Lawmakers: Dispensaries Stay, But As Non-Profits
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Lawmakers: Dispensaries Stay, But As Non-Profits
Posted by CN Staff on February 03, 2010 at 18:04:13 PT
By John Ingold 
Source: Summit Daily News
Denver -- State lawmakers today unveiled a bill that would make major changes to Colorado's medical-marijuana industry, allowing retail-style dispensaries to remain open, but forcing them to re-organize as licensed, non-profit "health centers."The bill would also place an 18-month moratorium on new commercial dispensaries. The bill also would require dispensaries to grow the majority of the marijuana they sell, thus eliminating freelance growers.
Perhaps most significantly, the bill would draw a crucial distinction between small-scale and large-scale medical-marijuana providers.Small-scale providers — people growing and supplying marijuana to five or fewer patients — would not have to be licensed and would qualify for the protection the medical-marijuana section of Colorado's constitution gives to "caregivers."Large-scale providers, like dispensaries, would have less statutory protection, meaning cities and counties would have broad authority to regulate or even ban them from their communities."That's not a right in the constitution," state Sen. Chris Romer, a Denver Democrat who is one of the bill's sponsors, said of dispensaries. "That's a privilege we're going to grant them with a license. If you want to organize yourself as a medical-marijuana center, then you have to play by the rules we set forth."The announcement of the bill, which is expected to be formally introduced this afternoon, drew sharp reactions from a handful of medical-marijuana advocates who attended the news conference unveiling its details.Afterwards, Carla Boyd, a medical-marijuana patient and caregiver, told Romer she thought the bill would lead to monopolization in the industry. Dispensaries that couldn't afford the new requirements for growing or security would be run out of business, she said."You're taking away a lot of jobs," she said. "...This is the Walmart of medical-marijuana, and it's not right."Brian Vicente, the executive director of the medical-marijuana patient-advocacy organization Sensible Colorado, took a milder approach but still raised concerns.Of the provision that could allow communities to ban marijuana clinics, Vicente said, "it could be seen as a significant weakening of the constitution. We don't need patients bussing to get medicine."He said his organization has no objection to requiring dispensaries to operate as non-profits.However, Vicente said he plans tomorrow to file a proposed ballot initiative with the state to take dispensary regulations directly to the voters.The proposed initiative — which would need about 75,000 signatures to make the ballot — is a hedge in case lawmakers pass regulations the cannabis community finds unacceptable."State-licensed medical marijuana patients need storefront dispensaries in the same way that other sick Coloradans need pharmacies," Vicente said in a statement accompanying the announcement of the proposed initiative. "Medical marijuana patients will not go without medicine in Colorado."The debate over medical-marijuana at the state Capitol this session has been the focus of an intense lobbying battle between law enforcement groups, which want to eliminate retail marijuana dispensaries, and medical-marijuana advocates, some of whom favor as few government regulations on the industry as possible.Other medical-marijuana groups have been lobbying behind the scenes for moderate regulations on the booming industry, hoping that some government oversight will professionalize and legitimize the business.Mike Saccone, a spokesman for state Attorney General John Suthers, said his office needs to review the bill more before taking a formal position on it. But he said the attorney general believes retail dispensaries are outside of what voters intended when they approved Amendment 20, the constitutional provision that legalized medical-marijuana in Colorado."Amendment 20 clearly laid out a model that, until a year ago, was doing pretty well with just patients and caregivers," Saccone said.Source: Summit Daily News (CO)Author: John Ingold Published: February 3, 2010Copyright: 2010 Summit Daily NewsURL: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #29 posted by John Tyler on February 06, 2010 at 12:15:16 PT
Non profit businesses
Businesses can organize as either a profit or not profit. For profit businesses have a different legal definition from non-profit businesses. It has to do with where and how the money they make goes. So for instance a non-profit can actually make a lot of money, but the money it makes has to go back into the organization for things like larger salaries (which would be good for the employees), etc., or they can donate it to charities or both. They just don’t give money back to investors as profit on investment. They can pay off loans to lenders. That is my limited understanding of it. By the way non-profits have to pay sales taxes etc, as may be applicable in their state, but there are no taxes on the business profit, because there are none, because they are a non-profit business. With regard to Comment #15. This is just what the politicians do not want and are afraid of: a politically powerful cannabis group that can over ride the legislature with voter initiatives. 
