The Daily Show's "Gone to Pot" segment on Denver's medical marijuana industry didn't do much for this city's rep as a mecca for smarties (we put the "duh" in Denver), but it will certainly boost the Mile High's status as Cannabis Capital of the World. As correspondent Jason Jones says through a bad case of the munchies at the end, "Omigod, look how much f&%$ing pot you can buy in Denver!"
For sheer comedy, though, there's a much better show at the State Capitol this morning -- the full Senate's first debate and vote on HB1284, which would change the same medical marijuana industry the Daily Show just spoofed. There's no public comment, but you can watch the hearing online at www.coloradochannel.net.
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And in the meantime, here's an action alert courtesy of the Cannabis Therapy Institute and medical marijuana attorney Danyel S. Joffe:
HB10-1284 states that all Medical Marijuana Centers must grow at least 70% of their own Cannabis.
For many Centers this will require growing over 100 plants. This is significant because the DEA isn't really interested in busting operations growing less than 100 plants because the penalty is usually probation. However, grow over 100 plants and there is a five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.
Thus, it isn't worth the effort to bust a grower with 75 plants. But hit the 100 level and the stakes grow significantly. This makes it worthy of DEA attention.
If you have heard rumors about the 100 plant limit, this is why.
This is where the rule of unintended consequences comes into play. By prohibiting Medical Marijuana Centers from buying no more than 30% of their product from other sources, they must grow 70% of their own Cannabis. Thus, Centers face going over the 100 plant limit and becoming subject to Federal Interest.
Based on my research, Federal Judges in California don't seem to care if the Cannabis is being grown for medical marijuana. Go over 100 plants and get hammered. The same will probably be true in Colorado.
The Colorado Bill will force Medical Marijuana Centers to grow more than 100 plants, or face not having enough product. This is a classic Catch 22. To comply with State Law and keep your license, you are forced to commit a significantly more serious Federal Felony.
This requirement appears to be an unintended consequence of the legislation. Please Let Your Legislators Know.
You must write your State Representative and Senator and ask them to drop the 70/30 rule. Tell them to look at page 36, line 14-20. Also known as C.R.S. 12-43.3-402(4).