Sunday, January 20, 2013

All Things MJ with Jessica LeRoux - January 20, 2013

Ed. note: This article is reprinted here with the expressed permission of the copyright owner, Jessica LeRoux, and may not be reprinted elsewhere without her permission. Linking to this site is encouraged, but cutting and pasting is expressly prohibited.

*** to preface, 1/2 this was written last week, then the computer died in the middle of type up, and I had to spend days getting 1/2 what i'd spent about 6 hours working on recovered, I've finished, redone, and or added the new info from this week's meetings because after driving to Durango & back on Saturday/Sunday I will be too late and too beat to do it all again on Sunday night.

Hey Now,
Sorry I am running really behind on the news this week. actually now is as good a time as any to point out to you gentle reader that this project used to take me about 6-8 hours each week, but in light of the fact that I have attended 31 hours of A-64 and MMED public meetings in 8 days (by time of rewriite the hours were at 46 in 12 days) I'd safely say that the scope of this newsletter project is getting pretty overwhelming. I have written a review of the local and national MMJ scene every week now for 3 years, and I hope you are learning a lot by reading it, but I would like to say that this is a massive labor of love, and it would really make my day if you (my reader) and my business were in a 2 way relationship of mutual support. By this I mean that if you have been reading and learning, staying ahead of the changes that will affect your business or lifestyle, but not supporting the writer by offering Twirling Hippy Confections for sale in your MMC, you are not being very cool. I have never demanded anything in return of the readers of this newsletter, more that I've been waiting for you to get the hint that we were offering you more value than the average MIPs! I know that many of you also industry people, and most of you tell me how much you rely on this source of news, well newsflash, nothing is free! The letter you are reading right now will have roughly 40 hours of my personal (free) time devoted to research and write up. In coming weeks I will be changing over to a secure document, and the information (which is my intellectual property which I have generously and freely shared with you out of altruism) in coming newsletters will be copyrighted, which means you will not be allowed to forward or repost or create into a blog (gerald you already have my permission to keep doing your thing) without my expressly granted permission. If you want to keep getting these newsletters you need to respond to this email & actually talk to me and let me know who you are and that you are aware of the work & time spent and why you should continue to get the news if you are not currently a client of my business. Pretty much anybody will be eligible, but I need to thin the herd of those who rarely read, and more importantly those who have been taking without giving anything in return. * if you are wondering if I mean you, ask your self when the last time your MMC ordered product was, if the answer is never and you've read more than a dozen of these notes, yes this tirade is directed at you personally!

Now that I've scolded the selfish lil children the rest of you shall have your news!

This was a massively busy week in CO cannabis, as i mentioned I attended 28 hours of A-64 workgroup meetings as well as the MMED's stakeholder meeting. Today I will review the highlights as well as some stories from around the state and nation concerning the path ahead. Unfortunately the DOR's A-64 website is idle and hasn't been updated since Thursday the 11th, so the meeting notices are falling behind. Tomorrow, Tuesday the 15th, is the next Consumer Safety meeting from 3-5 at the CDPHE building 4300 Cherry Creek Dr. Also this means that I cant link you to every handout from every meeting as some havent been posted yet.., (oh well, at least the state stuck to respecting the sunshine laws for almost 2 weeks).
of course none of us could have seen this coming could we have?

and then there is this noise, this bunch spent more time on getting media attention than attending workgroup meetings, I am gonna withdraw my support of this idea if it proves out that it is more grandstanding than action. Marijuana: Activist Rico Colibri on creating Amendment 64 Shadow Task Force On the day Governor John Hickenlooper signed Amendment 64, he also announced the formation of a task force intended...
*** nice article havent seen any of these folks at a single workgroup meeting since this article hit the web.

OK lets start with the review of the Banking workgroup meeting on Wednesday the 9th of January, also the opening day of the legislative session. This group will be meeting each Tuesday from 11-1pm at 1515 Sherman st.
handouts:Wednesday, January 9, 2013 - Agenda, Wednesday, January 9, 2013 - Handout, Wednesday, January 9, 2013 - Handout
This meeting started with a presentation from the head of Colorado Banking Assn.
He says banking issue is federal not state problem, and must be solved federally. concerns are illegal activity and money laundering. DOJ issued a memo re banking forcing banks to drop MMJ clients or loose FDIC licenses. Also a suspicious Activity report is generated for each transaction related to cannabis. Banks reluctant because Money laundering charges can apply to bankers and bank owners. FDIC has been vague re cannabis, nothing in writing but all threats are verbal. Issue is "knowingly" vs fully aware of criminal activity, which bank is required to investigate. This would apply in cases where the cash smells like a grow.

