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ReLeaf: Winter 2013

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We call ReLeaf a guide to all things medical-marijuana in the Pikes Peak region. But that definition is shifting, because everything to do with it is, too.

Amendment 64 has brought expanded personal access to the plant, and as long as your local jurisdiction agrees, retail stores will soon bring even more. That means we need to respond in kind; thus you'll find a story in this issue looking at the legal differences between the new laws passed in Washington and Colorado — laws which, of course, have nothing to do with MMJ.

But the changes we might need to make as a newspaper are nothing compared to what's facing the medical-marijuana industry itself. If a municipality allows retail shops, why would a person go through the trouble of obtaining a physician's recommendation, then pay to join a state registry, when they could just walk into a building and buy what they need? A lot of people probably won't, meaning your center will either convert, or likely go out of business.

It's complicated by recent actions by the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners, which on Jan. 15 passed a ban on retail-marijuana facilities in unincorporated areas of the county. That includes grows, of which there are more than a few already. While they're still fine to supply local MMJ centers, they'll become illegal as soon as those centers convert.

Of course, those centers won't convert if the region's other municipalities follow the county's lead with their own recreational-marijuana bans. In that case, MMJ will still rule, and perhaps not much will change from today.

Seems the industry's most common maxim still applies: We'll just have to wait and see.

— Bryce Crawford

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