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?’"

Read the full article here

 

 

 

Cannabis Election Reflection: a View from Colorado

Cannabis Election Reflection: a View from Colorado

Image - Carol M. Highsmith

Image - Carol M. Highsmith

MARIJUANA PUBLIC MEDIA

By: Brian Bahouth 

During the election season, Colorado’s cannabis industry was under intense and highly manipulated scrutiny as an example of how legal cannabis works, or doesn’t work in America, and the industry and the state acquitted themselves so well, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada and California will expand the number of legal adult-use states to 9, and now, Colorado’s exemplary cannabis industry is well positioned to help inform, hasten, and profit from the establishment of vast new markets.

To read the full article and listen to Mark Malone's interview with Marijuana Public Media, click here

Cannabis Business Alliance statement: Results of Election Day 2016

Cannabis Business Alliance statement: Results of Election Day 2016

DENVER (November 8, 2016)Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA)  Executive Director Mark Malone has released a statement on  Election Day 2016 results:

PUEBLO

Pueblo County voted on Ballot Question 200, a measure that would have repealed legal marijuana ordinances for the sale, cultivation and processing of recreational Cannabis. If the measure passed, recreational marijuana facilities and retailers in the county would have been required to close within a year.

The industry is thankful that common sense has prevailed. The legal Cannabis industry has meant economic successes for Pueblo by way of jobs. Banning legal Cannabis sales in Pueblo would have pushed the jobs and taxes it has brought into another community or worse: the black market,” Malone said. “In 2012, Pueblo County passed Amendment 64 with 62 percent support, a significant majority.  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. Pueblo has become an agricultural powerhouse in Colorado, supplying 30 to 40 percent of the state’s Cannabis product utilizing up to 6 million sq. ft. of cultivation. Banning legal Cannabis would not have kept Pueblo residents from consuming, they would have purchased Cannabis illegally from the black market, or in counties where it is legally sold. Proponents of Pueblo Ballot Measure 200 were extremely misguided.”

Pueblo is safer with legal Cannabis, which can be regulated. Repealing the legal status of Cannabis would have meant pushing the Cannabis industry back into the black market, moving power back into the hands of organized crime and gangs. There have been some biased statistics shared that seem to imply that Pueblo hospitals are seeing an influx of babies born with Cannabis in their system, but the study is skewed. Because drug tests are performed only when a new mother is suspected of or admits to drug use, the percentage of positive marijuana tests has been high in Pueblo, but the absolute numbers have been low.

For more information, visit CBA’s Debunking the Myths on Pueblo at CannabisAlliance.org.

DENVER BALLOT INITIATIVE 300

Denver’s Neighborhood-Supported Cannabis Consumption Pilot Program, is designed to provide adults safe, supervised spaces for Cannabis consumption in traditional social environments.

Malone said: “The Cannabis Business Alliance is pleased that Denver residents have approved Denver Ballot measure 300, once again positioning Denver as a leader in Cannabis Legalization. When Colorado residents overwhelmingly approved Amendment 64, they voted to have Cannabis regulated like alcohol. Now that recreational Cannabis has been legal for two years, Denver Ballot Initiative 300 appropriately addresses the enormous need to provide safe spaces for consumers--both residents and tourists--to enjoy Cannabis outside of the home. This initiative not only creates safe and regulated spaces for consumption, it also requires establishments who want to provide public settings for Cannabis consumers to engage their community before acquiring a permit. The importance of community approval is imperative if we are going to work together to better our communities in a world of legal Cannabis. By creating safe spaces for consumption, we are effectively taking open Cannabis consumption off the streets and into social, yet private settings.”

At present, the consumption of Cannabis in public is illegal, therefore the only legally recognized place for consumption is within a private residence with owner approval. This has driven tourists, renters and others to consume in public, which could account for the uptick in tickets issued for public consumption and more exposure to non-cannabis users or minors. The Denver Cannabis Consumption Pilot Program brings businesses and members of the community together to form a solution for public consumption by creating safe and regulated consumption spaces in accordance with the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act.

 

NEW STATES COME ONLINE

On Election Day, five states voted on legalizing adult-use (or recreational) Cannabis (Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada), and three states put legalizing the plant for medical purposes on the ballot (Florida, Montana, North Dakota).

