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Cannabiz: An interview with Laura Harris



Meet the new boss

Laura Harris has only been director of the state Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division since Nov. 14, when she took over for the reassigned Dan Hartman. But the Colorado native's been with the Department of Revenue for 28 years, and has served as director of the Liquor and Tobacco Enforcement Division. In a phone conversation last week, we got her thoughts on a couple of issues affecting the medical marijuana industry.

On marijuana as medicine: "Frankly, I did not have an opinion about it before this, simply because I was not well-read on the subject prior to taking over here. ... I really don't have an opinion on that."

On her new job's learning curve: "Pretty darn steep. Pretty steep."

On potentially having to regulate a cash-only industry due to centers' problems finding a bank: "Having been an auditor myself, it's something that's very difficult, to verify transactions. So I think it's a legitimate concern, not to have the availability of those kind of banking tools."

On banking solutions: "I think that's up to the Legislature. It's actually up to the federal government, too, to open up their doors to these businesses. But I don't think that's really anything that we have a position on, or would take a position on."

On the risk of federal intervention: "You know, I frankly have to be more focused on how to keep myself informed and doing my job, rather than to worry about those kinds of external forces."

De-stressed, dressed

Jason Bennett was already making logo-ed clothing for Top Buds, his medical marijuana center. So when the dispensary folded in the summer, the entrepreneur just tweaked a few graphics, and Weed Pimp Clothing ( was born.

"We have a loyal supporting in the Springs," Bennett writes in a Facebook chat. "Currently we are at the ground level again in sales. Our clientele from the dispensary proudly sport our gear still."

Shirt designs included a modified Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. logo; the Colorado flag with the word "homegrown" on it; and one sporting the definition of what a weed pimp is: "A person who has achieved [the] 'HIGHEST' level of an herbal lifestyle."

May Day

MMJ center owner Elisa Kappelmann — who's charged with felony possession, felony cultivation and possession of a marijuana concentrate — has successfully separated her case from that of another defendant. Her new trial date is May 7, 2012.

"That makes it almost 2 years in May when we got raided," she writes via Facebook. "I can't wait until I can put this behind me."

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