State chartered banks are also subject to FDIC, so not a real solution. there is no state owned bank that can be separate from FDIC and still use the "payment system" which is the way money transfers via check, wire, debit or credit cards, EFT and every other one you can think of! This lead to a discussion of Steadman's failed 2012 banking bill. As well as a discussion of Diana Degette's efforts to change the Controlled Substances Act, which these bankers dont think will go far enough to allow us to use banks yet. The bankers say this is a very low priority federally. Questions about whether the Treasury dept could make the needed changes....

next presentation was from a citizen, Tom from A-64 news had some fresh and interesting ideas to create a state owned bank backed with silver rather than FDIC issued bank notes, (so the notes cant be siezed) which bank would issue "gift cards" as the feds dont regulate 2 party gift cards at this time. good ideas need more information,...
the meeting ended with a bunch of questions for next time, such as:
are there banking issues for a person with a 6 plant home grow?
black market competition, dont make this easier for them by denying banking to legal businesses.
federal excise tax as revenue generator.
next in my sexy week of municipal meetings was the 1-10-13 Regulatory Workgroup meeting. this groups meets next this Friday....
hand outs : Thursday, January 10, 2013 - Agenda, Thursday, January 10, 2013 - Handout

This one had me kurfuffled before the meeting even began as the agenda showed we would be given a presentation by Uber-dickbag Norton of MMIG infamy but he was a no show rumored to be because he had just been served with papers over Riverrock making false complaints about their physically closest competitor. I saw the court papers, pretty suite!!!
this group and the local control are going to be the ones that determine the fates of those already in the business, that is pretty clear.
this meeting started with a presentation from Bob Dill & Jim Shpall from liquor representing the business owner side, followed by the head of Colorado Liquor Enforcement, Dan Burmania (who talks really fast and clicks through his slides like it is a race!)
of course we can never avoid having a discussion of the pending fed freakout, and the implications thereof, then we heard how the licenses and priviledges of liquor license are applied... Liquor has three tier system with manufacturers, distribution, and retailers, these three entities are separate business models. The points about liquor are opposite about vertical integration, oddly enough providing your own supply is forbidden for liquor stores and forced on Medical Marijuana. So we would need to resolve that issue to apply the liquor model. under 64 we would have 4 license types, which would require dual (state & local) licenses.
Manufacturer cultivation
manufacturer infused
testing labs
retail stores
efficiency & adaptability are the keys here.
next we heard from Industry Representative Meg Sanders, and Norton's paid minion Mike Elliot filling in for el douchey while he dealt with the mess he's made of his neighborhood. Meg seems fine, but she speaks in a barely audible whisper which isnt very forceful, which unfortunately lead to us having to sit through MMIG's BS agenda of trying to justify continuing the bad efforts they made under 1284 to enforce a protectionist system against their competition via vertical integration among other things.

Then we had a report from Laura Harris about what is working in MMJ & what isnt.
the MMED's biggest concerns were with the communication between local & state licensing authorites. and the undue burden created by daily & monthly report filing. As well as the problems of issuing employment badges, (which will likely not apply under 64) enforcement of unregulated grows not funded, local conflict as the locals are uncertain of boundries. MMED would like to shut down businesses w/o licenses, and not allow new ones to open until licensed. Wants regs defined and uniform through entire state before beginning process... local license authority will do background checks on new hires. state on owners & key employees. Also the state will be overhauling the security/monitoring requirements for MMJ businesses ** see the report on the MMED stakeholder meeting for more details. regarding enforcement issues with conflict between regs for caregivers and MMCs concerns over patient privacy, and a desire for a statewide intelligence sharing system. the final concerns of MMED were (no surprise) funding! I am kinda understanding and would agree with her point that the agency needs access to emergency funding in addition to fees based funding during the initial 5 start up years of the agency, but when you see those SUVs and the posh office furniture at the MMED it is a difficult argument to swallow.

