Colorado may OK marijuana clubs

Colorado may OK marijuana clubs

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Colorado may OK marijuana clubs

The Columbian / Associated Press

DENVER — The Colorado Senate on Thursday passed a first-in-the-nation bill expressly permitting marijuana clubs. But Gov. John Hickenlooper is hinting that he’ll veto the measure unless it bans indoor smoking. 

The bill allows local jurisdictions to permit bring-your-own pot clubs, as long as those establishments don’t serve alcohol or any food beyond light snacks.

The bill doesn’t say whether those clubs could allow people to smoke pot indoors. That means it would be possible for a membership club that is closed to the public and has no more than three employees to permit indoor pot smoking.

Sponsors say the bill is necessary because Colorado already has a network of underground, unregulated pot clubs, and towns aren’t sure how to treat them.

Pot clubs could help alleviate complaints that Colorado’s sidewalks and public parks have been inundated with pot smokers since the state legalized recreational weed in 2012.

“We have a lot of problems throughout this state of people publicly using marijuana,” said Sen. Bob Gardner, a Colorado Springs Republican and sponsor of the club bill.

The measure sets up a showdown with the Democratic governor, who has told reporters that clubs could invite federal intervention in Colorado’s pot market. 

Colorado is in violation of federal drug law for not making it a crime to smoke pot, and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other members of the Trump administration have said states should not be able to legalize pot. 

“I do think given the uncertainty in Washington that this is not the year to be out there carving off new turf and expand markets and make dramatic statements about marijuana,” Hickenlooper told reporters Wednesday.

Further, the governor seemed to chafe at the fact that the club bill doesn’t expressly ban indoor smoking. A separate pot-club measure going into effect in Denver limits smoking marijuana to special patios, meaning people could eat or vaporize pot indoors but not burn it.

“Smoking is bad for you,” Hickenlooper said. “I’m not sure that’s a great thing to be encouraging.”

Lawmakers who support clubs disagree that the bill encourages indoor smoking. 

“These marijuana membership clubs are so private that’s they’re more akin to being in your living room than to being in a restaurant,” Gardner said.

Ten Republicans voted against the pot club bill. Some of them said they fear it’ll be impossible to stop people from sharing or selling weed inside the clubs, even though marijuana sales in clubs are banned under the bill.

“How are we supposed to stop that?” asked Sen. John Cooke, R-Greeley.

The bill passed on a 25-10 vote and now heads to the House, where its prospects are strong. One possible sticking point is that the bill bars food service in the clubs but allows them to sell light snacks that aren’t defined. 

State liquor regulations already bar the sale of alcohol and marijuana at the same place, so the clubs would look more like Amsterdam coffee shops than pot bars.

“I’m sure you can drink coffee and smoke marijuana, you just can’t drink whiskey and smoke marijuana,” Gardner said.

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AP writer James Anderson contributed to this report.

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This story has been corrected to show that Colorado’s governor says clubs should not allow indoor smoking.

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Published at Fri, 10 Mar 2017 04:44:36 +0000

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High pesticide level leads to Oregon marijuana recall

High pesticide level leads to Oregon marijuana recall

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High pesticide level leads to Oregon marijuana recall

The Columbian / Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has issued its first recall of recreational marijuana.

The OLCC says samples of Blue Magoo marijuana contained a level of pesticide residue that exceeds the state limit.

The Capital Press reports the marijuana was grown by Emerald Wave Estate and sold at Buds 4 U in Mapleton, a community 45 miles west of Eugene. The OLCC said people who bought the pot should dispose of it or return it to the retailer.

OLCC spokesman Mark Pettinger says the retailer noticed the failed pesticide reading in the state’s Cannabis Tracking System on March 10 and immediately notified the agency.

He says the shop sold Blue Magoo to 31 customers between March 8 and March 10.

Pettinger says a wholesaler shipped the pot to the Mapleton store before the test results were entered in the state’s tracking system.

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Published at Tue, 21 Mar 2017 16:31:53 +0000

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High pesticide level spurs first recreational pot recall

High pesticide level spurs first recreational pot recall

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High pesticide level spurs first recreational pot recall

The Columbian / Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Liquor Control Commission issued its first recall of recreational marijuana after samples of a type of pot were found to contain a level of pesticide residue above the state limit.

The Blue Magoo marijuana was sold at Buds 4 U in Mapleton, a community 45 miles west of Eugene, Ore., The Capital Press reported. The commission, which oversees retail sales of recreational pot, said people who bought the drug should return it to the retailer or throw it out.

The retailer notified the agency immediately after spotting the failed pesticide reading in the state’s cannabis tracking system, commission spokesman Mark Pettinger said. The shop sold the brand to 31 customers March 8-10.

Pettinger said a wholesaler shipped the pot to the Mapleton store before the test results were entered in the tracking system.

“The retailer was great,” he said. “They get the gold star.”

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission said the samples failed a test for pyrethrin levels. They are a mixture of six chemicals that are toxic to insects, according to the National Pesticide Information Center based at Oregon State University.

Pyrethrins are found in some chrysanthemum flowers and can be used on organic products in some cases.

With the legalization of recreational marijuana, growers are facing a new regulatory structure. Because the federal government still considers the drug illegal, states had to establish their own rules for pesticides and pot. Oregon tests for 59 active ingredients.

The testing was done by GreenHaus Analytical Labs, which is certified by the state to test cannabis for potency, water content and pesticide residue.

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Published at Tue, 21 Mar 2017 23:30:09 +0000

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