Saturday, June 6, 2015

Colorado reaches out to New York on marijuana

Once again Colorado, the first state to sell recreational marijuana legally, is benefitting from voters’ decisions to allow both medical and recreational sales.
The New York Times reports (times url) that as of Friday, the deadline for companies to apply for five licenses to become producers and distributors in the state, a Long Island-based health system applied in a partnership with Silverpeak Apothecary, a Colorado-based medical marijuana company.
The Long Island company also operates in New York City.
The new partnership, Silverpeak NY “recognizes the importance of our patients having access to every legal option to manage the symptoms of their illness, if there is clinical evidence to support marijuana’s use for the condition,” said chief executive Michael Dowling.
It is not quite at the level of the Colorado gold rush of 1859, which brought thousands of prospectors even before it had become the Centennial State. Silver and other ores also were produced.
State officials have been modest in their predictions, but most expect recreational and medical weed to generate more than $100 million next year. The has already had to write new legislation (url) to deal with $58 million it has already received (dj url).
Skyler McKinley of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s marijuana office concedes no one knows how much money is being brought in because there so many possible conduits. For example, news interviews found people who chose to ski in Colorado last winter at least partly because they could buy marijuana.
Nor is it possible to estimate how much impact legal recreational marijuana in four states, also including Washington, Oregon and Alaska, is having.
Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia allow some medical sales, and more states are in the process of legalizing it. 
Some veterans have been hired to guard the largely cash marijuana business in Colorado. A close look might even find ex-DEA people there as they see the writing on the wall.
There is a virtual torrent of legislation, and it includes actions being taken in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
High Times reports “Congress Votes to End War on Weed, Lawmakers Predict Its Demise Within 5 Years.” The story tells of several bills curtailing the Drug War now being offered in the House. Ht url
Two weeks ago the Senate approved a measure that would allow doctors to advise veterans on the medical uses of marijuana in states where it is legal.
The death knell could be if a major, or several major presidential candidates, should endorse legalization.
The media also is pushing for changes. NBC on Friday reported pressure for the legalization of a marijuana product that helps with epilepsy. It has been a great picture story for newscasts because families have been interviewed after moving all the way from the East Coast to Colorado so their kids can get treatment not available at home. 

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