Following Laura's presentation the panel had a debate about the merits of the current wholesale system (the 30% ) the point was nicely made that the vertical integration kinda worked under 1284 because each MMC had a plant count based on the number of patients who made that location their primary center. vertical integration allowed tracking of those plant numbers and relevant weight which was limited and restricted under a medical system in a way it wouldnt need to be in a free market recreational model. another good point to this topic came later in public comment that if we allow recreational users to rush in and purchase from licensed MMCs on Jan 1 2014 without preparing enough product in advance, we run the risk of not having adaquate supply of medicine on hand for the patients those plants were supposedly grown for. This may become a problem well in advance of 2014 if patient registry numbers continue to drop off as they have been in recent months, we honestly may not have any meds to harvest for 2014 if we dont have any patients in October of 2013. MMIG just keeps using the weak argument that we dont have time to reinvent the wheel, which is a scare tactic not a solution. solution of allowing existing locations to be dual use centers where only patient sales are tracked, patients can buy 2 ounces, and patients do not get taxed. a good point from liquor guy was that with entrenched vested business interests it is hard to go back so with a big number of license classes we will have a hard time going back to fewer options... MMIG countered with the lame argument that Vert Int protects us from the feds (this is BS, a significant number of MMIG's own clients have been investigated for diversion from their massive warehouses or else had timely warehouse fires during last year's diversion crack down...) discussion ended with note that the work group is designed to recommend solutions, not set policies.

the final discussion of the day was regarding local vs state control of certain issues. The most interesting thing we learned in that conversation was that if a local municipality sets a limit on the number of retail locations in a town, the state must solicit feedback from the town in question about their preferences of who to pick and choose to give approval to if more than the limit number would like to apply for locations in that town, (this does not seem fair to me, since some industry people are married to elected and unelected officials like our so called industry task force representative Meg whose husband is an El paso county cop)in any competitive process the DOR will consider if applicant has prior experience under MMED, and if they want to use same location for new application.

in the public comment we the people got into the issues of when an application is made in Oct 2013 a person will need an address/location to apply on, but will have to wait 3 months to begin business, so in reality if Vertical intergration continues we wont be able to start a clone (and where are those coming from?) until jan 2014 so there really wont be any cannabis to sell until April 2014 but leases on retail and warehouse space must be paid the entire time since October, which will make things tough if we dont simply allow existing businesses to begin a ramp up in 2013 so they can keep serving their patients and be ready to go to a dual service model with the supplies needed at hand.
***I gotta say personally I really prefer that we go to as close to the liquor model as we can, seems easier and more efficient than applying the mistakes of 1284 to punish a brand newish industry. The main way we would want to differ from the straight liquor model is vertical integration, which I have repeatedly said that we would prefer to make our own choices where vertical integration is concerned (those who wish to be a "brewpub" model can grow & sell all their own product. those who wish to focus strictly on the grow or strictly on the retail side should have the option to decouple their businesses) as the OPC will still have to be a licensed entity with accountability for product inventory.

On friday Morning we started the day with a 4 hour MMED stakeholder meeting, which I am gonna skip over and review at the end of all this week's A-64 BS!
Friday Noon 1-11-13 was the 1st Local control meeting, this one is gonna be important in regards to how your town tackles cannabis & cannabusiness...
Wednesday, January 11, 2013 - Agenda

This workgroup seems promising, (with the exception that the representative for our industry lied in her testimony to the task force on tape multiple times regarding her license, which is nonexistent. I am upset as I feel this discredits all of us when we are represented by a liar who can so easily be caught out lying on tape*see story below) there is solid representation from all around the state, so if somebody from your area is on that group please make your on the ground relationship with them as solid as you can right now. I tried to set you guys all up for that by pointing out in my public testimony that I have clients in every member of the panel's region and I can put any panelist in touch with a local MMJ business owner to help them facilitate the best plan for locals, and I also asked them to allow canna-tourism to be decided by and overseen by local authority rather than state regulated. Locals want more autonomy and more authority to enact local enforcement. Locals seem much more proactive this time around about taking control of issues like social clubs and cannatourism, this is good as the model will be great for some areas and a bad idea in others, so a statewide fix on those issues might be a wet blanket, Locals also seek control of the Time, Place and hours of operation for retail recreational centers, This is also good as some towns might be able to stay open later and some towns everybody is in bed before 7pm it seems like! the 5 points local control seems most worried about are
1 proof of age, no sales to minors...
2 no driving under the influence...
3 resale to minors
4 out of state diversion, black market
5 labeling and regulation of safety.

in regards to social clubs the group came to consensus that even if they are allowed (this issue is being punted by all groups in hopes that another group will outright ban social clubs) the local agencies will need to have some involvement even if it is only zoning and fire code issues that are locally controlled. I get the good impression that some (few) panel members actually embrace tourism and clubs for their areas. the definition of private is going to be scrutinized to hell. The panelist from Eagle said they would do a regional ban of retail if the state fails to enact a license system and rules that Vail Valley likes by July 1st deadline. This could become a big issue in many places.

