Medical marijuana retail ban passes in Fort Collins despite union help fighting it

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Update: Steve Ackerman, president of the Fort Collins Medical Cannabis Association and owner of the Organic Alternatives dispensary, notes that the final count in a vote to ban MMJ retail operations in his hometown won't be released until noon today. However, he sounds resigned to defeat and plenty shell-shocked. "I'm a businessman, and I've never been voted out of business before," he says. "I'm not exactly sure what to do with that."

His take on what went wrong? "I think we got a lot of the younger demographic to come out and vote, but I don't think we got enough of them. And maybe we didn't get information out as well as we could have to educate the older voters -- the ones who vote in every election. We weren't able to get out the facts of how it works and differentiate the regulated model with what we will have in its absence."

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The Organic Alternatives bud bar.
He also wonders if those who backed the ban thought through the fact that "there are 8,500 patients here in Larimer County who are legally allowed to possess up to two ounces of medical marijuana and allowed to grow up to six plants -- and that's not going to go away. But what will go away is the only regulation and control we have for distributing medical marijuana for these patients, and the $550,000 in sales tax revenue generated by these businesses last year."

Those attempting to defeat the ban faced an uphill struggle from the beginning. Turnout of those likely to reject such prohibition is much lower during odd-year elections -- and the major items on the ballot involved a statewide education tax and a funding measure involving a jail that Ackerman says is likely to be defeated as well. These last two measures likely generated even more participation from older voters less likely to support retail MMJ.

The ban means twenty Fort Collins centers will have to close within ninety days of the election's certification. Some may try to reopen in areas that allow dispensaries, but Ackerman doubts he'll be among them. "I've been a long-term Fort Collins resident, and this is a community business I have here. I probably don't have the desire to move it to another community."

As for patients, they can patronize one of two centers east of Fort Collins in unincorporated Larimer County, which has "not been favorable to medical marijuana centers," Ackerman notes. "We'll have to see how the county treats them."

In the meantime, Ackerman is struggling to be philosophical. "I think this is just a battle in a war that will continue," he says. "But I'm not sure where I'm going to fit into that ongoing war."

Original post, 7:04 a.m. November 2: Back in August, Steve Ackerman, president of the Fort Collins Medical Cannabis Association, told us that a proposed medical marijuana retail ban in the city would cost plenty of jobs and $1,000s in taxes. But neither that argument nor support from United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7, which announced last month that it had organized MMJ workers at some Fort Collins centers could stop the measure shy of victory.

The ban hasn't officially passed at this writing, but given the numbers involved, it's all over but the shuttering. According to the Fort Collins Coloradoan, the pro-closure forces were ahead 53 percent to 47 percent when officials shut down the count due to inclement weather. But there don't appear to be enough ballots left to make up the deficit.

An indication that those fighting the ban knew they were going to lose? Look no further than a UFCW press release sent out on Monday to announce a press conference at 11 a.m. today at the Stop the Ban campaign office, 237 Linden Street in Fort Collins. Its headline -- "Win, Lose or Draw, UFCW Local 7 Will Continue to Stand Shoulder to Shoulder With Patients and Workers in the Medical Cannabis Industry" -- gave off the scent of defeat, and so did quotes attributed to Local 7 President Kim Cordova. Her assertion that "we fought hard against the ban in Fort Collins because wherever prohibition wins, workers lose their jobs, patients lose safe access and
small businesses are boarded up" was in the past tense even though the election hadn't happened yet.

We've reached out to Ackerman for an interview, and when and if he gets back to us, we'll update this post. In the meantime, though, it's only a matter of time before what had been one of Colorado's most MMJ-friendly cities yanks back its welcome mat.

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More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana & unions: Cannabis Business Alliance says it's too soon to organize industry."


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215 comments
Inharmonycolorado
Inharmonycolorado

In Harmony will be hosting their ‘Caregiver Connection‘, an event aimed at introducing patients and caregivers to each other in order for legal patients to have an opportunity to find a reliable caregiver who is a good fit for their personal medical cannabis needs.  This landmark event will take place at In Harmony Wellness on Friday, December 16th from 6pm-8pm, (and on the second Friday of every month thereafter) and will be held at 4630 Royal Vista Circle, Unit 12. This event is open to all legal cardholders andcaregivers. Reservations can be made at 970-222-5555.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Former Dispensary Owner Busted for Selling 10lbs of "Medicine"

The Boulder County Drug Task Force arrested a former medical marijuana dispensary owner in Lafayette on Tuesday on charges she tried to sell 10 pounds of marijuana to a confidential informant.