Malone remarked: “The overwhelming support of voters in California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine reinforces the will of the people to overturn Prohibition. Sensibly regulating Cannabis takes it out of the Black Market and turns it into an economic driver. We are pleased to see these states following Colorado’s lead, and we look forward to seeing the Cannabis industry prosper and continue to be a job creator.”

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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DEBUNKING THE MYTHS AROUND CANNABIS POTENCY

DEBUNKING THE MYTHS AROUND CANNABIS POTENCY

DEBUNKING THE MYTHS AROUND CANNABIS POTENCY

On Nov. 8, five states will vote on legalizing recreational Cannabis, and three states will consider legalizing the plant for medical purposes. In the homestretch to Election Day, opponents of legal marijuana are resurrecting “Reefer Madness” with claims about the dangers of potency. In fact, legal Cannabis is an effective medicine that works when other options have failed. The legal marijuana industry provides product that is sensibly regulated and carefully tested. Lower concentrations of THC would mean that more of other things would dilute the product, forcing patients to consume--and pay--more. The Cannabis Business Alliance strongly supports the need to conduct more research and data to ensure current regulations are effective before trying to tweak them.

The Cannabis Business Alliance has developed a Debunking the Myths Fact Sheet, including sources, to address myths that have been circulating about cannabis potency. CBA representatives are available for comment on this important issue. For more information or to schedule an interview, contact shawna@rosengrouppr.com.

 

MYTH: A 16% potency limit on Cannabis products is an appropriate measure to make Cannabis a safer product.

FACT: Limiting THC content in legal Cannabis products would cripple Colorado’s fledgling Cannabis industry and would push supply to the Black Market causing a loss in jobs and tax revenue. In 2012, Colorado residents showed their support of the legal Cannabis market by overwhelmingly approving Amendment 64, which requires the state to regulate the Cannabis Industry like alcohol. Restrictions on Cannabis purity would be similar to limiting the alcohol content by volume on beer, wine and liquor. It would be the equivalent of only having 3.2 beer available.

Limiting potency would dramatically reduce access to life altering medicine for patients including veterans suffering from PTSD and children with debilitating conditions such as epilepsy and spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Bearing in mind roughly 80 percent of the state’s lawfully retailed cannabis products would be deemed illegal, potency limitations would force most cannabis companies to shut down overnight.

MYTH: High potency Cannabis products are harmful to the body and brain.

FACT:  There is a lack of scientific evidence that cannabis products containing more than 16% THC are harmful for the brain and body[1].  Opponents of legal Cannabis aim to spread the message that higher THC levels somehow makes marijuana more dangerous for consumers. Contrary to popular myth, greater potency Cannabis is not necessarily more dangerous, especially due to the fact that users tend to adjust their dosing according to potency. When Cannabis contains higher levels of THC, consumers are not exposing themselves to increased risk, rather they are opening up the opportunity to address chronic symptoms or achieve an elevated lift in their experience. Higher potency Cannabis is actually healthier for users choosing to smoke the plant, as it reduces the amount of smoke needed to inhale to address a chronic health issue or achieve an elevated state of mind.

MYTH: High THC potency is dangerous for young brains and bodies.

FACT: High THC potency is not unsafe for children. In fact, products containing more than 16 percent THC may be necessary for many children with chronic conditions. THC potency should be something left to the discretion of medical professionals and their patients.[2]

MYTH: Consumers can overdose from high potency marijuana products.

FACT: It is not possible to die from consuming THC at any potency. Limiting THC potency does not make THC any safer, it only means consumers have to buy more product to achieve the same dosage to which they are accustomed.[3]

MYTH: Marijuana is significantly more potent today than it was 40 years ago.

FACT: The notion that cannabis has increased dramatically in potency has been the subject of much debate in recent years. The federal government has been testing marijuana potency for more than 40 years, and has long acknowledged the limitations to its methodologies. However, Federal research shows that the average potency of Cannabis in the United States has increased very little over time. According to the Federal Potency Monitoring Project, between 1985 and 2013 average potency increased by a meager 3%.[4] While there's almost certainly more potent cannabis strains available today, due to the fact that it is now legal to buy in multiple states, it does not mean that all marijuana is ultra-potent - which is how the narrative about potency is often framed and misconstrued. 

MYTH: The more potent the marijuana, the more brain cells are being killed.