this group also had some valid concerns about funding if more enforcement responsibility falls to them, state is required to split the license fees with local so each entity gets 2500... neither entity thinks that is enough money...

lastly a member made a great point about there being absolutely no commercial warehouse space for existing businesses to expand their grows to meet increased demand in 2014 in his part of the state. This is a huge issue and a potential concern for a fair playing field if all licensees must pay same fees. Vertical integration discussed and determined to be a state not local issue unfortunately.
This meeting was followed by the consumer safety workgroup to end a long ass 11 hour day of meetings...

Wednesday, January 11, 2013 - Agenda
this meeting was fairly uninformative, mostly reviewing the A-64 language and blue book, and break down of which issues were legal, which ones were financial, and which ones were legislative.
there was a brief discussion of making cannabis sales go through a pharmacy, thankfully this isnt a legal option and quickly died. A bunch of discussion of Childproof containers, involving the Doctor who derailed the MMED meeting earlier in the day... Kinda odd that we havent seen hide nor hair of him since that one day... Dr thurstone says that smoking is more addictive than edibles (ok Im paraphrasing, but I note this because soon he will object to edibles with the same argument) Big discussion of Mold, how it forms, and the health risks of Mold in home grows...
MMED stakeholder meeting... from the morning of jan 11th...

you may be amazed to hear me say this, but this meeting was pretty productive and fairly managed and handled. There was no lobbyist coercion as those folks are so focused on profiteering they dont see any future in defrauding patients now that they have 64, so the crowd was made up of informed compliant people with good information to contribute. Every body was allowed to offer their input and speak as much or as little as they liked. Id say there were about 30-40 people in attendance. Laura Harris said the stakeholder meetings were neither formal nor informal, and would be recorded for those who could not attend. We began with a discussion of the MMED's new chapter C covering security and monitoring systems. The state would like to make the system easier and less costly for both parties which is good news. Big discussion of altering premises, and the need to pull a permit when making changes will be limited to large scale build out not to moving a counter across the room... cameras and DVRs will now have a new minimum standard, with mitigation being tied to ability to show compliance with recommended equipment on website. audience discussed what timeline to meet new web standards might be in light of budgeting for new equipment. there was talk (from Laura no less) that one week would be adequate timeline to provide untampered proof of camera compliance on a DVD or some such device. Must be in OG format, date & time stamped or a violation will occur. on the upside we will have more flexibility on how we store the data.
then this Dr dinkus interrupted the meeting with issues about edibles and his desire that they be in a resealable childproof container and said that DU medical center had a 400% increase in child hospitalization from edibles ingestion since 2009, but he provided no stats or data or proof of his claims... we had a good thing going until he derailed Laura's efforts, and then he left... the meeting kinda spun out there, and the next stakeholder meeting in on Feb 15th...

Does anybody know if members of the A-64 task force are allowed to lie to the panel or make a false claim or mis-representation about their qualifications or beliefs? This is very disrespectful to the people who wanted to offer their expertise but were not offered the opportunity. I feel this calls for immediate emergency restructuring of the working groups in cases of conflict or misrepresentation. I know what Mr Findlaw said on monday, about the groups being set in stone now, but it would be a shame for the whole process at the state level to end up with egg on their face over a few poor member choices

in the local control working group wanda james claimed serveral times that she has a MMJ license, & liquor license (which from the looks of westword she hasnt even had the liquor one a 2 full weeks yet) but this June 2012 puff piece shows that she withdrew her application to be a licensed MMJ business in June at the exact moment Denver was charging its licensing fees. But the banking hasnt changed and nobody with a brand new post moratorium MMED license has opened in denver, that is for sure... couldnt we find an honest compliant person who has completed the process instead?

Norton Abelez of Riverrock was served with papers Thursday for filing false complaints against his physically closest competitor business.... but he will represent the current medical industry in the regulatory workgroup. This clearly is not a person interested in a fair playing field.
and Dr Thurstone is a National member of SAM was quoted at a press conference yesterday saying "As a physician for kids, I know marijuana legalization would be a disastrous public health policy for them," said Christian Thurstone, child and addictions psychiatrist and researcher, University of Colorado Denver. "The developing brain should be shielded from harm, not exposed to it.".
SAM and their anti cannabis activities

for more on SAM and their post election agenda of prohibition check this story out...
Criticism, skepticism greet Patrick Kennedy’s new effort to keep marijuana illegal - The Boston Globe Former Rhode Island congressman Patrick J. Kennedy, a recovering addict, may seem an unlikely person to spearhead a new nationwide effort that wants to stymie the recent strides to legalize marijuana. But even before its Thursday launch, the new group has come under fire from legalization advocates ...

