Colorado Gov. Polis Grants Historic Pardons For Marijuana Convictions

COLORADO:Governor Jared Polis today signed an Executive Order granting pardons to those who have been convicted of possessing one ounce or less of marijuana. In June, Gov. Polis signed the bipartisan H.B. 20-1424, sponsored by Rep. James Coleman, Sen. Julie Gonzales and Sen. Vicki Marble, including an amendment sponsored by Sen. Gonzales, which authorizes the Governor to grant pardons to a class of defendants who were convicted of the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana. Reps. Leslie Herod and Jonathan Singer were also champions of passing this legislation. The new law went into effect this month.

“We are finally cleaning up some of the inequities of the past by pardoning 2,732 convictions for Coloradans who simply had an ounce of marijuana or less. It’s ridiculous how being written up for smoking a joint in the 1970’s has followed some Coloradans throughout their lives and gotten in the way of their success,” said Governor Jared Polis. “Too many Coloradans have been followed their entire lives by a conviction for something that is no longer a crime, and these convictions have impacted their job status, housing, and countless other areas of their lives. Today we are taking this step toward creating a more just system and breaking down barriers to help transform people’s lives as well as coming to terms with one aspect of the past, failed policy of marijuana prohibition.”

This pardon applies to state-level convictions of possession for one ounce or less of marijuana, as identified by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).  Under H.B. 20-1424, the Governor is granting pardons for a class of people with convictions for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana. The individuals who have these convictions did not need to apply for pardons, and the Governor’s Office has not conducted individual assessments of the people who have been pardoned through this process. Individuals convicted of municipal marijuana crimes, or individuals arrested or issued a summons without a conviction, are not included in the pardons.

Individuals who are unsure whether a conviction on their record has been pardoned may fill out a form to request confirmation of a pardon on the Colorado Bureau of Investigations website. To obtain their entire criminal history, people can visit CBIRecordsCheck.com. Once a conviction is pardoned, it will not appear on a criminal history obtained on the records check website.

For further questions visit the FAQ document.

Visit COMarijuanaPardons.com for more information.

Gov. Polis Releases Statement On Passage Of Continuing Resolution Including Farm Bill & Hemp Pilot Program Extension

COLORADO:  Gov. Jared Polis released the following statement on the final passage of the Federal Continuing Resolution including an extension of the 2014 Farm Bill which also includes the Hemp Pilot Program.

“We worked closely with our federal delegation to ensure this provision to extend the 2014 Farm Bill and the hemp act was included in this Continuing Resolution. Colorado is a national leader in the hemp industry and I’m glad to see this bill be signed into law as it gives our farmers and ranchers from the Eastern Plains, to the Western Slope, the San Luis Valley and everywhere in between more support, and gives Colorado more time to work with the USDA on our state’s hemp framework. This is a great step forward and we will continue working to grow the industry in Colorado.”

Botanacor Offers A New “Dry Weight Potency (USDA)” Test

Botanacor Offers a New “Dry Weight Potency (USDA)” Test to Allow Hemp Producers to Achieve USDA Regulatory Compliance

USDA Will Soon Require Hemp Producers to Test Crops for Total THC Calculated on a Dry Weight Basis  

COLORADO: Botanacor Laboratories, the widely recognized leader in accredited testing of hemp biomass and hemp-derived CBD products, today announced that it offers a new test to hemp producers. Responding to new USDA regulations that will soon apply to U.S. states, territories, and tribes, Botanacor can now test hemp biomass for total THC calculated on a dry weight basis.

Offering the industry’s fastest turnaround times for its “moisture corrected” test results, Botanacor provides customers a Certificate of Analysis that includes Measurement Uncertainly for 15 cannabinoids.  Botanacor calculates the total THC using HPLC and accurately accounts for moisture content using the Karl Fischer Method for advanced titration.

Botanacor’s new test for total THC calculated on a dry weight basis recognizes that THC content is expressed as a percent of biomass weight.  However, moisture can add weight and distort the THC content calculation, with implications for product safety, consistency, potency, and regulatory compliance.  Only total THC calculated on a dry weight basis provides an accurate THC content across any type of hemp sample submitted for testing, no matter the initial moisture content of the samples submitted to Botanacor. (For background, link to the USDA Interim Final Rule.)

“Botanacor is known nationally for rapidly developing the validated tests required for our hemp-producing customers’ regulatory compliance,” said Mike Branvold, President of Botanacor.  “This new Dry Weight Potency (USDA) test is another example of Botanacor standing up a test in anticipation of USDA regulation to give our customers a competitive edge.”

