail flower used for extractions at a lower level than flower going right to dispensary shelves. Passed both Houses, sent to the Governor.

Marijuana Pesticides Test Medical Effectiveness (SB17-275): Directs CDPHE to use marijuana taxes to make research grants regarding the medical efficacy of Colorado-grown strains of medical marijuana. Allows licensed marijuana facilities to transfer marijuana to a research facility for purposes of medical research. Killed in the House Business Affairs Committee.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Shawna McGregor at shawna@rosengrouppr.com or 917-971-7852.

About The Cannabis Business Alliance: The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) encourages sensible policies that stimulate economic development and consumer transparency for the medical and retail marijuana industry. CBA promotes best business practices through advising and communicating with its members and other industry representatives, thereby invigorating the communities we serve. CBA also supports education and safety to further protect employees and purchasers within regulated marijuana commerce. For more information, visit www.cannabisalliance.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Cannabis Business Alliance Statement: ProPuebloCO Offers One Sided Approach  to Addressing City Challenges

Cannabis Business Alliance Statement: ProPuebloCO Offers One Sided Approach to Addressing City Challenges

Pueblo, Colo. (March 31, 2017) —In response to recent anti-cannabis moves by ProPuebloCO, The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) has released a statement:

Kevin Gallagher, Board Member, Cannabis Business Alliance stated: “Efforts against the legal marijuana industry in Pueblo are incredibly misguided. Pueblo’s best days are ahead, not behind. Pueblo has seen a significant economic boost since the legalization of cannabis, accounting for 60 percent of new construction permits and $3 million a year in taxes. In November 2016, Pueblo voters rejected two repeal initiatives, and local dignitaries and officials should respect the will of the citizens of Pueblo. To group the legal cannabis industry with illegal grows and increase in heroin use is misguided and simply lacks legitimate evidence. As misinformation swirls around the increased rates of homelessness in Pueblo, the Cannabis Business Alliance would like to extend an invitation for a meeting with Pueblo officials and stakeholders to address the issues at hand and discuss how the legal cannabis industry can contribute to a better future for Pueblo. We hear the concerns of Pueblo officials and are interested in possibly bringing forth state legislation next session that allocates either a percentage or a specific monetary amount from the marijuana tax cash fund to these areas of concern, especially to the cities that are investing in the cannabis industry. We completely agree that marijuana money should be allocated to public health to improve overall community welfare.”

The group attempting to rally opposition consists of key sectors who are seeing theirs profits cut by the legalization of marijuana. Pueblo is safer with legal cannabis, which is regulated and which licenses business owners and employees who must have clean background checks and submit fingerprints to state and FBI to participate in the industry. Pueblo has become an agricultural powerhouse in Colorado, supplying 30-40 percent of the state’s cannabis product utilizing up to 6 million sq. ft. of cultivation. The legal cannabis industry has meant economic successes for Pueblo by way of jobs. There is no evidence that commercial marijuana pushes away other types of businesses and, indeed, cities with commercial marijuana are seeing property values increase, a large influx of out of state visitors, and new residents pouring money into these communities and attracting all kinds of additional employers and industries. The regulated cannabis industry also provides economic opportunities to non-industry citizens, such as contractors, ultimately putting funds into hands of working class citizens who are not directly employed within the industry.

Each day more confusion spreads about the trends in homelessness. People who are homeless or at risk of homelessness are empowered to live full lives of their choosing, everyone deserves a home and access to needed services. The Cannabis Business Alliance is open to working with policymakers and practitioners in Pueblo to discuss the issues related to homelessness and to help transform the lives of people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

The new cannabis industry has helped revitalize Pueblo, an area that has long struggled economically; thus, improving the overall reputation of Pueblo as a place to do business. There are more than 1,300 Pueblo County jobs in the industry and almost $4 million in annual tax revenue has gone to college scholarships, 4H and Future Farmers of America efforts, and medical marijuana research at Colorado State University Pueblo. These advances in spurring forward a new, international industry create a future for Pueblo and a reputation that is recognized for its innovation, ingenuity, and industrialism.

For more debunking the myths about Pueblo and cannabis, visit http://cannabisalliance.org/news/2016/10/18/debunking-the-myths-around-pueblo-ballot-measure-200.

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Member Spotlight: Wana Brands

Member Spotlight: Wana Brands

Why did you join CBA?