Of course we know the feds are "coming" so why do we need SAM?
Marijuana cases will continue to be prosecuted at federal U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles: Marijuana cases will continue to be prosecuted at federal level By Sandra Chang | on January 09, 2013 at 4:54 PM, updated January 09, 2013...
Ok that is the review of week one, for a quick break to cool my aching hands and head I am skipping to the stories about MMJ for the past week, then I will review the A-64 meetings for this week ending on 1-18-13...

This week the supreme court made a ruling concerning forced and unwarranted blood draws, saying they will not be allowed, but what I would ask you all to pay special attention to in the finding is the language used by every judge on the court. Every judge uses language that indicated that they believe a blood draw should always be done by a medical professional. I recall the task force talked of Colorado allowing non-medically qualified persons to do inter-venal blood draws, but I would advise against it as the current court already shows signs of not agreeing with that medically specious arrangement.

Supreme Court signals blood tests protected by Fourth Amendment
Colorado is 2nd in the nation for pain pill abuse, yet we are so worried about non-leathal cannabis we have a 70 person task force working on regulating it to death, where is the pill task force?

MMR cumulative Registry Stats for the past 4 years, shows that we peaked then declined, so who is gonna be in this "massive" new consumer push if we dont allow tourism?

Hmmm not much of this trickling down here Marijuana Now a $200M Industry in Colorado The state has approved 739 indoor marijuana grow farms over the past two-plus years does the article above explain this next one? i certainly think so!

there is some good science in here, and some pretty questionable stuff, sorting it out is the hard part.
Did You Know? 105 Medical Studies Involving Cannabis and Cannabis Extracts, on Did you know there were 105 peer-reviewed medical studies involving cannabis and cannabis extracts between 1990 and 2012? Read the details at 105 Peer-Reviewed Studies on Marijuana -- Medical Studies Involving Cannabis and Cannabis Extracts (1990 - 2012), on the web site,...

I was at the CO capitol Wenesday for the opening day of the legislative session. There were two groups of protestors on Lincoln Ave voicing their concerns over two issues that affect us all. There were about 25 of us protesting relaxing standards for Fracking (when my meetings were done, i went out and joined em, after all I drink water every day.) and there were maybe 150-200 pro gun folks... Now, I eat meat and have friends who hunt, so I am not anti-gun per se, but it seems mis-guided to want to protect your hunting tools but not give a damn about the land and water where the "game" you are excited to kill is being poisoned. You cant eat a tumor covered elk, not to mention you cant drink a glass of bullets. When america wakes up to the fact that Hell doesnt have Stores to shop in, maybe we might change our consumption crazed ways.

OK now back to the tedious reviews of the A-64 task force meetings...
Im down from 157 lbs at new years to 149 lbs today, and it is all thanks to spending hours each and every day in horrible A-64 workgroup meetings that make me so nauseated I cant eat before or for hours afterwards. I absolutely need to medicate if I am gonna be able to eat anything these days... I guess it isnt all bad then...

