Social equity in marijuana industry still largely pipe dream

DENVER — Terrence Hewing was working for a package delivery company in 2007 when police approached his cargo van in suburban Denver. He was early for a pick up, and someone out for a walk called authorities after seeing him napping in the driver’s seat.

Officers found about a pound of marijuana inside the vehicle. That led to a couple of days in jail, thousands of dollars in legal fees and a felony conviction for drug possession. Hewing lost his job and, because of his criminal record, for years struggled to find housing and a stable, well-paying career.

“I felt like I was in a certain box in society,” he said. “There’s people that don’t have felonies and people that do. It makes you almost feel kind of outcast.”

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Boston pot supermarket given green light, may open this week

One of the country’s biggest legal marijuana companies is ready to open a pot supermarket in downtown Boston — possibly as soon as later this week, the Herald has learned.

Ascend is preparing a “soft opening” with a target date of Thursday for a 16,000-square-foot dispensary on Friend Street across from North Station and TD Garden. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has backed the shop.

It will be the city’s biggest dispensary and wary West End neighbors say they’ll be keeping an eye on how it all rolls out.

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Cannabis industry says access to banking services ‘can’t happen soon enough’

Cannabis industry insiders say a push by federal lawmakers to allow banks to provide services to pot shops in states where they are legal “can’t happen soon enough.”

“Access to banking and capital is probably the largest barrier of entry for getting into this industry,” said David Torrisi, president of the Commonwealth Dispensary Association.

As a haze of marijuana legalization has spread across the nation, banks have generally been unwilling to do business with companies that sell marijuana or related products, which are still illegal under federal law.

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System crash snarls dispensary sales on 4/20, the biggest marijuana holiday of the year

A point-of-sale system powering Colorado dispensaries went down Tuesday on the biggest marijuana holiday of the year.

Denver-based FlowHub said an outage caused by a third-party authentication service caused the service to crash on April 20, colloquially known as 4/20.

It’s unclear how many dispensaries in the state have been affected and a company representative was not immediately available for comment.

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Vicente: This 4/20 celebrate that marijuana businesses and their employees are now “essential”

For decades, April 20 has been recognized as an unofficial marijuana holiday in Colorado and around the country. While this year’s “4/20” may not be marked by large public rallies or concerts due to enduring COVID-19 safety restrictions, there are plenty of reasons for the cannabis community to celebrate — including recent legalization announcements in New Mexico, New York, and Virginia — and for cannabis industry workers to be recognized.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the risks and sacrifices of frontline workers to help others have been celebrated and praised with red hearts in windows and yard signs thanking hospital workers and those who provide our groceries and public services. These folks absolutely deserve our praise and gratitude. Additionally, though, there is a group of more than 320,000 “essential” workers across the U.S. who’ve endured risks and sacrifices to help others: the people who grow, process, package, test, and sell …

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Weed delivery will happen in Denver starting this summer, to be followed by more dispensaries and consumption clubs

Denver’s about to become even more marijuana-friendly, with weed delivery likely starting this summer after the Denver City Council unanimously agreed Monday to overhaul the local industry with two sweeping measures.

The changes have been in the works for several years, with city officials also wanting to make the industry more equitable. The first bill lets dispensaries hire third-party vendors to deliver weed directly to customers and removes Denver’s 220-store recreational dispensaries cap, which has been in effect since 2016. People who want to deliver weed or open a new store must meet the state’s social equity criteria.

The second change would legalize bars where customers could bring their own weed to smoke, as well as clubs that could sell small amounts of pot to be smoked there. Denver will also be cool with tour buses or shuttles that allow weed on board.

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U.S. House again passes Colorado congressman’s marijuana banking bill

The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday passed the SAFE Banking Act, a longtime priority for Coloradans in Congress and local cannabis companies.

The House voted 321-101 on the bill, with all Colorado Democrats in favor and two Colorado Republicans opposed. A third Republican, Rep. Lauren Boebert, did not vote.

It now moves to the U.S. Senate, which is split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans, and some in the latter party worry passing it will increase marijuana use and foreign investments.

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Letters: Not very neighborly, Wyoming (4/15/21)

Not very neighborly

Re: “Wyoming aims to protect coal,” April 14 news story

The hypocrisy of Republicans never ceases to amaze me. For decades the Republicans in states have decried use of the federal government’s constitutional powers as an infringement of states’ rights. Now, Republicans in Wyoming have passed a new law setting aside money to sue states like Colorado that hamper the use of Wyoming coal because of their renewable energy policies.

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Fullerton hires part-time staffer to weed out unlicensed cannabis businesses

Looking to crack down on illegal cannabis businesses in the city, Fullerton is set to hire a new code enforcement officer whose job will focus solely on finding and shutting down unlicensed pot shops and other marijuana-related businesses.

City Council members recently gave the green light for the city to launch a two-year pilot program, under which the officer will be employed part-time, focusing 28 hours per week on the job.

Matt Foulkes, director of community and economic development in Fullerton, said the issue of unlicensed weed stores has been an “ongoing problem” in the city, albeit more mild compared to the numbers nearby cities have seen.

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