Colorado Senator Gardner Calls On USDA To Protect Hemp Industry

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to delay implementation of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program Interim Final Rule (IFR), which, as currently drafted, threatens the industrial hemp industry’s potential for Colorado’s farmers and seriously undermines this growing industry.

“The United States is now poised to transition from being a world-leading hemp importer to a world-leading hemp producer, and many look to Colorado farmers for guidance and clarity for the industry because Colorado is home to one of the longest-running state hemp programs,” wrote Senator Gardner. “I have worked with my colleagues and state officials to share with the USDA Colorado’s hemp experience, encourage greater flexibility for farmers, and encourage innovation of the industry. This includes echoing comments submitted by the State of Colorado during the IFR comment period.”

“I appreciate your leadership to the nation’s farmers throughout this extraordinary challenging time. Given these challenges, it is hard to overlook the great promise that the industrial hemp industry could provide to farmers if regulation is done in the proper manner. I encourage you to delay the final implementation of the IFR and work directly with state regulators and the industry to ensure workable rules that allow the industry to thrive,” Gardner concluded.

The full text of the letter can be found here and below:

Dear Secretary Perdue:

I write regarding the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program Interim Final Rule (IFR), which, as currently drafted, threatens the industrial hemp industry’s potential for Colorado’s farmers and seriously undermines this burgeoning industry. I join the growing chorus of my colleagues, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, and the National Industrial Hemp Council in requesting that you use your secretarial discretion to delay implementation of the final rule in order to address several outstanding issues.

The nation’s hemp industry was given an enormous boost when hemp was de-scheduled in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018. The United States is now poised to transition from being a world-leading hemp importer to a world-leading hemp producer, and many look to Colorado farmers for guidance and clarity for the industry because Colorado is home to one of the longest-running state hemp programs. Since 2014, Colorado’s program has grown to include about 2,600 active registrations. In 2019, there were nearly 90,000 acres of registered hemp production in the state. Colorado farmers have been at the forefront of the hemp industry, driving change and innovation across the country. The state carefully balances regulatory oversight and economic support, allowing it to have a thriving industry and be a leader to other states.

I have worked with my colleagues and state officials to share with the USDA Colorado’s hemp experience, encourage greater flexibility for farmers, and encourage innovation of the industry. This includes echoing comments submitted by the State of Colorado during the IFR comment period. Despite my communications, there remain serious concerns about how the IFR will impact the Colorado industry.

I appreciate your leadership to the nation’s farmers throughout this extraordinary challenging time. Given these challenges, it is hard to overlook the great promise that the industrial hemp industry could provide to farmers if regulation is done in the proper manner. I encourage you to delay the final implementation of the IFR and work directly with state regulators and the industry to ensure workable rules that allow the industry to thrive.

Colorado Ag Department Provides State Hemp Plan Status Update

COLORADO:  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has requested Colorado clarify and revise certain elements of its State Hemp Management Plan, submitted on June 18, 2020. The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is currently reviewing USDA’s comments and questions and considering revisions as it continues to prioritize representing the needs of the state’s industrial hemp registrants and stakeholders.

“As we have done from day one, CDA is working through the state plan submission and approval process in a careful and comprehensive manner to best serve the needs of Colorado,” said Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture Kate Greenberg. “Given the many changes at the federal level, we are working hard to create a stable and sound regulatory environment so that Colorado’s hemp industry can continue to lead the nation.”
Feedback received from numerous stakeholders statewide and over several months contributed to the plan, including input from farmers, processors and product manufacturers, state and local government agencies, healthcare professionals, financial services providers, law enforcement, and academic institutions, as well as consultation with Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute tribes, as part of CDA’s Colorado Hemp Advancement and Management Plan.

Helix Technologies Sells Security Guarding Business

COLORADO: Helix Technologies announced today the divestiture of its security guarding business. The strategic decision to sell the guarding unit solidifies Helix’s transition into a pure play technology company focused on the cannabis industry.

The divestiture of the guarding business is expected to increase gross margins and allow management to focus on growing the Company’s scalable, high margin suite of critical technology infrastructure services. Denver-based, Veteran-owned Invicta Group purchased the business and Security ProAdvisors LLC represented Helix in the sale. Helix will use the net proceeds to pay off existing liabilities and strengthen its working capital position.

