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Best Meds contest returns, cartels may be in Colorado, rec shop opens in Boulder and more.

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Top-shelf tournament

Somehow, three years have passed since the Best Meds (321/626-9469) competition first debuted in Colorado Springs, and here comes the fourth. This year's edition brings a recreational side to the traditionally medical weed-off, with local growers invited to submit their samples for testing and analysis by volunteers (who were still needed as of press time).

A 21-and-older kickoff event for the rec side comes Sunday, Feb. 23, at 1609 S. Nevada Ave., hosted by competition organizer Robert Tillery's other operation, cannabis social organization Club 710. Tickets start at $10 and yield free bud, dab and vaporizer bars.

Then, "in April, the medical centers that are participating are gonna have already created their packs at their stores, so their patients, around 4/20, can go in and buy the judges' packs and take them home," says Tillery of the medical side of the contest. "And after a month and a half, we run around and pick up all the scorecards and have that big final event after we know the averages."

That event will come in late summer, likely to be held at Uncle Fred's Tavern (215 Fontaine Blvd.).

Colorado cartels

Over the weekend, both Denver's 9News and The Denver Post reported additional news coming from the November raids of MMJ locations in the Denver area associated with 33-year-old business owner Gerardo Uribe.

The gist is that Colombia cartels may be using Colorado's industry as a front to export cannabis to U.S. states where the plant's still illegal. Most smuggling busts regionally over the past few years, according to the 9News report, have involved pot coming from Denver, Boulder and El Paso counties.

"You have a very desirable product with 48 other states that are potential customers. My god, what a market that is," Tom Gorman, director of the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, told 9News. "Our intelligence tells us, and all indications are, [drug cartels] are going to move in if they haven't already."

Keef crumbs

• KDVR-TV reports that Boulder's first recreational-marijuana store, Karing Kind (5854 Rawhide Court, Boulder, karingkind.com) opened on Tuesday.

• The Cannabis Therapy Institute is offering a variety of $247 online classes through its new Cannabis Hemp Academy (cannabishempacademy.com). Topics include plant biology, making salves and oils, and the fundamentals of treating with medicinal marijuana.

President Barack Obama got an earful last week, when 18 members of the House of Representatives, including Colorado's Jared Polis, sent him a letter asking him to move marijuana off the Schedule I substance list, where it shares space with heroin and LSD. "This is a higher listing than cocaine and methamphetamine, Schedule II substances that you gave as examples of harder drugs," reads the letter. "This makes no sense."

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