The marijuana infused products industry has experienced tremendous growth over the past five years, and along the way we have been faced with some legislation that created a variety of challenges for business owners. I joined this collaborative group to be part of the process of shaping this new industry in a way that protects public safety while not placing undue burden on businesses.  Being a CBA member gives you a seat at the table.

What are the tangible benefits of the membership?

CBA offers its members  a number of benefits including industry meetings, lobbying communications services, voter’s guides, and event listings.  However, one of the most valuable benefits of being a member, in my opinion, is the opportunity to get to know like-minded people in the industry, and unite in a very important purpose - to advocate with our government for sensible and collaborative public policy, which protects employees, patients, and clients of the medical and retail marijuana industry.  I’ve made friends and met new business associates through my CBA membership that has enhanced my personal and professional life.

Examples on how the membership has saved you money, prevented you from making a mistake, provided you with a network etc.

There have been numerous times when I would have either missed or misinterpreted a regulation that would have either put us out of compliance or would have cost us a huge amount of money.  Also the ability to reach out to other members to get their input on various issues has been invaluable.

Why is it important to be involved in the industry?

I view involvement with CBA as not only part of my duty and responsibility to the community around me, but also in part as an  opportunity to “pay it forward” and contribute to the industry which has embraced and welcomed me for the past six years as an entrepreneur. I joined CBA to help promote values that enhance the cannabis industry’s role in the state’s business economy, build respect for the industry in our community, and support client and patient access, education and safety.   

Anything else you would like to add?

Our lobbyist has been incredibly effective in representing our concerns and preferences and has been instrumental in shaping legislation in many ways that have benefited the industry. Because of her success, all cannabis business owners, whether they know it or not, are all benefiting from the investment that CBA’s members are making through their association dues.  I really encourage other businesses to do their share in supporting a safe and appropriately regulated industry through a CBA membership.

The Cannabis Industry Is On High Alert After Sean Spicer Suggests Feds Will Crack Down on Marijuana

DCMJ's Inaugural #Trump420 Marijuana Rally on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

DCMJ's Inaugural #Trump420 Marijuana Rally on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

FORBES

By: Debra Borchardt

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer threw the cannabis industry into tumult on Thursday, saying that the White House expects federal law enforcement agents to enforce federal law in states where recreational marijuana use has been legalized. 

The Cannabis Business Alliance stated, “Dialing back any level of legalization of marijuana would be extremely misguided and would turn back the enormous positive progress that has occurred over the last several years.” The alliance said that the industry is compliant, a job creator and tax engine that brings state budgets out of the red and into the black. 

Read the full article here.

Cannabis Business Alliance Statement: Federal comments on adult use cannabis

Cannabis Business Alliance Statement: Federal comments on adult use cannabis

 

DENVER (Feb. 23, 2017)The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) has released a statement regarding recent comments from the White House on adult-use marijuana.

Mark Malone, Executive Director, Cannabis Business Alliance stated: “The legal cannabis industry takes power and money out of the hands of drug cartels and puts funds into state coffers and has the real potential to help offset the Federal Government’s budget shortfalls. The legal cannabis industry provides safety procedures and regulations that protect our youth, and states where cannabis is legal have seen a reduction of teen use. In fact, a recent study found that opioid use decreases in states that legalize marijuana. Dialing back any level of legalization of marijuana would be extremely misguided and would turn back the enormous positive progress that has occurred over the last several years. Going after the legal marijuana industry would be a direct affront to the overwhelming numbers of Americans who have voted time after time to approve legal cannabis. It would also be an affront to the Cole Memo and a misuse of energy and taxpayer funds. The Cannabis industry is compliant, a job creator, and tax engine bringing state budgets out of the red and into the black.  Republicans have core values that include belief in state rights and a free market. The same voters that have elected the current Administration continue to overwhelmingly support cannabis, as was evident in this fall’s Elections. President Trump has said that this is a State issue so we expect him to be true to his word and continue to let States regulate cannabis.”

Colorado, the first U.S. state to legalize cannabis for adult-use, reported selling $1.3 billion in marijuana and marijuana-related products in 2016, with a projected $3 billion economic impact for 2016. Additionally, Colorado’s 2016 tax revenues from marijuana sales were about $199 million in tax and fees revenue for the calendar year. These taxes fund projects including school construction, public health and law enforcement. Throughout the country, cannabis prohibition continued to be rolled back, with more states legalizing marijuana in 2016. Earlier in 2016, Ohio and Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana, and Illinois decriminalized the plant. November’s election results found four states voting positively to approve cannabis for adult-use (California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada), and four states voting to allow Medical Marijuana use (Florida, Arkansas, North Dakota and Montana). These new additions mean 29 states plus the District of Columbia now offer some category of legal cannabis, and one in five Americans soon will have access to legal marijuana.