*** Ok whining aside lets review this bitchery and BS!
the week started with another meeting of the Consumer safety group on Tuesday...
Whoa nelly this meeting was all about punishing the innocents for the sins of the lazy... (lazy parents, lazy enforcement folks, lazy growers)
Discussion of literature regarding health benefits and risks associated with cannabis. Per WG chairman Chris Urbina the Workgroup will not allow any discussion of literature that discusses health benefits of "medical" marijuana as that is a separate issue??? He said the state will gather and read and grade any medical info themselves before allowing discussion. NOBODY objected to this insane plan. Instead they are creating a on line drop box for workgroup members to put documents in (no the public will not be given access to the drop box, Urbina doesnt think that it is under the sunshine laws) the documents they are seeking are in regards to health risks of smoking, particulate matter in air/lungs, implications of cannabis on persons under 21, 2nd & 3rd hand smoke, etc... (so you can see this is an open & fair process)
workgroup moved on to in depth discussion of splitting into subwork groups (which appear to be meeting secretly to avoid sunshine exposure, chris urbina actually asked workgroup members not to send copies of email discussions to him as he is a state employee and any emails sent to him are subject to the state's CORA reporting) ALERT THIS IS FUCKING SHADY!!!
the subwork groups are
#1 Advertising and marketing, headed by Aaron from the state marketing/tourism board. he seems a fair minded guy so I can live with this, they will be making a presentation of their ideas at the next Consumer safety meeting. others in group are Lissette from Boulder mayors office, and Brandon from Govs office.
#2 the next subgroup that will present its findings will be packaging and labeling, this is likely to be focused on MIPS mainly, but should also address packing for flowers too. * I am alarmed that the total of 2 persons doing this project is inadequate and lacks relevant experience since the one from our industry does not currently meet MMED label standards on the vape pen cartridges he sells. Also was alarmed by a one on one conversation with this boy about his alleged chemistry degree where i questioned him on how he can "purge" a covalently bonded molecule? He admitted that he knows it can not be done. But he countered my concerns over a need for a health warning on products made with harsh chemical solvents that form a covalent bond with the THC molecule, with these arguments... 1stly that it is a free market and the buyer should be self educated, but he sells cartridges made with butane or Co2 and the market already dictates that he is selling 10 to one butane cartridges... second he felt it was ok to peddle carcinogens since he uses industrial grade expensive butane instead of head shop butane. lastly that there is more butane in your lighter when you spark a bowl than in BHO (for the record this is not true) I felt like i was talking to Phillip Morris personally when a know it all 20 something ignorant profiteer is using this BS to justify poisoning a portion of his own generation. Thank god Im too old to dab.
#3 the third subgroup will present on safety and health, these guys will be about child endangerment, mold in the home grows, pesticides, youth access etc...
#4 product integrity & testing this one is a big subgroup and must tackle commercial grows as well as residential, and labs, testing, product integrity with out a single grower in their group (awesome!) I find is disturbing that requiring lab testing is on the table when not one single workgroup has had even one discussion of a timeline for labs to be legally licensed by the state since the labs are currently operating illegally as "vendors" (which are never supposed to handle or receive meds under 1284.)
#5 will be a catch all final give & take to create educational recommendations based on the other 4 groups findings...
the meeting ended with discussion of how to fill out the governors template for making a recommendation to the task force...
On wednesday I attended the Civil tax/banking funding workgroup meeting.
this week's meeting was supposed to be 100% focused on employment/employer issues. there was some diverted attention to wrapping up the banking issues and reviewing the language for the letter this group is sending to the president to request banking changes to allow banks to work with our state industry. ***( I loved the comment later in the week at the regulatory meeting where Chris Nevitt denver city councilmen expressed his distain for the workgroup's plan to "punt" their biggest issue with a mere letter.)

the rest of the meeting was about employer & employee issues, beginning with David Blake talking about the A-64 wording that gives rights to employer, he says this means any employer can continue with a zero tolerance policy if they want to, and he says this means no changes to employer policies. Woman on the panel points out that A-64 has given constitutional rights to Employers for very 1st time. Kimberlie Ryan (who is employees only good hope here) stated that A-64 limits on premises possession and use but not off duty use. she said A-64 language says restrict not prohibit, and language is important. David Blake points out that the language she sites is in two separate sections, so restriction not limited to on duty behavior. Tamara Ward says that Mtn employers council is advising members that nothing can prohibit employers from making their own decision and that they are embracing the status quo.

definition of word restrict requested, language says restrict not prohibit for a reason, zero tolerance policy is not spirit of 64. intent is to prevent employees from arriving at work impaired. debate on at home use and rights, zero tolerance equals denial of constitutional rights of employees, countered with position that rights of employer to have zero THC in the blood. vs A-64 gives adults over 21 right to use.

Discussion of employee cases under medical marijuana. 4 cases sighted, benior is precident where patient was fired by city for failing drug test, failing zero tolerance policy pop piss quiz. Mike Elliot adds that people have lost more than jobs, mentions housing and child custody.
Discussion of testing and how THC lingers in blood much longer than creates impairment. Impairment considered to be standard, but most panel members want to be able to continue w zero tolerance policies. Mention made of treatment offered to employees under Americans w disabilities Act per the issue of substance abuse being a disease.

