Hello ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for reading our second guide to all things medical marijuana in Colorado Springs. It's been a long and winding road since we last convened in April, so let's recap for a moment, shall we?
• May 11: Anticipating the passage of House Bill 1284, the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council holds an informational session concerning requirements in the bill. Among them, dispensaries are now "medical marijuana centers," a center is required to grow 70 percent of its medication, and felons — or those showing a lack of good moral character — are banned from operating or working in a center. Various deadlines to comply with grow requirements, fees and more will take effect throughout the summer, with the first one kicking in July 1.
• May 12: The day before the state Legislature's session ends, the House of Representatives passes HB 1284, overriding concerns from opponents who said the bill was both too restrictive on medical marijuana centers, and not restrictive enough.
• May 13: Colorado Springs police, with the help of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, raid seven area medical marijuana grows. No arrests were made at the time and, as of this writing, no charges have been filed by the 4th Judicial District Attorney's office.
• May 20: Though Republican state Rep. Mark Waller of Colorado Springs voted for the bill's passage, he tells the Indy, "I would've been just fine if it had failed."
• May 25: To ensure the continued existence of the Springs' multitude of MMCs, City Council passes a pre-application ordinance 6-3, stating centers must pay a $500 fee, as well as pass background checks (among other requirements), to remain in business past the state's July 1 deadline, giving the city time to create its official licensing process.
• May 25: Fountain City Council assures the attending public that medical marijuana will not be discussed at its meeting. After the public leaves, discussion ensues, causing Mayor Jeri Howells to walk out in protest, and prompting later comment from City Attorney Allen Zeigler to the Indy that "it would have been better if the discussion had been deferred until the public was there."
• June 7: Gov. Bill Ritter signs HB 1284 into law, saying it gives local governments "much-needed controls on the operation, location and ownership of [centers]."
• June 8: Colorado Springs passes its second and final reading of its ordinance; the next day, a group of citizens, led by Steve Wind, files ballot paperwork to bring the legality of MMCs up for public vote in November, depending on the success of a petition drive to get the required signatures.
Which brings us fairly up to date. Things should continue to be interesting with the arrival of HB 1284's initial July 1 deadline. As always, check "CannaBiz" and our IndyBlog for news as it breaks, and thanks again for reading.Click here to see the ReLeaf Table of Contents!
Click here for the MMJ Application PDF.