Veronica April Carpio, 33, was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to distribute 5-100 pounds of marijuana and distribution of more than 5 pounds of marijuana -- class four felonies -- in addition to four other charges after a three-month undercover operation.

Carpio was the owner of 420 Highway at 201 East Simpson St. in Lafayette before it closed for business.

According to an arrest report, the Boulder County Drug Task Force began an investigation into Carpio in August after inspectors with the United States Postal Service indicated they had a confidential informant who could buy large amounts of marijuana from a former dispensary owner in Lafayette.In September, the informant twice met Carpio to buy two pounds of marijuana, which the informant told Carpio was going to a friend in Missouri, according to the report.

The informant and an undercover officer then arranged for the informant to buy 10 pounds of marijuana for $30,000 from Carpio, which the undercover officer told Carpio he would be taking back to Missouri, according to police records.

More ...http://www.dailycamera.com/lafayette-...

Dudesgirls80
Dudesgirls80

90% of colorado dispensaries sell mmj full of pesticides,powdery mildew,uncured, wet hay smelling,keefed out, grown with steroids mid-grade. 90% of colorado caregivers grow only the best mmj, even if its not a big producer. they cure it like a fine wine,no powdery mildew,never keefed,they do this cause they love the plant. they are the heart and soul of mmj.

2569025360
2569025360

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Le fashionableness Moncler Paris, Une paire de peau de mouton véritable Doudoune Moncler accepte que se concentrer sur la fa?on dont ils sont à la mode majeur de la popularité sans interruption de peau de mouton Moncler pas cher. Quelles que soient les raisons pour lesquelles de plus en plus forte pour les ligne de propriété Moncler Homme, les commentateurs ont éminent les facteurs suivants qui ont l'air d'être de contribuer à la houle énorme dans insistent pour Moncler Femme.For moncler piumini, Tuttavia, una tale drammatica aumenta in popolarità Moncler 2012 da un brivido a quella successiva deve significare molto più di un gelo insolitamente freddo. Come prominente da stress Hit saggio e di esportazione per montone outlet moncler parigi.E 'davvero facile trovare lo stile che hai sempre voluto,With moncler sito ufficiale e continuerà ad essere evidenziata nel season. Sito moncler lets prossimo si sente fresco ed elegante,UGG Italia becomes a fashion trend that has grown this season, your personality stivali ugg will be based in a particular winter season. ugg australia is starting its activities with the Internet and the number of spoofed sites using the brand name without permission. You can easily buy prezzo ugg over the Internet, as many of their dealers have web links to do business online. Once you find out what --- ugg scarpe

Kelsi
Kelsi

Its to bad people cant see the benefits of Medical Marijuana. I have Seizures, and it helps me tremendously. I think it sad, the people that are voting on it, only see it as a drug like alcohol.

Suthers Sucks
Suthers Sucks

I just need some clairification. Fort Collins let Centers do business for 2 years. The individuals that started these companies invested hundreds of thousands of dollars and in some cases millions of dollars on growing equipment, lights, nutrients, ect. These are serious commercial facilitits that were talking about here not the basement of someones house but thousands of square feet of grow space. I bet most of the centers havent made their money back yet. So where does the city think this equipment is going to go? You think these guys are just going to pack up and say to hell with it??? I'm guessing not... If they thought they had a problem before now they're in for a real awakening. Those guys raised almost 200k in less than 2 months to fight this thing so you know their fighters. Their arent enough cops in that county to even beging to mess with the mini cartel Fort Collins just created. Not even close... Good Luck

Confused
Confused

Reasonable citizens forReasonable patients forMMC retailers forUnrealistic citizens patients againstCaregivers againstBlack market dealers againstProhibitionist citizens against

This is how the voting goes on MMCs and what needs to be prevented in the 2012 votes.

Crazy that......1-prohibitionists vote the same as drug dealers2-unrealistic citizens and patients vote the same as prohibitionists

Bottom line, everyone but the black market dealers should be voting for all pro marijuana initiatives in 2012. It's time to end the stupidity.

TheCollectiveAdvantage
TheCollectiveAdvantage

We Stand Ready to help ALL legitimate patients negatively effected by the upcoming BAN in Fort Collins. We are also specialists in Collective. Development(Amed.20, & Colorado Constitutiinal Article 18 Sec. 20 COMPLIANT). REAL Patients have been actively BOYCOTTING the MMJ REGISTRY "red card" program and Dispensary Model since July 1, 2011, the day the Confidentiality and Privacy of your MMJ Activities became eroded to an available federal database available to Social Security Administration, Veteran's Administration, Healthand Human Services, IRS, DEA, and other agencies with the click of a mouse button.