Cannabis continues to offer a positive medicinal option for patients including veterans suffering from PTSD and children with debilitating conditions such as epilepsy and spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. A recent report from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment found that marijuana consumption by Colorado high school students has dipped since the state first permitted recreational Cannabis use by adults. The biannual poll also showed the percentage of high school students consuming Cannabis is smaller than the national average among teens. Colorado has experienced a significant economic boost since the legalization of Cannabis, accounting for sizeable job growth and tax income for Colorado.

 

About the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA)

The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) is an advocate and a resource for business owners, employees, patients and clients of the medical and adult-use marijuana industry. CBA promotes programs that will enhance the emerging marijuana industry’s place in Colorado’s business economy, create respect for the industry in the communities we serve, and support client and patient access, education and safety. For more information, visit www.cannabisalliance.org. Friend us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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Colorado Governor Talks Cannabis Challenges in California Capitol

Colorado Governor Talks Cannabis Challenges in California Capitol

The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper told California state senators Tuesday to set standards for edible marijuana goods and driving under the influence of cannabis as soon as possible to avoid repeating mistakes his state made when it legalized recreational cannabis.

Mark Malone, executive director of the Denver-based Cannabis Business Alliance, cheered the interstate cooperation but also questioned the evidence of some of Hickenlooper’s claims.

“We encourage newly legalized states to visit Colorado and speak to representatives and those with established cannabis businesses so that they can form better and more efficient rules and regulations around a very successful industry; there is no reason to recreate the wheel,” Malone said in a statement Wednesday.

To read the full article click here 

CBA Statement: States on Path to Cannabis Legalization can find insight from Colorado’s Industry for  Best Practices in Regulation and Child Safety

CBA Statement: States on Path to Cannabis Legalization can find insight from Colorado’s Industry for Best Practices in Regulation and Child Safety



 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Shawna McGregor

Shawna@rosengrouppr.com, 917-971-7852
 

Cannabis Business Alliance Statement:

States on Path to Cannabis Legalization can find insight from Colorado’s Industry for Best Practices in Regulation and Child Safety

DENVER (February 15, 2017) — In response to Gov. Hickenlooper’s recent visit to speak with California legislators in Sacramento, Calif., in advance of legalization of adult-use cannabis, The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA)  has released a statement. The advocate for cannabis business owners is calling on states like California and other emerging markets to reach out to those who have been involved in Colorado's cannabis industry for insight on what works best when it comes to regulation and child safety.

“It is great to see legislators from different states coming together to discuss the challenges and benefits of the cannabis industry,” said Mark Malone, Executive Director of the Cannabis Business Alliance. “We encourage newly legalized states to visit Colorado and speak to representatives and those with established cannabis businesses so that they can form better and more efficient rules and regulations around a very successful industry; there is no reason to recreate the wheel,” Malone said.  

Malone continued: “The CBA does take exception to the statement that ‘Colorado saw a rise in child hospitalization because of kids ingesting edible marijuana products in non-child proof containers.’ This is false. The industry did not receive any data that there were any issues with accidental ingestion prior to Colorado changing its edible rules and regulations. It is something the industry requested multiple times but to no avail. Now, the edible market is completely overburdened with the rules and regulations it has to abide to, like marking the actual edible with a ‘THC’ symbol -- a symbol that a child would not understand.”

In October 2016 a new law went into effect requiring all marijuana edible and cannabis infused product manufacturers in Colorado to feature  a “universal stamp” – a diamond enclosing the notations “!THC” or “!THCM” on all products and packaging, in an effort to raise public safety awareness.  With newly enforced stamping and regulation of shapes, the industry can safely claim that between child-resistance, prohibited advertising of cartoon characters, opaque packaging, and warning statements, that Colorado infused products manufacturers are doing more than any other industry to make edibles less appealing to kids while maintaining colors and flavors that do appeal to the adult markets we serve.

“We highly encourage states like California, and other emerging markets to speak directly with  people involved in Colorado’s cannabis industry regarding what works for child safety and industry efficiency,” Malone added.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Shawna McGregor at 917-971-7852 or shawna@rosengrouppr.com.

