Weekly Wrapup: Crackdown in Colorado + Dispensaries to Launch in Arizona

Two very different developments emerged in the MMJ industry at the end of last week, one immensely negative and one immensely positive for medical cannabis.

First, the bad news: The federal government shifted the focus of its crackdown from the West Coast to Colorado, demanding that nearly two dozen dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools shut down or relocate. Those that don’t comply with the mandate face prosecution and asset seizure. The government also threatened the dispensaries’ landlords, putting added pressure on the industry.

MMJ businesses in Colorado have been bracing for this since last month, when federal officials said they were considering expanding their medical pot crackdown to the state.

If this is the only action they take in Colorado, medical cannabis businesses should consider themselves lucky. The government has been much more aggressive in California, Washington and Montana, conducting numerous raids on dispensaries and related businesses over the past few months. It’s unclear what will happen next in Colorado, but raids are a distinct possibility, as the government characterized the warning letters sent to dispensaries and landlords as a “first step.”

It’s a particularly worrisome development given that Colorado has some of the toughest regulations in the country, which MMJ
observers said would help thwart a federal crackdown.

But the week ended on an extremely high note. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer ordered the state to begin accepting and processing
dispensary applications in the near future, a move that will offset much of the MMJ industry’s contraction by allowing dozens of new cannabis centers to open up.

The licensing program has been in a holding pattern since last spring – when it was scheduled to begin – and no dispensaries have been able to legally launch in the state. Arizona could now become another powerhouse in the MMJ industry, and tens of thousands of patients will soon be able to buy the drug.

Other top stories from last week:

#1. Initiative Helps Industry Fight Back Against IRS
#2. 5 Tips for Avoiding Legal Trouble in CO
#3. Republican Candidates Wary of MMJ
#4. Cannabis Science Poised for Rapid Growth

3 comments on “Weekly Wrapup: Crackdown in Colorado + Dispensaries to Launch in Arizona
  1. Tessa on

    What makes you say that the dispensary law in AZ is a positive note, you are clearly uneducated in the ramifications of this passing. Consider that someone live within 25 miles of said dispensary cannot grow their own medications and will be imprisoned for doing so and yet someone fortunate enough to afford to live 25 miles from said dispensary is legally able to care for themselves. The majority of legitimate med users are disabled, living on a third of poverty level, under 700 a month. Rent and food and utilities are not paid with that amount, yet we are to find a way to pay street prices for medication to make some rich fuck richer with no care of the needs of people like me. The poor are usually forced to find inner city and assisted living, well within the 25 mile radius. The ones who threw this into the bill are planing on putting dispensaries everywhere, so that the majority of medical users MUST pay what they demand.Out of the 18000 card holders 16500 at this time have cultivation rights, the majority will no longer be able to do what we paid a large chunk of money for cards, medical exam and equipment, seeds, clones, etc. Forcing us to either return to prescription meds or risk prison. AZ is the only state that has this restriction and it is unconstitutional. If its legal to grow in one area and the only reason you cannot is because where you happen to live, one is legal and one a criminal. Know what your talking about before you write about it.

    Reply
    • chrisw on

      Thanks for your comments. We write for the business side of the medical marijuana market, which means our target audience includes dispensaries, MMJ lawyers and cannabis businesses. That is why the publication is named Medical Marijuana Business Daily. We understand your concerns about how the Arizona law will impact a certain segment of the population. But, for the majority of our readers, the law is immensely positive. There are many publications out there that focus on patients, and I’m sure they have written pieces that address your concerns.

      Reply
  2. Tessa on

    Your readers are not the sick and poor living on SSDI and the motion you speak of is not positive for the majority of the voters who needed this medication and was the law suit that held the bastards at bay. Obviously over 90 percent of the legal users have no desire to pay someone outrageous and highly prosperous fees for something that grows in concrete. I can almost guarantee that if this 25 mile thing sticks, not a dispensary will survive, the card holders are low in numbers preferring to not be in a system that will force them to make someone rich. But guarantee there are more then 18000 users in this state. I think I alone can convince the majority of legal patient to not reapply or at the very least to go back to the old school, and pay the local dealer if need be just to shut down the dispensaries. We are a pretty keen and political group us dying and ill medical users. And if you think that enough of us can pay the prices asked to keep doors open your readers need to go back to accounting and statistic courses. To monopolize a market is one thing, but a meager 180000 who used meds before they where legal will happily shut down greedy politically connected dispensaries. How long do you think one will last with lets say 5 customers a month? I hope they do invest hundreds of thousands to open, so we can laugh when they leave. Pathetic to fight so hard to get the right to heal ourselves only to have pure profit mongers prevail. And how many lawsuits are going to be issued regarding 14th amendment stating that because of my inability to live 25 miles away makes me a criminal when someone by luck or chance has the opportunity to live 25.01 miles away and be legal? And if you think charging 500 an ounce is going to fly as “non profit” in AZ, good luck, I personally will file that complaint, even with feds if must be. I would rather it be illegal again than support a handful of rich bastards preying on the sick. Thats been discussed amongst us also. I think the mentality of this country is changing and we now see the scams and the shysters and we are not afraid to stand up. The profit only comes if the people will pay and believe me dispensaries are not the only place to get our meds and for half the price. Easy to not step in the doors. I give them 6 months and they will be dropping like flies in AZ, we don’t want them, we have fought to not have them and we will easily avoid them. Pass that on to your readers.

    Reply

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