discussion of rights of non-users in the work place to be safe and protected from impaired co-workers. wants legislature to establish that 64 is not a right to use off site for any employee, and there is no "private right of action"

question brought up of after 12 years under A-20 (medical) what are workplace safety stats?
unrelated answer that year 2000 study shows increased workers comp costs for workers who used illegal substances (not about pot, not done in post medical world)
suggestion to allow market place decide, it is employer's choice to cut themselves off from large pool of potential workers, that is their loss, will work its self out.
Use of "random" drug tests to force out employees of color or for other arbitrary issues including questioning of policy to fire employees who are deemed undesirable.
scientific test showing that persons can pass performance test with lingering THC is system. Big anger over lack of impairment testing, and inaccuracy of testing compared to alcohol. sited increased use of cocaine, alcohol, and other quicker metabolizing substances because of including long lasting cannabis in broad testing programs.
Drug free workplace law doesnt apply to small businesses only protects large employers from persons impaired on the job,
Holly claims that voters intentionally added constitutional rights for employers that superceed rights of consumer.
point made that restrict means a sliding scale from zero tolerance to allowed to use..
Cheri Jahn says intent is to prevent workplace impairment
meeting decends into vote to "do nothing" which fails...
public comment schools panel with information about masking products which cover THC in the urine, (this was never mentioned in 2 hour discussion of testing) and testimony from former steel worker supervisor about the importance of checking staff for impairment before each shift, and frequency of employees sent home for still being drunk from night before.

The next two meetings were both Criminal enforcement related. on Thursday am the subgroup of criminal law met, this group is specifically about Law Enforcement issues... * this meeting was in violation of CO sunshine laws for about 12-15 minutes, the subworkgroup tried to deny us access while 3 members were in the conference room at MMED, 1st they said that we were too many for fire code for the room (there was only 5 of us) then they weren't meeting yet as they were waiting for the police chief... he arrived and about 5 minutes after he went in they finally allowed us in*
this workgroup is clearly not interested in public feedback because we were required to do our public comment right then with no agenda or idea of what the 4 member group would be discussing.

Thankfully I had that stuff from the supreme court hearing on unwarranted blood draws... not that it made much difference.
the subwork group defined their issues and priorities, they did not audio record this meeting, the chief of police took minutes between texting and shit.
this workgroup has a hard on to do away with social clubs, of a two hour meeting at least 30 minutes was spent on this issue.

issues were defined as the need for L.E.O.s to have immediate access to a private club to inspect for proof of age, black market sales, fire code violations, they were worried about second hand smoke safety issues for officers doing the inspections. They wondered about violations of CO's clear air act.
Duids are off the table but there are enforcement issues that have to be addressed such as expressed consent being relevant to alcohol but needs to be changed to get results on non alcohol content in the blood to prove impairment. Mandatory testing of dead or unconscious persons, want to extend mandatory testing to any person in any accident where any party is injured. concerns over combined use of alcohol & THC, should be lower BAC/THC threshold for those cases. Separate out stats for DUI vs DUID so they can be tracked separately.
a discussion of vending machines for cannabis, they all voted no used alcohol as model there.
discussed off duty use for L.E.O.s which they will be banned from use of cannabis off duty under their oath to uphold fed laws.

internet sales via craigslist and facebook discussed but no solution offered.
Home cultivation issues include houses rented just to grow in, no occupancy just plants. confusion over plant counts per adult in the household, confusion over how much weight can be stored in the house (they actually thought it was only one ounce, and want to turn over the part of the law that says a person can store the product of their harvest in the house because they feel the law is written in conflict with it's self.) Also worries about mold exposure for officers and children. their solution is to limit plant count per household.
where is the threshold for bringing a case against weight over one ounce.
will officers be issued a scale? (one cop suggested measuring with two fingers against a baggy, which should serve him real well in like say 1976 i'd guess.)
a huge issue for these guys is will LEOs be required to store plants seized while investigation is under way. they do not want to do it, big flag is when they say IF they return the plants it would violate federal law. Also the issue extends to cannabis surrendered when a person is booked into jail on a non cannabis charge cant be stored with their wallet since it is contraband, and they dont want to store it much less return it.
very worried about sales to minors.
Concerns about 4th amendment and K-9 dogs
desire to improve blood draws (not getting the results, just getting the blood) discussion of TX, AZ, UT, standard for officers to do blood draws from "bat mobile" blood vans. this violates the recent supreme court decision, so their end around is to have 10-15 minute E-warrents on a tablet computer for every cop (what is that gonna cost the taxpayer?) goal is to shorten time between "apprehension and testing"
they also want more Drug Recognition experts.
want a system to weigh edibles. * this could really fuck our section of the industry if we dont plan a way to show just the weight of cannabis*
drug courts for juveniles at officers discretion (more free passes for lil white kids in cherry creek, more jail time for kids of color).
this meeting ended and the same bunch were back the next morning...