BOYCOTT a MMJ System in Colorado which does not want you to grow your own, but be forced to go to State-sanctioned dispensaries where you can easily get SUBSTANDARD MMJ for $25. An 1/8oz., Plus Tax, or $45.-65. & UP, PLUS TAX, 1/8's of premium MMJ, which are sure to leave your Finances Waning and The Patient left wanting more....for Relief!   These Dispensaries have already made MILLIONS of DOLLARS in profuts and have NOT been good neighbors in our communities!  Indigent Patients statewide SUFFER more now than ever before.  While the indigent poor are sometimes left with 'Half Off' coupons for MMJ at half off, as an indigency program, even fewer have the financial resources to participate.  Amendment 20 was passed by our voters in 2000 with COMPASSION inMind.  Free Red Cards and over-priced Dispensary Medicine is NOT HEALING OUR NATION, SORRY.

Organizations have left the indigent OUT of the Equation, yet ask businesses to pay upwards of $25,000.00 or more yearly to represent their interests with government and the legislature.  WHO among them represents US?  Yep, you answered correctly if you said none of them.

Embrace your Colorado Constitutional Rights as a patient under Article 18 Sec. 14, where you can rely on your affirmative defense with "A" doctor's signature, and no reference to registering with the State of Colorado!  Embrace your statewide COMMUNITY to be part of and develop Legal Patient Collectives, as has been identified through the private social networking efforts of THE COLLECTIVE ADVANTAGE.                         (http://www.thecollectiveadvant... ).  Join Today for FREE.  A wide range of Collective development services are available, so YOU can build your own community.  STAY LEGAL!  STAY PROTECTED!  KEEP REASONABLE ACCESS! And, most importantly, Keep the Government OUT of your medicine cabinet.

Quadrophinc
Quadrophinc

If you can't see how Cartel money from Mexico is involved in this you are blind. 

Death and Taxes
Death and Taxes

Sweet article, so thanks for sharing a guy that clearly doesen't know how to deal very well. WTF why post this shitty article? Your a jack ass!!!

Crazy Horse
Crazy Horse

 from a new resident to the state i am in shock at all the arguing and fighting against each other over something that is suppose to be here to help people, not try to screw each other over on the profits. caregivers and dispensaries bickering back and forth all over the DOLLAR!

leave it to the human race to take something given from the earth meant to help mankind and twist it until mankind has warped it with his ideologies. his need to control and profit overtake the miserable creature that searches for happiness believing it lies with the bottom line.

and the mmj industry bashes big pharm for doing the same thing..looking out for their bottom line, not the patient. jackals.......

Justsayin
Justsayin

any sort of references for your statistics. i didn't think so. hey did you hear? 100% of these cargivers think their weed is better than it really is.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

-- yes, but the stage has been set to ignore caregivers' rights under Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Constitution and to attempt to deny them the right even to assert their status as caregivers.  Such judicial tyranny would constitute desperate, violent crime against our Constitution and People.  Wachet Auf!

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Too bad you can't see that they didn't ban medical marijuana -- nor could they -- they simply tossed out commercial retail dispensaries.

There are 1000s of private primary caregivers that any patient can obtain their "medicine" from ... or the patients can grow their own of they so desire.

Guest
Guest

This is Tim Tipton's latest 'venture'. Google "Tim Tipton MMJ scam" to find out more about this character.

I advise everyone to STAY AWAY from this half baked idea. There has already been one busted by the cops in Delta.

GFY
GFY

" day the Confidentiality and Privacy of your MMJ Activities became eroded to an available federal database available to Social Security Administration, Veteran's Administration, Health and Human Services, IRS, DEA, and other agencies with the click of a mouse button."

while your scare tactics sound amazingly terrifying, the reality is that none of those agencies have access to the database.

GFY
GFY

let me sum this up for you: don't spend your money with greedy dispensaries, spend it with greedy caregivers instead.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

... White Hippie Cartel $$ from Nederland ?

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

You misperceive the nature of the conflict -- the wrangling is not over money, but over whether it was OK to abrogate the Constitution (it was not).

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

"A very great vision is needed and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky."

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Strong take, Crazy Horse. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats.

Dudesgirls80
Dudesgirls80

Your probably one of the statistics.people who think they know good medcine.you never had good medcine in your life and now are brainwashed because some mmc owner hired you to trim or work at his commercial warehouse and you got free weed and thought it was the best you ever had.wake up!