FACT: There is little evidence to suggest that any of the active ingredients in Cannabis administered at doses appropriate for consumption have neurotoxic effects.This is in direct contrast to alcohol, where the body’s digestive process creates metabolites which are toxic to the brain and other cells in the body. A Journal of Neuroscience study conducted in January 2015 found that “no statistically significant differences were found between daily [marijuana] users and nonusers on volume or shape in the regions of interest…. In sum, the results indicate that, when carefully controlling for alcohol use, gender, age, and other variables, there is no association between marijuana use and standard volumetric or shape measurements of subcortical structures.[5]” Not only does this study prove that marijuana does not kill brain cells, but further more there were no significant differences between the brain activity of users and nonusers of marijuana. In fact, the evidence at this point indicates that marijuana does more good than harm when it comesto its effects on the adult brain. Specifically in the case of seizures, there is preliminary research which shows that the cannabinoid, cannabidiol or CBD, raises the threshold for seizure activity within the brain making it overall more difficult to have seizures, and thus providing hope to many parents of children with intractable seizure disorders.

MYTH: The only way to deal with potency concerns is to limit potency in cannabis products.

FACT:   Cannabis affects each user differently - some users may be more tolerant than others. Consumers with a high tolerance, may prefer a more potent strain, whereas novice consumers may choose something less potent. Federal regulations do not limit the potency of alcohol - so why should we limit the options for cannabis? Alcohol consumers have a plethora of options to choose from ranging from a 4 percent alcohol wine cooler to Everclear, which is 90 percent alcohol. Just as consumers of alcohol are permitted to choose their desired level of potency - so too should consumers of cannabis

MYTH: Marijuana users have no idea what they are consuming and are therefor are not in control of their experience.

FACT: While this may be somewhat accurate for consumers of black market product, it's quite the opposite for consumers who live in states where cannabis is legal. Consumers of legal cannabis have more control over their experience because they are able to make informed decisions on the product they are consuming. Additionally, there are several public health programs in place where cannabis is legal, which serve to further educate consumers on their purchasing decisions and cannabis use. Colorado’s “Good to Know” campaign’s targeted messages educate all Colorado residents and visitors about safe, legal, and responsible use of marijuana. Key messages educate the public about the health effects of marijuana and key laws.[6]

MYTH: A single marijuana joint has effects that linger for days and weeks

FACT:  While it is true that THC and other cannabinoids are fat-soluble and linger in the body for prolonged periods, they do not normally affect behavior beyond a few hours after consumption. Most impairment studies have found that the adverse effects of acute marijuana use wear off in 2-6 hours, commonly faster than alcohol.[7]

MYTH: More youth are consuming Cannabis in Colorado now that it is legal.

FACT: 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.[8]

 

[1] Michele Ross, PhD

[2]Michele Ross, PhD

[3] Michele Ross, PhD

[4] U.S. Department of State, Office of National Drug Control Policy. National Drug Control Strategy Report —2014[INCSR] (March 2014) for 2013 data.

[5] Journal of Neuroscience January 2015, 35 (4) 1505-1512; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2946-14.2015

[6] Am J Public Health. 2016 January; 106(1): 21–27. Published online 2016 January. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302875

[7] Alison Smiley, "Marijuana: On-Road and Driving Simulator Studies," Alcohol, Drugs, and Driving 2 #3-4: 121-34 (1986).

[8] Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, 2016, https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/news/HKCS2015

Debunking the Myths around Pueblo Ballot Measure 200

Debunking the Myths around Pueblo Ballot Measure 200

As misinformation swirls around Pueblo Ballot Measure 200, The Cannabis Business Alliance has provided accurate fact checking with sources to myths that have been circulating about Cannabis.

MYTH: Pueblo is experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of babies born THC-positive with detectable marijuana chemicals.

FACT: There have been some biased statistics shared that seem to imply that Pueblo hospitals are seeing an influx of babies born with Cannabis in their system, but the study is skewed. Because drug tests are performed only when a new mother is suspected of or admits to drug use, the percentage of positive marijuana tests has been high in Pueblo, but the absolute numbers have been low.

 

MYTH: Driving under the influence of drugs is as dangerous as alcohol and much harder for police to detect.

