Steamboat Springs Voters Reject Ban on Marijuana Businesses
Just another reason to ski in Colorado. Voters in Steamboat Springs yesterday rejected a proposal to ban medical marijuana businesses. Steamboat is in Routt County, and a separate proposal to ban the businesses throughout the county also failed. As one commenter to the article noted:
More people voted to retain MMJ businesses than voted for any member of the City Council.
In related news, Dan Hartman, the state's director of Medical Marijuana Enforcement has been reassigned to a different division. While the Department won't confirm it, many believe the reassignment came about because of his public stance opposing local bans of medical marijuana businesses. Here's the letter he wrote that was published in the Steamboat Springs Pilot: [More..]
If your community bans commercial medical marijuana businesses (centers, cultivations and infused-product manufacturers) you will only remove the regulated medical marijuana distribution model from your community.
...Be aware that Colorado's constitution ensures that lawfully registered patients may grow their own medical marijuana or obtain it from a caregiver. This right will not be affected by your vote to ban medical marijuana businesses. While caregivers are required to register their cultivation location with us, they are not under our jurisdiction and we cannot regulate their activities.
Citizens and law enforcement agencies in areas that have enacted bans have contacted us asking why we do not take action against those operating unlawfully within their jurisdiction. Unfortunately, communities that vote to ban commercial medical marijuana operations also ban the MMED from regulating and monitoring any and all medical marijuana activity within their community. Only those businesses operating within areas that allow for commercial medical marijuana will be regulated and monitored by the MMED.
I want Colorado citizens to truly understand what they are voting for or against. This ban will not remove medical marijuana from your community, but it will prevent the MMED from being able to help ensure that medical marijuana sales are regulated, monitored, safe, secure and taxed.
Colorado is the most regulated medical marijuana state in the country. As Hartman wrote in his letter, it regulates from "seed to sale."
The MMED regulatory compliance staff is made up of law enforcement criminal investigators and auditors who monitor commercial medical marijuana from seed to sale. Business owners must account for each plant introduced to growth medium to its final sale to a patient. They must install and maintain 24-hour video surveillance systems in each location, and they must adhere to stringent accounting controls and practices. Businesses are required to submit online reports and maintain extensive records on all product grown and any transactions or transfers that take place with their medical marijuana inventory.
This regulatory scheme creates a closed system in which the product may be obtained and transferred only between these heavily regulated businesses. We partner with state and federal authorities and law enforcement to address concerns, stop illegal activity and, perhaps most importantly, provide a bright line to determine if a medical marijuana business is operating within this regulatory scheme.
Tax and regulate.
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