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Comment #28 posted by Hope on February 06, 2010 at 10:20:40 PT
I was wondering if it did and if all was going well.
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on February 06, 2010 at 05:07:33 PT
That is such a cool link. I sent it to my nephew in Florida. Boy have we been hit by a snow storm. We lost power last night and we had everything done and had gone to bed and we stayed warm. I love heating with wood. We could easily have 2 feet of snow from what it looks like out our windows. It's still coming down. It's beautiful.
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Comment #26 posted by Hope on February 05, 2010 at 19:38:59 PT
OT... This is kind of cool...
Go here and get the inside of your computer screen cleaned for free!
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Comment #25 posted by FoM on February 05, 2010 at 14:02:59 PT
From The Westword Blog
John Suthers, Colorado Attorney General, Thinks Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Suck -- and Here's WhyFebruary 4, 2010Excerpt: 
Dear Members of the Colorado General Assembly,I join many in law enforcement health care and drug treatment in vehemently opposing any legislation that embraces the clinic or dispensary model for distribution of medical marijuana. My reasons are as follows:In 2000 the Colorado voters passed Amendment 20 to the Colorado Constitution. In enacting Amendment 20 the voters allowed patients with debilitating medical conditions to assert an affirmative defense to enforcement of the state marijuana laws. Patients are allowed to grow and possess small amounts of marijuana for themselves, or if they choose, to have a "primary caregiver," a person who has "significant responsibility for the welfare of the patient," to grow small amounts for them. Even the proponents of Amendment 20 acknowledged that it did not allow for the commercial sale of marijuana and certainly did not provide for commercial dispensaries or clinics.For the first eight years the patient/caregiver model worked reasonably well. The medical marijuana registry reached about 1,600 patients. The health department reports patients did not complaint about lack of access to medical marijuana.But over the last year, with a change in federal policy and the failure of the State Board of Health to implement a limit on the number of patients a caregiver can have, the medical marijuana "industry" has exploded. Dispensaries are claiming to be the primary caregiver for hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of patients. At the rate of current applications, we will soon have 100,000 or more medical marijuana patients claiming to have a debilitating medical condition.I believe the objective of the legislature in passing medical marijuana legislation should be to implement Amendment 20 and the intent of the voters who passed it. To embrace commercial dispensaries or clinics as a means of distributing marijuana would go far beyond the intent of the voters. In my opinion, it would constitute de facto legalization. But the voters rejected legalization of the drug by a 60/40 margin in 2006. I strongly believe the voters should have a say if the state is going to go beyond the parameters of Amendment 20.Embracing dispensaries or clinics as a means of commercially distributing marijuana will have profound adverse societal ramifications. Research consistently shows the adolescent marijuana use is a function of accessibility to the drug and social acceptance of the drug; (i.e., the more youth perceive smoking marijuana as a normative behavior, the greater their use of the drug). We've seen significant reduction in teenage use of marijuana over the last several years. Colorado's embrace of commercial dispensaries and the resulting perception that using marijuana is normative behavior, will change that trend. Liberalization of marijuana laws in Alaska, Holland and other places led to significant increases in teenage use. The research also shows that increased adolescent use of marijuana has a high correlation with more serious drug addiction, high school dropout rates and crime, including violent crime. The revenue generated from the marijuana industry will not cover the societal costs we will all incur.The Colorado General Assembly has exhibited much distress about high school dropout rates in particular, and its societal consequences. If you are serious about wanting to reduce the dropout rate, you should not ignore its correlation with adolescent marijuana use. Pouring more money into schools or school "choice" won't solve the problem of drug impaired teenagers being unable to succeed in school. Please talk to school officials, drug counselors and social workers about the correlations between marijuana use and delinquency and truancy.I ask you to respect the voters of Colorado and confine your legislative efforts to implementation of the patient/caregiver model they approved in 2000 and by rejecting the creation of a commercial marijuana industry in Colorado without voter approval.Sincerely,John W. SuthersColorado Attorney GeneralComplete Article:
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on February 05, 2010 at 07:46:36 PT
Colo. Judges Play Doctor with MMJ Cards
February 5, 2010Denver -- Whether criminals on probation in Colorado can legally use medical marijuana depends on where they committed their crimes, according to a 9Wants to Know investigation. In some cases, people on probation with medical marijuana cards can smoke all they want, in others, a positive drug test can send them back behind bars. URL:
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on February 05, 2010 at 07:41:06 PT
Thank you. Sometimes I think I look at issues way different then most people. I really try hard to look at a big and broad picture before I decide how I feel about any issue.