About the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA)

The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) is an advocate and a resource for business owners, employees, patients and clients of the medical and adult-use marijuana industry. CBA promotes programs that will enhance the emerging marijuana industry’s place in Colorado’s business economy, create respect for the industry in the communities we serve, and support client and patient access, education and safety. For more information, visit www.cannabisalliance.org. Friend us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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Member Spotlight: Dabble Extracts

Member Spotlight: Dabble Extracts

pic.jpg

Why did you join CBA?

Due to how busy we all are on a daily basis in this fledgling industry, communication of urgent industry applicable issues seems to be a common struggle. Joining CBA was an easy way to quell that issue and to better build relationships with other industry professionals. CBA allows us to stay abreast of regulatory and legislative changes in the marijuana realm. CBA facilitates our ability to communicate with regulators as well as other industry leaders. As one of the many pioneers in this industry it is important to communally be able to take part in industry change and development.

What are the tangible benefits of the membership?

Most of the benefits that we enjoy from the CBA are intangible. There are numerous benefits that can be applied to many aspects of business. 

  • Open lines of communication with industry leaders and professionals.
  • The ability to influence policies and legislation being written regarding Marijuana.
  • An overall camaraderie.  Knowing that we are all in the same fight and want similar things to change or not to change within the industry. Being able to provide each other with different knowledge and/or services that could prove fruitful for all of our businesses.
  • Joining the CBA has been a key component to being an integral part of the MJ Community.

Examples on how the membership has saved you money, prevented you from making a mistake, provided you with a network etc.

Being ahead of potential regulatory and legislative changes allows us to properly plan for contingencies and has saved us money by allowing us to forecast various possible changes and their likely outcomes. The knowledge prevents us from making mistakes that would incur costly infractions. Whether it is labeling, transporting, or producing material in our industry we are extremely scrutinized and it is easy for even the most professional company to make a mistake. Being prevalent in Colorado's marijuana industry it is critical to communicate with each other. Even though we may see each other as competition it is key that we work together and voice our opinions on issues to ensure a positive progression of changes in our industry as it will affect us all.

Why is it important to be involved in the industry?

We are all individual entities when it comes to our businesses. Being a part of the CBA allows us to join a huddle and come up with a solid game plan moving forward with new regulatory changes.  Colorado is the poster child for marijuana regulation nationally.  We as an industry need to make sure we set the bar high for other prospective states that look to follow in our image in order to protect the future of our industry. The best way to ensure favorable change happens within our industry, is for all of us to actually be a part of it.

 

Cannabis Business Alliance Statement: Richard Kirk Case

Cannabis Business Alliance Statement: Richard Kirk Case

Cannabis Business Alliance Statement:

Richard Kirk Case

DENVER (February 3, 2017)The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) has released a statement regarding the case against Richard Kirk, who has pled guilty to second-degree murder after confessing to the murder of his wife Kristine Kirk. Much of the news coverage attempted to connect the tragedy to the consumption of a cannabis infused edible.  

“The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) acknowledges this was a horrific violent crime and our deepest sympathies continue to be with the family and friends that were affected by the tragic death of Kristine Kirk. The industry is relieved that after years of investigation and mental evaluations that Richard Kirk accepted responsibility for his actions. CBA encourages public safety and consumer responsibility and is an advocate for proper dosing and consumer education, such as the Start Low, Go Slow campaign,” noted Cannabis Business Alliance Executive Director Mark Malone.

The edible reportedly consumed by Richard Kirk prior to committing this horrific crime was properly labeled in accordance with state law and rules in place at the time. As a fledgling industry, it’s not unexpected to be under increased scrutiny. However, the fact remains that violent crimes decreased in Denver from 2013 to 2014, and legalizing medical marijuana causes no increase in crime, according to a recent study. In fact, legalized medical pot may reduce some violent crime, including homicide.

Cannabis continues to offer a positive medicinal option for patients including veterans suffering from PTSD and children with debilitating conditions such as epilepsy and spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. A recent report from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment found that marijuana consumption by Colorado high school students has dipped since the state first permitted recreational Cannabis use by adults. The biannual poll also showed the percentage of high school students consuming Cannabis is smaller than the national average among teens. Colorado has experienced a significant economic boost since the legalization of Cannabis, accounting for sizeable job growth and tax income for Colorado.

 

About the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA)

The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) is an advocate and a resource for business owners, employees, patients and clients of the medical and adult-use marijuana industry. CBA promotes programs that will enhance the emerging marijuana industry’s place in Colorado’s business economy, create respect for the industry in the communities we serve, and support client and patient access, education and safety. For more information, visit www.cannabisalliance.org. Friend us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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Member Spotlight: Mountain Medicine

Member Spotlight: Mountain Medicine

 

Why did you join CBA?