FACT: It is illegal to drive while under the influence of any substance, and no one should operate a vehicle while consuming Cannabis. That said, studies have failed to demonstrate that drivers with cannabinoids in the blood are significantly more likely than drug-free drivers to be responsible for road crashes 1. While being under the influence of Cannabis has been shown to mildly impair psychomotor skills, this impairment does not appear to be severe or long lasting.

 

MYTH: Commercialized marijuana in Pueblo burdens our police, schools and emergency rooms with additional costs that are not covered by marijuana taxes.

FACT: 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. If Pueblo bans Cannabis sales, the jobs and taxes 2 it has brought in will go to another community. Pueblo has been an economic success story, and a symbol of what’s possible when you regulate at the state level.

 

MYTH: Regular marijuana use has proven negative health effects, especially on young people.

FACT: Regulated marijuana cannot be sold to anyone under the age of 21. If Pueblo cannabis is left in the hands of the black market, young people will be more likely to have access to it. For adults 21 and over, Cannabis has numerous health benefits that extend beyond medical marijuana, in managing stress, decreasing anxiety, slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, improving the symptoms of a variety of autoimmune diseases, Parkinson’s disease, and PTSD 3.

 

MYTH: Commercialized marijuana provides convenient, colorful edible products like cupcakes and gummy bears resulting in increased emergency room visits by young children.

FACT: Colorado’s rules for infused products mandate that the products cannot be shaped like animals, or be in packaging designed to appeal to children and labeling cannot have cartoon characters or advertising that appeals to children. All Marijuana must be sold in child-resistant packaging which is opaque so the product cannot be seen within the package. Beginning Oct. 1, regulations will also require all packaging and cannabis-infused products to be marked with a specific warning symbol (“THC” and “M” with an exclamation mark within a diamond shape) so as to be identifiable outside of the required packaging.

Cannabis infused products are less likely to be accidentally ingested by kids than dish detergent packets, diaper rash cream, and even alcohol-infused chocolates. Since marijuana is non-toxic, unlike some of these other substances, any cases of accidental ingestion are non-life threatening. Commercial cannabis businesses set the standard in caring for and participating in a socially responsible industry that puts child safety above profits and promotes responsible parenting to consumers to keep edibles away from their kids. With over 5 million infused product units sold each year, there are very few and, indeed, diminishing cases of accidental ingestion. Evidence that these regulations work.

In a report released in 2016 by the state of Colorado, surveys indicated that youth marijuana use didn’t rise in the years since the 2012 vote to legalize recreational marijuana. Use among high school students went from 23 percent to about 20 percent and there was no significant change in use by kids younger than 13. 4

 

MYTH: Gang violence and drug deals are getting worse – hurting our community and our children.

FACT: Pueblo is safer with legal Cannabis, which can be 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. Repealing licensed Cannabis businesses pushes cannabis supply back into the black market, moving organized crime and gangs into residential neighborhoods, and removes a taxable and highly regulated industry which contributes resources to law enforcement to combat black market marijuana.

MYTH: International drug cartels are using Pueblo as a headquarters for selling their drugs and distributing to other states.

FACT: Banning licensed Cannabis businesses would not keep Pueblo from buying or selling marijuana; people would revert back to purchasing Cannabis illegally from the black market, or purchase it in counties where it is still legally sold - driving taxes to places like Manitou Springs. The 76 percent of Colorado cities and counties that have opted out of the legal cannabis industry, like Colorado Springs, have more widespread black market issues. When legal means are not available, the black market rises up to supply demand.

 


1 Logan, M.C., Hunter, C.E., Lokan, R.J., White, J.M., & White, M.A. (2000). The Prevalence of Alcohol, Cannabinoids, Benzodiazepines and Stimulants Amongst Injured Drivers and Their Role in Driver Culpability: Part II: The Relationship Between Drug Prevalence and Drug Concentration, and Driver Culpability. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 32, 623-32.

2 Olinger, David. “Pueblo hospitals, doctors worried about new mothers’ marijuana use”. The Denver Post. May 1, 2016.

3 Loria, Kevin and Welsh, Jennifer. “21 medical benefits of marijuana”. Business Insider. April 20, 2015.

4 Gurman, Sadie and Wyatt, Kristen. “Colorado pot report: More adults using drug, but not kids”. Associated Press. April 18, 2016.

5 Miller, Joshua. “In Colorado, a county revolts against legalized marijuana”. The Boston Globe. September 6, 2016.