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Comment #22 posted by JoeCitizen on February 05, 2010 at 07:36:24 PT
FoM, good point on #18
You made the same basic point I was going to make. Non-profit doesn't mean no money is taken in. The Wikipedia entry for nonprofit (which is a reasonable one) starts out: A nonprofit organization (abbreviated NPO, also not-for-profit)[1] is an organization that does not distribute its surplus funds to owners or shareholders, but instead uses them to help pursue its goals.[2] Examples of NPOs include charities (i.e. charitable organizations), trade unions, and public arts organizations.***So a cannabis non-profit could certainly take in money for rent, equipment, and supplies. People who work there can be paid reasonable salaries or wages. But the owner or shareholder can't get rich on it.That doesn't strike me as too unfair. Excessive profits on people's pain and suffering is a huge problem already in our medical system, we don't really need to add more of that sort of thing.I'm not as sanguine about the requirement to grow on-site. It greatly adds to the needed size and capacity of dispensary. It no doubt adds liability issues (electrical lights near water is always a bit of risk), and hugely increases the utility needs of such a space. Lastly, I think it limits the dispensary to whatever knowledge can be assembled on site. Whereas if you have a large network of independent grower providers, you can tap a much larger base of knowledge and experience. And you don't put all your eggs in one basket. If there's a fire or other disaster at the dispensary, or if their crop is swept by some pest or disease, the patients would be in world of hurt (literally.)JC
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on February 04, 2010 at 14:06:30 PT
You got a good one there! Mrs. Runruff is a real lady.
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Comment #20 posted by runruff on February 04, 2010 at 13:58:38 PT
comment #12
Thank you!On a personal note; when I first met Linda I told her that I was a middle aged, unemployed, outlaw.....a rank outsider but she could be my partner in crime!We have been partners ever since.I married up! lol!
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Comment #19 posted by The GCW on February 04, 2010 at 12:37:41 PT
In My local paper too
US CO: Medical marijuana backers prepare to go to ballotWebpage: 4 Feb 2010
Source: Summit Daily News (CO)
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on February 04, 2010 at 10:45:58 PT
Non Profit
Non profit doesn't mean that no money can be exchanged. Look how wealthy some churches are.
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Comment #17 posted by dongenero on February 04, 2010 at 10:39:49 PT
comment #7 + runruff
Good point duzt, they should also make them tax-exempt non -profits, so they keep the politician's dirty mitts out of it too.Great comments runruff. Despite non-profit mm sales, they should certainly be able to have other profit centers in their businesses; shirts, accessories, equipment, reference books, etc.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on February 04, 2010 at 10:37:04 PT
More News From Colorado
New Bill Would Let Colorado Cities Ban Medical Marijuana Centers February 4, 2010Denver, CO -- The highly anticipated "second marijuana bill" was formally unveiled at the Colorado State Capitol on Wednesday.The bill, sponsored in part by Senator Chris Romer (D-Denver) and Rep. Tom Massey (R-Poncha Springs), would, among other things, put in place a "time-out" for new dispensaries statewide until July 1, 2011."This establishes a set of ground rules," Romer explained on Wednesday afternoon.Brian Vicente, with Sensible Colorado, does not agree with some of those ground rules.Complete Article:
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on February 04, 2010 at 09:42:39 PT
Medical Marijuana Backers Prepare To Go To Ballot
February 4, 2010Denver -- Medical marijuana advocates are prepared to go to the ballot if they think lawmakers go too far in limiting access to the drug.On Thursday activists plan to file a ballot initiative that would bar lawmakers from limiting the number of dispensaries. It would also stop cities and counties from passing an outright ban on dispensaries, something which could be allowed under a new dispensary regulation bill.Sensible Colorado, a medical marijuana patients' group, is organizing the effort.Executive director Brian Vicente said he'll keep trying to work with lawmakers to amend the new bill while he prepares to start collecting signatures for the ballot measure.The measure is a constitutional amendment which would trump any law passed this year.Copyright: 2010 Associated PressURL:
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Comment #14 posted by runruff on February 04, 2010 at 09:05:03 PT
I believe contributions are still legal?