“We are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished with Helix Security. In a short time, we went from start-up–without a single client– to the undisputed leader in the Colorado security market, clearing the field of well-established, larger competitors, and leveraged that dominant position to expand into higher-margin critical technology infrastructure, and data. Now we will continue to bring that same discipline to bear – focused solely on our core technology strengths and on creating a more streamlined value proposition for investors” said Zachary L. Venegas, Helix Technologies’ Executive Chairman and CEO. “The additional working capital and narrowed focus provided by the divestiture will allow us to accelerate growth and continue shaping the cannabis technology landscape.”

Paul Ballenger, Invicta Group CEO added “This is a tremendous opportunity for us and our investors. Helix built a dominant business, and I could not be more excited to leverage our expertise to continue the rapid growth. Recent social unrest has underlined the need for this type of service, and I am excited to help our clients continue to grow while feeling safe and confident in their future.”

Colorado Legal Cannabis By The Numbers 2/2020

COLORADO: Just how big is Colorado’s legal cannabis business?  Here are the official MED numbers, as of February, 2020.

2020 colorado cannabis nos

 

Medical Marijuana Business License Numbers:

  • 435 Centers
  • 462 Cultivations
  • 216 Infused Product Manufacturers
  • 11 Testing Facilities
  • 7 Operators
  • 7 Transporters
  • 1 Research and Development and Research Cultivation

 Retail Marijuana Businesses License Numbers:

  • 575 Stores
  • 680 Cultivations
  • 282 Product Manufacturers
  • 13 Testing Facilities
  •  9 Operators
  • 10 Transporters

Individual Licensees:

  • 1,712 Owners Licensees
  • 40,168 Employee Licensees

 

7th Annual Mother’s High Tea – Tea Along The Rio de la Plata South America

COLORADO:  4 & 20 Blackbirds presents 7th Annual Mother’s High Tea® – Tea Along the Rio de la Plata South America, taking place at McNichols Building on Friday September 20, 2019, from 1pm to 4pm in Denver, featuring an inspiring speaker program, activities, nonprofit education and tea menu. Mother’s High Tea® is a public, non-consumption event celebrating mothers, business women, and advocates in the cannabis community. Cannabis Maven, Susan Squibb, with a volunteer committee is proud to produce and emcee Mother’s High Tea®, the longest running women’s cannabis event in the U.S.

Speakers: The speaker theme is personal and community wellness. The keynote speaker is Jessica Peck, Esq. Denver attorney, Ms. Peck is a constitutional scholar and passionate family law trial attorney, often representing families and kids in crisis. This year, she was appointed by Gov. Jared Polis to the Colorado Behavioral Health Task Force, Subcommittee on Children’s Behavioral Health, tasked with rebuilding Colorado’s juvenile mental health system. Over a decade ago, Ms. Peck co-founded Moms for Marijuana and Guarding Our Children Against Marijuana Prohibition. Dr. Lisa Calderón, currently Chief of Staff for Candi Cde Baca in Denver City Council District 9 was born and raised in Denver. Dr. Calderón holds a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, law degree, and a doctorate in education. Her 30-years of public service also includes being a justice reform advocate, nonprofit executive and social justice organizer. She is a former university professor she has taught in academia for 15 years in the areas of Women’s Studies, Ethnic Studies, Sociology, and Criminal Justice. She has obtained several awards for inspirational leadership for her work serving the community.

Tea Along the Rio de la Plata South America comes to life with tea buffets and catering by Encore Catering & Culinary Services. The menu is inspired by the yerba mate teas and culinary regions of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

The non- profit and educational tables feature information from National Alliance on Mental Illness, UCD Cannabis Cultures Anthropology Professor, Marty Otanez, and Denver Open Media.

Tickets: VIP tables, general admission and children tickets available through AXS website. GA Tickets are $35. Child tickets are $15. Children 4 and under are free. A VIP table for 10 is available for $425 with the promo code bestfriend10 at AXS.com. Each guest receives a passport to travel through event activities, a gift bag from event sponsors, and entries to prize drawings.

Susan Squibb, Cannabis Maven, is a trailblazer of the hemp and marijuana business and advocacy communities in Colorado. She is a paralegal, event producer and speaker.

First US Clinical Study Assessing Hemp-Derived Cannabinoid Supplementation In Recovery From Traumatic Brain Injury Begins In Colorado

COLORADO:  The Flowering HOPE Foundation and Clover Leaf University have just announced sponsorship and collaboration on the first US clinical study to be approved to investigate plant-derived cannabinoid supplements in recovery from brain injury. 