I started the Cannabis Business Alliance because there was a need for a unified voice in the cannabis industry. Before the CBA, there were not a lot of trade association options, so I wanted to start an association that was reasonably priced and provided an accessible forum to connect with policy-makers, city officials, law enforcement, and other regulators. It’s one of the best things I have ever done; I have learned so much in the process.

 What are the tangible benefits of the membership?

There are endless benefits of being a CBA member. The ability to connect with other members, owners, and operators is extremely beneficial. You’re also able to balance ideas off of people and streamline production based on what others are doing. There’s a direct line of communication with the marijuana enforcement division, and you’re able to have weekly and monthly meetings with them to discuss the regulatory process. In the cannabis industry, all of us have our heads down and don’t often have the time to connect with others in the industry, so the regular meetings are a great and time-efficient way to connect. 

Examples on how the membership has saved you money, prevented you from making a mistake, provided you with a network etc.

Being a member of the CBA gives us the ability to know what is going to happen in the industry before it actually does - we are made aware when the marijuana enforcement division is going to start drafting certain rules. Around the time we passed recreational, I knew that rec testing was going to be pushed sooner than we thought, so my team was able to start the research and development process early. The CBA gives us real-time access to department and regulatory bodies so we can make better decisions and be made aware of what’s to come. Regarding financial benefits: the amount of money you spend to join a trade association could potentially save you thousands of dollars in legal advice from attorneys who get their information from that same association (especially for small businesses who may not be able to afford those attorneys).

Why is it important to be involved in the industry?

Since the cannabis industry is new and emerging, Colorado is being utilized as an example of both good and bad regulations. It’s important for members of the industry to have an active voice regarding how everything shapes out. If you’re not in the industry, your voice isn’t being heard. 

Cannabis Industry Outlook 2017

Cannabis Industry Outlook 2017

 

Cannabis Industry Outlook 2017

New states, more regulation, education, potency

 

DENVER (December 19, 2016) — As the year comes to a close, the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA)  reviews the highlights of 2016 and provides an outlook for 2017.

Enormous growth: Colorado, the first U.S. state to legalize cannabis for adult-use, has already reported selling more than $1 billion in marijuana and marijuana-related products in the first 10 months of 2016, with the state on track to see a $3 billion economic impact for 2016. Additionally, Colorado’s 2016 tax revenues are projected to total more than 2014 and 2015 combined. Throughout the country, cannabis prohibition continued to be rolled back, with more states legalizing marijuana in 2016. Earlier in 2016, Ohio and Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana, and Illinois decriminalized the plant. November’s election results found four states voting positively to approve cannabis for adult-use (California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada), and four states voting to allow Medical Marijuana use (Florida, Arkansas, North Dakota and Montana). These new additions mean 29 states plus the District of Columbia now offer some category of legal cannabis, and one in five Americans soon will have access to legal marijuana.

Edibles Safety & Regulation: The Colorado edibles industry continued to actively address concerns regarding consumer safety. In June, a bill was signed that mandates that the products cannot be shaped like animals, or be in packaging designed to appeal to children. The industry in Colorado ramped up for stamping regulations that went into full effect Dec. 1, requiring all packaging as well as cannabis-infused products to be marked with the specific symbol of THC and ! within a diamond shape. Recent regulations also prohibit edibles manufacturers from buying commercial non-infused products and spraying them with hash oil, as the average consumer or child would not be able to tell the difference between a medicated and unmedicated product.

With these regulations in place, the cannabis industry can safely claim that between stamping, regulation of shapes, child-resistance, prohibited advertising of cartoon characters, opaque packaging, and warning statements, that Colorado infused products manufacturers are doing more than any other industry to make edibles less appealing to kids while maintaining colors and flavors that do appeal to the adult markets it serves. Legal cannabis products are less likely to be accidentally ingested by kids than dish detergent packets, diaper rash cream, and even alcohol-infused chocolates. With more than five million infused product units sold each year and diminishing cases of accidental ingestion, the industry feels strongly that it is headed in the right direction.

CBA maintains that banning legal edibles or regulating edibles out of existence merely pushes a safe, regulated, taxable industry with professionally produced, lab-tested products packaged in childproof packaging into the Black Market where homemade edibles with no testing or limits on potency and no required packaging become a much more dangerous situation for children. CBA stresses that adults must keep cannabis products safely out of the reach of children, and educate youth on the dangers of underage consumption.