Have a rent contribution jar, those who contribute accordingly get the good stuff. Those who only want a hand out give them shake or swag unless they are truly deserving of relief then go with your conscience.I could sell $100 dollar Hersey Bars and give my customer a half ounce free with a wink and a nod.I would put a jar on my counter saying, Please donate to my puggies future maternity bill?She says about $50.00 will be nice. In gratitude please accept this free baggie with your free herbs!I'd have my tongue stuck so far into my cheek I would look like a squirrel packin' home the nuts!
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Comment #13 posted by Randy on February 04, 2010 at 08:27:12 PT
NON-PROFIT WTF????????????????????? Are you insane. Does Walgreens operate as a non-profit I think not. How are disp. supposed to stay in business? And grow their own are you stupid? Selling to the disp. is how we caregivers can afford to provide for our patients. Does the stupid gov think growing and running a biz has no expenses? GET A GRIP PEOPLE! STOP SELLING OUT CANNABIS JUST BECAUSE YOU THINK THEY WILL GIVE YOU WHAT YOU WANT! 
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on February 04, 2010 at 06:54:58 PT
You're one dog looks like he has rottie in him. We might be getting a snow storm over the weekend. We're looking forward to taking more pictures of fun in the snow. He hasn't had an opportunity to play hard since his accident and my surgery but the snow will make it safe for him. Your one dog looks like my one dog Sassy. Hope sent me the cutest e-mail with a Pug that looks just like your pug. I love dogs. Linda is a very pretty lady.
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Comment #11 posted by runruff on February 04, 2010 at 06:04:38 PT
It is all in the marketing!
Tell those folks out in Colorado to do this;Make T-Shirts that say I buy my mmj at say, "Ye Olde Herbal Shoppe"You have short sleeve and long sleeve hoodies, ect!You sell a T-shirt for 35 bucks and you get an 1/8 ounce free!Run an end run around these freakin' control freaks! 
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on February 04, 2010 at 05:44:57 PT
Thank you for the video. Very nice.
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on February 04, 2010 at 04:25:11 PT
Lawmakers: Dispensaries Stay, But As Non-Profits
This title caught me off guard and I almost laughed until spillage!They can't keep people from making a profit at the local playground [meant to be inflammatory, button pushing choice of locations] What are they going to do, do underground police buys?
Post a Brinks guards at the counter?
Install video cams?---What?See, this is how out of touch with reality these eggheads are. First of all they must not have any idea what it cost to grow med-grade herb. At BC Seeds right now they are sold out of most of their best strains. Elephant Bud [the ten pounder] was up to eight hundred dollars for 10 seeds and they can't keep them in stock.A typical grow scene for two, for 12 plants is costing about 5 to 6 thousand dollars to get a good grow burm and fences set up.These guys are stupid beyond redemption. I think they should be working for nothing because they're so counter productive!
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Comment #8 posted by runruff on February 04, 2010 at 03:54:30 PT
OT to FoM and all!
I know how much you all love dogs. Here is my wife and crew uploaded to youtube by me.
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Comment #7 posted by duzt on February 03, 2010 at 23:00:12 PT
Non-profit model
I actually prefer the no-profit model. Hopefully that will keep the corporations from wanting to take it over. There are quite a few non-profits in Oakland that are great business models.
