Colorado Collects More Than $20 Million From Marijuana Sales

COLORADO:  Colorado raked in nearly $22 million from marijuana taxes, licenses and fees in the first three months of recreational pot sales, according to state Department of Revenue data released Thursday.

Sales of recreational marijuana were nearly $19 million in March, up nearly one-third from about $14 million in February, according to state figures.

The state has reaped $7.3 million from recreational marijuana taxes alone in the first three months since the first legal sales began on Jan.1.

Despite the historic law, medical marijuana — legal in Colorado for years — continues to vastly outsell recreational pot. March medical marijuana sales were about $34 million.

Colorado House Backs Down, OKs Hemp-Farmers’ Access To Financial Co-Op System

COLORADO: Backing down from a five-hour fight over whether industrial hemp farmers should be able to access a new credit union-like arrangement for marijuana businesses, the state House narrowly passed a bill that would create the first cooperative of its kind.

Acquiescing to Senate insistence that hemp farmers be allowed to join the cooperatives, representatives voted 33-31 for House Bill 1398, sending it to Gov. John Hickenlooper‘s desk for approval and, ultimately, a showdown with federal banking regulators.

The cooperative setup requires approval by the U.S. Federal Reserve, which regulates the nation’s banking system.

The vote was the ultimate compromise for legislators who wanted to keep the cooperatives limited to marijuana businesses.

Denver Is Getting Its First ‘Bud and Breakfast’ Soon. Yes, Really.

COLORADO:  Since January, when Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use, a so-called pot tourism industry has quickly gained traction, with private clubs, tours and shops catering to curious patrons. (Just remember: Don’t bring that weed on the plane home.) And while there’s some weed-friendly lodging in the state (more often through Airbnb than traditional hotels), there hasn’t yet been a hotel that explicitly caters to smokers—until now.

No, it’s not a joke: A company called The MaryJane Group (yup) has partnered with Denver’s Adagio Bed and Breakfast to create a weed-friendly inn—or, as they’re calling it, a “bud and breakfast.” The hotel will offer all-inclusive packages that, along with unlimited food and beverages, will include “the best marijuana and marijuana edibles Colorado has to offer.” (Luxury transportation throughout Denver is also part of the deal, which is probably a smart idea.)

The MaryJane Group—which also operates pot-centric tours and is behind a publication called Mile High Times—currently has a one-year lease with the Adagio, but if this program is successful, they may expand to other hotels in the region.

Colorado Legislators Take It Slow On Pot Spending

COLORADO:  Legislators proceeded cautiously Tuesday when deciding how to spend marijuana tax money, the state’s biggest and most volatile new source of revenue.

Gov. John Hickenlooper has asked for $54 million in spending from marijuana taxes in order to fund law enforcement, anti-drug programs and health care for substance abusers.

But the Joint Budget Committee wants to wait to spend marijuana taxes the year after they are collected. That would leave the state with just $20 million to spend in the budget year that starts in July.

“If we don’t do this from the onset, we’re going to miss the opportunity to do this right,” said Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver.

High Demand For Pot Jobs: Huge Turnout At Colorado Marijuana Job Fair

COLORADO: Looking for a job as a bud-tender? Get in line.

A marijuana-industry job fair in Colorado saw a massive turnout of job seekers who waited in line for information about employment in the expanding industry following the legalization of recreational marijuana use in the state.

More than a dozen companies were looking for candidates to fill jobs as bud-tenders (those who work behind the counter and dispense pot), marketers, marijuana trimmers and even accountants.

Colorado Marijuana Industry On Display At Drug-Policy Talks

COLORADO: Dignitaries from three nations sniffed marijuana, walked through greenhouses full of tagged marijuana plants and learned about video pot surveillance on a three-day Weed 101 tour in Colorado, which has a regulated marijuana market and is planning to expand sales to all adults in a few weeks. [Read more…]