this meeting was followed up by a meeting Friday morning of the whole criminal legal work group.
this meeting was basically a rehash of the issues from yesterday's meeting including making the public speak 1st at 10am sharp, with no agenda, so only two folks got to speak.
they started with a freak out over procedures and protocols. Would have been nice if the industry rep on that panel spent more time preparing materials to back up the desire to argue for arguing sake than doing her hair. (seriously WTF how do we have two female industry representatives and they both bring rat-ass little bimbo purse dogs to a fucking meeting, how professional... its paris hilton!)
the main meeting reviewed the bullet points above so im not retyping them. Then they discussed the agenda for the other two subgroups which will be child safety, and legal definitions...

gotta love it when the chief of CO's chiefs of police says he will clear his whole schedule for the entire month to meet everyday with members of the A-64 task force in order to prevent the rights he doesnt like from being implemented on behalf of the voters who supported A-64, and who also pay him a salary to do a "police" job called defending the law, NOT SPENDING OUR MONEY DEFENDING YOUR MISGUIDED POLICIES OF OPPRESSION. * isnt this job abandonment? Maybe Greenwood Village should make him use his vacation time for this month.

Friday afternoon was a redundant and repetitive Regulatory meeting with yet another presentation from administrative and regulatory experts. Way too much time spent on fed intervention issues. another liquor presentation, and yet another review of priorities and regulatory issues (i am really worried about the repetition here and waste of time with all this group needs to accomplish) Tom Downey did give a good talk about the issues in Denver with MMJ's dual licensing. Tom says that cities and towns want to have relationship with enforcement to share enforcement burden with state, Locals want greater control of implementation of pre-license process, uniform system in place before we begin this time is #1 goal, but local decision making re needs and desires hearings *pay attn to this issue* or regulation via zoning or other means decided on the local level. the priorities did touch on some stuff to watch like a potential for "temporary regulations as stop gap from now till 2014" which Meg made a good point about plant count being tied to patient numbers which are on the decline. Hopefully we will be able to grow enough meds to support needs of patients and recreational users when the next year starts. discussion of environmental impacts. and tracking purchases debated, it isnt legal under 64 but many panel members want to find a way to do it. Social Clubs talked about briefly and no consensus was reached.

the real meat and potatoes of this meeting was the public comments, Norton & Meg had a presentation on protectionism oops I meant Vertical Integration prepared but time ran out, and they just gave the pages and said they would write up a recomendation to the task force based on their report (which was neither given nor debated) Link here to see the pages from MMIG & CBA's vertical integration propaganda/presentation... note that this says a "statutorily permissible proportion of licensee to licensee transactions." that means 70/30 remains in place, fuck this plan. somehow Mike Elliot had stacked the room with MMIG multi center owning members (none of whom had bothered to take an interest in any other workgroup meetings, or listen, most of those guys were texting through the whole meeting) so we heard the same old tune about fears of federal intervention being allayed by Vertical intervention and that these cavemen cant imagine inventing a new wheel, it prevents diversion because it is the only way to track product, and that this is what is working, (bear in mind 85% percent of these speakers proudly introduced themselves by saying that they owned 3-4-or more MMCs and how many dozens or more employees they have, nobody disclosed their currently leased square footage though....) in my public comments (2 minutes) I tried to refute the dozen old boys by pointing out that my business is not, nor is it required to be, vertically inundated but every gram i bring in and every product i sell is tracked, that vertical integration is basically a form of protectionism, that warehouse space in rural areas is extremely limited, preventing some operators from the ability of expanding to meet recreational needs locally but they are planning to charge the same fees statewide, that if the 70/30 rule is eliminated you really do not have vertical integration, that V.I. prevents the best growers from branding and distributing their flowers, and prevents all persons from having access to the best products anywhere in the state which they should have the option of accessing. and that I had been to the MMED offices the previous morning and 2/3 of the people there were "getting married" over OPC access because 30 months after V.I. had been imposed they were still not meeting their 70/30 compliance requirements.

Well hopefully that is all, I've been typing for 5 hours tonight, this newsletter has more time typing alone in it than most people work in an average day and a half... remember if you learned something and you dont offer my business's products at your MMC but you could be, I would appreciate it if you gave back and supported me as I am supporting you with information.

Thanks for reading,

Jessica LeRoux
Twirling Hippy Confections
2145 W Evans
303 922 3661


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