Sen. Cory Gardner fails to get marijuana reform into criminal justice bill

The federal government won’t be easing its laws on marijuana as part of a criminal justice reform bill that’s expected to pass this week. U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, had hoped to attach an amendment to the proposed First Step Act to remove the threat of federal prosecution in states…
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Sweet Leaf cannabis business co-owners hit with $8.8M judgment

The co-owners of the embattled Sweet Leaf cannabis business have been ordered to pay $8.8 million for breach of contract over properties they were buying in Denver.
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The embattled owners of a once-thriving string of cannabis businesses along Colorado’s Front Range have been ordered by a Denver judge to pay $8.8 million after finding they failed to honor commitments to the owner of properties they were buying in Denver.

The decision issued Wednesday by Denver District Judge Edward Bronfin said the co-owners of Sweet Leaf breached the lease agreements on four commercial properties owned by Ryan Fox. Matthew Aiken, Christian Johnson and Anthony Sauro failed to pay rent, late fees and interest, and failed to obtain surety bonds to guarantee lease payments, according to the court.

The business owners’ attorney didn’t return a request for comment Friday afternoon.

Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.

 

Cory Gardner will try to pass marijuana banking, other reforms in the Senate next week

The amendment would let cannabis businesses open bank accounts in states where they’re legal, and it would exempt legal retailers from federal prosecution.
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Marijuana businesses in Colorado and across the country are anxiously awaiting a move by Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, next week that could completely transform the way they do business.

Gardner plans to introduce an amendment Monday that, if passed, would let cannabis businesses open bank accounts in states where they’re legal. It would exempt retailers from federal prosecution while still keeping cannabis a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it would remain illegal in the states that haven’t legalized marijuana for medical or recreational use.

“It would be monumental,” Cannabis Trade Federation CEO Neal Levine said. “It would fix our tax problem. It would open up a lot of new options for commercial banking services, and it would end the threat of the (Department of Justice) kicking in our doors and seizing our assets.”

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Colorado Supreme Court to hear arguments in case that will decide future of pot-sniffing police dogs

On Wednesday, the Colorado Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case that will set standards for the use of police dogs’ drug-detection skills in this state — and could have repercussions across the country.
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Beaker the Belgian Malinois was only 7 years old when changing marijuana laws led his handler to hang up the dog’s police vest.

Beaker, like many police dogs across the country, is trained to alert his handler when he smells marijuana. But his signal for pot is the same as it is for other drugs, such as heroin or meth, said Arvada police Officer Brian Laas, the dog’s handler.

That’s a problem in Colorado, because K-9 handlers can’t tell whether the dog is alerting them to the presence of an illegal substance or legal amounts of weed, and police need probable cause that a crime has been committed before searching further.

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Six alleged illegal retail pot shops busted in Colorado Springs; $1.375M seized, police say

Business was booming at several Colorado Springs marijuana shops, despite local ordinances that prohibit the retail sale of marijuana and pot products. Following a lengthy investigation, multiple executed search warrants, an arrest and additional arrest warrants issued, police on Tuesday said cash seized from the alleged illegal businesses came out…
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Business was booming at several Colorado Springs marijuana shops, despite local ordinances that prohibit the retail sale of marijuana and pot products.

Following a lengthy investigation, multiple executed search warrants, an arrest and additional arrest warrants issued, police on Tuesday said cash seized from the alleged illegal businesses came out to about $1.375 million, with the cash value eclipsing $2 million when seized property is considered.

Detectives from the Colorado Springs Metro Vice, Narcotics, and Intelligence Division’s marijuana regulatory team earlier this year began investigating several “illegally operating” retail marijuana stores in Colorado Springs and El Paso County. Local municipal and county ordinances prohibit retail marijuana sales.

Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.


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