Soothing service for free
A Woodland Park-based organization is seeking to remedy a problem the state of Colorado hasn't seemed willing to address: the accessibility of marijuana for military veterans looking to use it to treat service-related ailments. A bill that would have added post-traumatic stress disorder to the state's list of conditions considered treatable with MMJ recently died in committee, meaning there's space for Operation Grow4Vets (grow4vets.org) to fill, which it wants to — and for free.
"If we, as a nation, are truly committed to helping American heroes live healthy and productive lives after they have been wounded or injured protecting our freedom and way of life," says executive director Roger Martin in a release, "it is imperative that we stop killing veterans by forcing them to take dangerous and often deadly prescription drug cocktails."
Toward that end, the group's Project Better Medicine will provide free cannabis, edibles, other infused products and growing equipment to all veterans living in Colorado and currently being treated by a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs facility. Visit grow4vets.org/pbm to apply, or call 866/726-5200.
Sales taxes up
Recreational marijuana continues to grow, with March numbers showing statewide sales around $19 million, an increase of $5 million from February's report, and good enough to generate roughly $3.2 million in taxes and fees. Thus far, the state has collected around $7.3 million, and sent a portion of that back to municipalities that allowed RMJ sales. For example, in addition to its own taxes and fees, the city of Denver has received $406,134 in the first three months.
As for Colorado Springs' medical-marijuana industry, the 15,817 patients in El Paso County (as of the state's Feb. 28 numbers) have generated $114,059 in sales-tax revenue for the city, according to its February report. For the year 2013, the city collected $1.34 million from the MMJ industry on roughly $53.7 million in sales, up from $1.1 million in 2012.
• With home hash-oil explosions becoming more and more common — the Associated Press reports 10 people have been treated at the state's burn center since Jan. 1, as opposed to 11 all of last year — the backlash has begun. On Saturday, the Denver Post's editorial board urged future lawmakers to ban home oil production "to put a stop to what appears to be a dangerous trend." It's not clear, however, that Amendment 64's wording would allow that to happen.
• After the initial attempt died in committee, the Colorado legislature last week approved a framework to allow for the creation of a financial co-op that marijuana businesses could use for transactions. However, the plan is dependent on the U.S. Federal Reserve giving its blessing.