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Comment #6 posted by The GCW on February 03, 2010 at 20:33:04 PT
Cannabinoids Promote Hippocampal Neurogenesis
Chronic High Doses of Cannabinoids Promote Hippocampal Neurogenesis Bryan Perkins, Associated Content - Wednesday, February 3 2010 Tags: Headline News,Health,MEDICAL MARIJUANA.Active ingredient in cannabis may promote the generation of new neurons in the brain. "The recent discovery that the hippocampus is able to generate new neurons throughout a human's lifespan has changed the way we think about the mechanisms of psychiatric disorders and drug addiction," says Wen Jian and colleagues in a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation in 2005. It appears that cannabinoids are able to modulate pain, nausea, vomiting, epilepsy, ischemic stroke, cerebral trauma, multiple sclerosis, tumors, and many other disorders. Cannabinoids act on two types of receptors, the CB1 receptors (found mainly in the brain) and the CB2 receptors (found mainly in the immune system). The CB1 receptor is one of the most abundant G protein coupled receptors in the mammalian brain and it accounts for most, if not all, of the centrally mediated effects of cannabinoids. Cannabionoid receptors are evolutionarily conserved amoung various vertebrates and invertebrates which have been separate for 500 million years.Hippocampal neurogenesis is suppressed following chronic administration of the major drugs of abuse (including opiates, alcohol, nicotine, and cocaine). However, CB1-knockout mice display significantly decreased hippocampal neurogenesis, suggesting that CB1 receptors activated by endogenous, plant-derived, or synthetic cannabinoids may promote hippocampal neurogenesis.Wen Jiang and colleagues have given the first evidence suggesting that both embryonic and adult hippocampal neural stem/progenitor cells (NS/PCs) express CB1 receptors. Cannabinoids can regulate the proliferation of hippocampal NS/PCs by acting on CB1 receptors. They found that both the synthetic cannabinoid HU210 and the endocannabinoid anandamide profoundly promote embryonic hippocampal NS/PC proliferation.Chronic, but not acute, HU210 significantly increases the number of newborn hippocampal neurons in adult rats by promoting NS/PC proliferation. These promoting effects are not the outcome of hippocampal neuronal death, as no neuronal loss or dying hippocampal neurons were detected following chronic HU210 injection. A significant increase was observed in the hipoppocampal newborn neurons of mice following twice-daily HU210 injection for 10 days....chronic administration of high, but not low, doses of HU210 exerts anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effects...Cont.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on February 03, 2010 at 20:12:53 PT
Good News
Kansas and Iowa jumping on board. That's really good.
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Comment #4 posted by RevRayGreen on February 03, 2010 at 20:10:56 PT
BRING IT KANSAS!IOWA Bill HF 2179 introduced also
House File 2179 - IntroducedJanuary 28, 2010 Introduced, referred to Human Resources. H.J. 194. 
February 2, 2010 Subcommittee, Smith, Baudler, and Wendt. H.J. 232. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Medical Marijuana Act"- 124D.patients are allowed to possess a reasonable amount of unusable marijuana, including up to twelve seedlings,which shall not be counted toward the limits in this section....qualifying patient's designated ...caregiver... does not, in total,exceed twelve plants and a total aggregate weight of two and one half ounces of usable marijuana.
House File 2179 - Introduced
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Comment #3 posted by John Tyler on February 03, 2010 at 19:49:22 PT
business competition
It looks like the legislature wants to keep the medical cannabis industry as a “non-profit” so it cannot become wealthy, and or powerful and potentially disrupt the current political alignment. The big players, the alcohol industry, the current drug industry, and the current prohibition industry don’t want any competition. 
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Comment #2 posted by freewillks on February 03, 2010 at 18:52:17 PT
OT: MMJ bill introduced in Kansas
NORML is pleased to announce that House Bill 2610, which seeks to enact legal protections for authorized medical marijuana patients, has been introduced in the Kansas Legislature and referred to the House Committee on Health and Human Services. Now is the time to contact your House member and urge him or her to support this important legislation.
House Bill 2610 will help to ensure that medical marijuana patients in Kansas will no longer have to fear arrest or prosecution from state law enforcement. As introduced, this act would allow qualified patients diagnosed with a “debilitating medical condition” to possess up to 12 cannabis plants (not including as many as 12 seedlings) and/or 6 ounces of marijuana for therapeutic purposes. The measure would seeks to establish not-for-profit “compassion centers” to provide medical marijuana for patients in a safe, above-ground environment.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 03, 2010 at 18:37:41 PT
Related Article From The Huffington Post Blog
Colorado Medical Marijuana: Legislature Introduces Restrictive Bill As Industry Promises Ballot MeasureFebruary 3, 2010URL:
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