- File Photo
- This isn't Europe. That green cross in front of Gas & Grass means MMJ.
Say goodbye to those green crosses hung outside medical marijuana centers in unincorporated El Paso County. According to the Board of County Commissioners, the ubiquitous signage was simply too confusing for clueless tourists. So early this month, they voted to ban them altogether.
The fear, apparently, was that out-of-state tourists would confuse dispensaries for pharmacies, given that's what the signage means in Europe.
Darryl Glenn proposed the resolution in January. "[They're] there but you don't even think about it," he said back then. "I believe it is important enough to potentially take action."
Devin Vargas, store lead at New Age Medical, thinks it's nonsense that anyone would ever mistake a medical marijuana center for a pharmacy.
"Yeah, there's never confusion like that. That's crazy," he told Fox 21. "The only thing we get from the green crosses is people thinking that we're a recreational dispensary, and you know Colorado Springs is only medical."
The new rule applies to only four dispensaries operating outside municipalities. They'll have to change their signage when they renew their licenses.
County code already prohibits the words "marijuana" and "cannabis" on dispensary signage. Dispensaries in Colorado Springs are not affected.
Phyllis Windy Hope and Michael Reilly, the Pueblo County landowners who sued everyone imaginable to shut down a neighboring indoor grow-op and pretty much Colorado's entire legal marijuana industry while they were at it, have filed a notice of appeal challenging a judge's dismissal of their case against public-sector defendants ("Federal judge strikes down lawsuit against recreational marijuana."
The suit, backed by D.C.-based anti-legalization group Safe Streets Alliance, claimed that the "criminal enterprise" next door was lowering their property value and emitting an offensive odor.
The group sought treble damages from a father-son pair of dispensary owners, the grow operator, a developer, an insurance company, a water supplier, Pueblo County's marijuana licensing board, the county commissioners, the state Marijuana Enforcement Division, Department of Regulation and Gov. John Hickenlooper under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act — a commonly misused federal law meant for prosecutors to go after mob bosses.
Judge Robert Blackburn last month rejected the argument that county and state officials are violating the federal Controlled Substances Act by licensing, regulating and taxing Colorado's voter-approved retail marijuana industry.
The appeal moves the case to federal appeals court in Denver, while the case against the private-sector defendants remains open.
Facebook has been shuttering Facebook and Instagram accounts of marijuana businesses around the country, including Colorado-based Mary's Medicinals and Dixie Brands.
Even businesses tangentially linked to the industry — marketing agencies and apparel companies — have logged on to find cancellation notices, according to The Guardian.
The section of Facebook's "community standards" pertaining to the action reads: "We prohibit any attempts by unauthorized dealers to purchase, sell, or trade prescription drugs, marijuana, or firearms."
This is how Instagram (owned by Facebook) puts it: "Offering sexual services, buying or selling illegal or prescription drugs (even if it's legal in your region), as well as promoting recreational drug use is also not allowed."
Of course, there's no shortage of cannabis-related content on these platforms (just search #weed for a sample), which makes the social platforms' actions questionable.
But regardless of "why," this is hardly good news for an industry that relies heavily on social media to share updates and other information.