Legislative Successes: The 2016 legislative session in Colorado was eventful for the cannabis industry, and CBA looks forward to seeing how these new regulations will shape the landscape of the legal cannabis industry in Colorado for the better. The retail marijuana Sunset Bill included a section that eliminated the differential between resident and non-resident purchasing limits. Inconsistent purchasing regulations didn’t make sense for the industry because having two different purchasing limits turned every transaction into an algebra equation.

Cannabis Business Alliance worked with the legislature to approve an amendment to keep the most basic labeling requirements in the statute intact, but to entrust the rulemaking process to support a collaborative effort to re-examine, and determine simplified and effective labeling standards. Existing labels contain an enormous amount of information, some of which is redundant, that can confuse consumers and achieve the opposite effect from the intention of the law. CBA looks forward to working with regulators and safety experts to determine the right amount of information and messaging needed for cannabis products to achieve a more effective paradigm for cannabis package labeling.

2017 OUTLOOK

A New Administration. CBA looks forward to working with the new administration to educate incoming lawmakers on how the cannabis industry is compliant, a job creator, and tax engine bringing state budgets out of the red and into the black. Republicans have core values that include belief in state rights and a free market. The same voters that have elected these officials continue to overwhelmingly support cannabis, as was evident in this fall’s Elections.

Potency Education. Misinformation around potency continues to present challenges for the industry. The CBA is committed to educating consumers on what potency means and why it is important to have a wide array of potency in cannabis products. In 2013, Colorado residents voted for Amendment 64, which requires the state to regulate marijuana like alcohol. Attempts to introduce potency limits by prohibitionists are equivalent to limiting all liquor in Colorado to 3.2 percent beer. Limiting potency would cripple the legal cannabis industry and force the industry back into the Black Market. The CBA has developed a debunking the myths fact sheet for potency at this link.

Harmonizing Medical and Recreational rules. CBA looks forward to working with Colorado lawmakers to reconcile the 70/30 rule, which would allow medical dispensaries to source more than 30 percent of their onsite inventory from wholesalers. CBA is also hoping to work with legislators to reconcile other medical rules with retail rules, including harmonize labeling between medical and adult-use products, and discrepancies in transfer policies, such as allowing manufacturer-to-manufacturer transfers for medical in the same manner already allowed by adult use.

Options for Testing Discrepancies. CBA hopes to work with lawmakers to create another option for products that fail pesticide testing. A new rule allows harvest batches to be turned into solvent-based concentrates if it fails microbials. This saves the industry millions of dollars of product that would have been destroyed when  otherwise considered safe.

“As a fledgling industry, cannabis may face more regulations than pharmaceuticals, liquor and tobacco combined, with a patchwork of laws varying from state to state. Rules are changing too fast and too often. Now that Colorado’s adult-use market has a couple of years under its belt, the industry would like to see stability in rules so that law enforcement can regulate industry in a more efficient way,” said CBA Executive Director Mark Malone. “The industry also wants to see more in-depth research that properly codes cannabis sources, so we can decipher between the regulated market and the black market.”

CBA representatives are available for comment on these and other cannabis policy issues. For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Shawna McGregor, 917-971-7852 or shawna@rosengrouppr.com.

About the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA)

The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) is an advocate and a resource for business owners, employees, patients and clients of the medical and adult-use marijuana industry. CBA promotes programs that will enhance the emerging marijuana industry’s place in Colorado’s business economy, create respect for the industry in the communities we serve, and support client and patient access, education and safety. For more information, visit www.cannabisalliance.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Cannabis Potency: Why Lawmakers Have A Problem With It

Cannabis Potency: Why Lawmakers Have A Problem With It

Photo Credit: http://www.marijuanagrowershq.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/calculate-potency.png

Photo Credit: http://www.marijuanagrowershq.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/calculate-potency.png

By: Stephen Calabria

HERB

In this article, HERB covers the important topic of potency, and CBA Executive Director Mark Malone comments on the opponents of higher potency cannabis :

Cannabis Business Alliance’s Mark Malone told HERB, opponents of higher potency are really looking to erect roadblocks for an industry to which they have never been partial.

"The logical conclusion is that the motive is to shut down the industry. There isn’t any other reason. If they’re really concerned about public health, they would try to pass amendments to combat alcoholism, methamphetamine, and opioid abuse… So, there’s no real reason behind it, besides, ‘How can we cripple the business?’"

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