The study will analyze quantitative EEG brain activity and a cannabinoid-sensitive salivary biomarker in 40 subjects with mild traumatic brain injury and controls who currently take hemp-derived botanical supplements on a regular basis (i.e. phytocannabinoids). The study is recruiting adults age 18 to 55 to participate in the year-long trial. 

Jason Cranford, Founder of the Flowering HOPE Foundation, a Colorado registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports the medicinal use of plant-derived cannabinoids, called phytocannabinoids, described the motivation for sponsoring the study: “We hope to provide scientific support for the benefits of the natural plant-based compounds contained in hemp and move a step closer towards the unrestricted availability of non synthetic cannabinoid therapeutics.”

Cranford is a pioneer in the emerging cannabis industry with more than 25 years experience in cultivation, extraction and formulations. His know-how allowed him to breed a unique hemp strain selected for a blend of phytoterpenes and phytocannabinoids designed to alleviate treatment-resistant epilepsy in children without psychoactive side effects. The resulting strain, called Haleigh’s Hope, was formulated into a supplement offered by the FHF (2013). 

The FHF has partnered with Clover Leaf University to study brain injury. The President and Founder, Chloe Villano, received accredited approval for CLU in 2013 by the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s Private Occupational School Board. Villano is a pioneer in the cannabis and hemp industry and prioritized brain injury for the study.

“This historic study is the first of its kind and it is a privilege to work with the Flowering HOPE Foundation to address the problem of brain injury and collaborate with a neuroscientist who understands the brain endocannabinoid system, such as Dr. Cooper. There are currently no effective treatments for traumatic brain injury or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, but phytocannabinoids may be a good candidate, based on the established science of anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective mechanisms. Clover Leaf University is excited to take the lead in clinical studies that will improve and save lives,” said Villano.

The lead neuroscientist responsible for the study,  Don Cooper, Ph.D, is President of Real-Time Diagnostics Ventures Inc. He has published 45 peer reviewed papers on neuronal memory formation/plasticity and has studied brain cannabinoids since 2000, when he received his first NIH grant. 

“I never thought it would take almost 20 years from when I started working on the brain cannabinoid system to have the first approved clinical study on phytocannabinoids and brain injury. We have convincing preclinical data showing that phytocannabinoids are neuroprotective and may be critically important for restoring neuronal function after brain injury,” stated Cooper.

For more information contact the study Clinical Coordinator at TBIstudy@protonmail.com.

International Hemp Oil Company, Functional Remedies, Acquires New Lab, Increasing Production Capacity Ten-Fold

COLORADO: Functional Remedies, vertically integrated manufacturer of whole-plant hemp oil products, announced a major expansion of its lab and production facility from 2,000 square feet to a new 25,000-square-foot facility located in Louisville, CO to meet the rapidly growing demand for its products across the U.S. and globally. Additionally, Functional Remedies recently moved into new 4,000-square-foot executive offices to house its expanding team.

“We are excited with our rapid growth, and our latest production and office expansions will help us continue building the most-advanced operations in the industry to meet the increasing demands for our full-spectrum hemp products domestically and internationally,” said Functional Remedies CEO Anthony Mazzotti. “We are fully executing on our aggressive 2019 plans and exceeding consumer expectations of how highly efficacious, full-spectrum hemp oil can impact health and wellness.”

Functional Remedies also recently announced that it signed five new agreements with natural retail broker networks to expand the distribution footprint of its products from 21 to 48 U.S. states. This comes at a time when the global industrial hemp market size is expected to reach USD $10.6 billion by 2025 and expand at a CAGR of 14 percent during the forecast period, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc.

“Our state-of-the-art 25,000-square-foot laboratory houses the production of the industry’s only hand-pressed, full-spectrum hemp oil using a proprietary whole-plant, lipid infusion process,” said Functional Remedies Chief Science Officer Tim Gordon. “Consumer demand is growing faster than education or regulatory structures can keep up, and many inferior products are willingly filling that grey market void. Functional Remedies’ mission is to continue educating consumers on the difference between lipid-infused, full-spectrum hemp oil and the majority of other products that are actually CBD isolate and concentrates made using harsh, CO2 extraction methods. Many of these products are mislabeled as full-spectrum which only adds to consumer confusion,” Gordon added.