Confused
Confused

What do you mean the "stage has been set to ignore caregiver rights? Good caregivers still supply to as many patients as they need to serve, it's the drug dealers posing as caregivers selling to people without mmj cards that are getting squashed. If one of the pro marijuana measures passes next year patients can still continue to exercise their conditional right of designating a caregiver. It's the patient's choice whether to stick with a caregiver and the medical marijuana program or abandon it. Sorry but if marijuana does get legalized for non-medical use it will never be legal to sell on the black market. People, "drug dealers," "white hippies" that have been dealing weed illegally will be out of a job as well unless they want to open a retail store and sell legally. This is what happens when prohibition ends. I can't even remember the last time I bought some bath tub gin.......oh that's right, never!

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

That stage was set, bought and paid for by the Big $$ Dispensary Lobby and some well known local MMJ attorneys... who are now clearly NOT acting in the best interests of individual patients and private caregivers.

The State Government, Law Enforcement, Dept. of REVENUE, and the Profiteering Big $$ Dispensary lobby are all now political bedfellows, they all want to marginalize, limit, restrict and ultimately eliminate the ability of Patients to engage with private individual Care-givers, forcing patients to give up their privacy rights, forcing them to pay overpriced retail, and restricting their right to personal choice and individualized care.

Sad that naive patients/caregivers and politically ignorant patient-caregiver rights groups were duped into being propaganda tools and fools for the very industry that now has a financial interest in eliminating them from the marketplace entirely.

And some of these patients, caregivers, and rights groups continue to do business with and pay $$ to the very attorneys and firms who -- in gross conflict of interest -- are lobbying against the best interests of Patients/Caregivers via their representation and support of their Big $$ Dispensary clients.

Oh the shame ...

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

HB10-1284 provides that the DOR may make available the locations of OPGLs to law enforcement agencies upon request and the system does not protect patients' confidentiality.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

You see no reason to prefer the means of obtaining cannabis assumed by the Constitution over non-confidential, heavily regulated MMCs?!?  The point is that patients in Fort Collins will no longer have that choice -- they must rely on those who dare still to be caregivers, grow their own, or take a long drive.

Crazy Horse
Crazy Horse

well perception is all that really matters right robert? and it perceives to look like the conflict is over money, just an outsiders opinion.

no apology for labeling all mid westerners and southerners as "fascist"? some have class, others show their an ass!

thxs to the Coloradans i have met since moving here for showing me this beautiful state, and allowing me to excersise my Constitutional rights....LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS!

Confused
Confused

LOL @Robert Chase - Siding with the drug dealers again? Funny you chose not to respond to the many valid points I made. At least you refrained from calling me a fascist. LOL. I shouldn't be laughing, you seem like a smart guy yet you defend those that are bringing a criminal element to medical marijuana and that is sad because it makes prohibitionists question the validity the entire medical marijuana program. For the old school drug dealers in colorado, it's time to quit or go legit.......you can't have it both ways. Black market drug dealing will always be illegal in this country.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

There is confused, and then there is willfully obtuse.

Confused
Confused

Regulations were tightened on everyone that distributes medical marijuana. The fact is that medical marijuana is leaking out to people that aren't medical marijuana patients and this is what the government seems to be focusing on by arresting patients, caregivers, and mmcs distributing illegally. While I think it's a waste of police resources to uphold marijuana prohibition, I'm not seeing legit patients, caregivers, or mmc operators in colorado being sent to prison. If you get complacent and break the law or go on tv bragging about the cash you're raking in big brother will find a way to nail you. I hate that many medical marijuana cases aren't tried under state laws but if you're doing something with marijuana to get on the feds radar you know the risks and you better keep it legal cause big brother is always watching and waiting and if you blatantly break the law you will be railroaded to prison. Even if a pro marijuana initiative passes next year these policies will continue. Black market transactions of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, guns, et cetera are illegal and will continue to be illegal and therefor targeted by the gov. The ATF will probably be the MATF some day.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Caregivers who are not providing services unrelated to cannabis, who serve more than five patients, or who have not registered where they grow cannabis with the DOR may be denied the right to a defense under the Constitution; that is the likely effect of the unconstitutional laws and regulations on a functional basis -- caregivers in the sense of Article XVIII, Section 14 will be arrested and then denied their constitutional protections at trial.

Crazy Horse
Crazy Horse

you obviously hate parts of America by your statement all mid-westerners and southerners are "fascist". sounds hypocritical to ask him why he hates America when your labeling all in 2 parts of the country as "fascist". really...your comparing them too true "fascist" like Mussolini, Stalin, etc.

one you point a finger, remember 4 are pointing back at you!

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Let's repeal the CSA and eliminate the DEA!

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Couldn't possibly happen here ...

You betcha !

GFY
GFY

cool, an article about a very specific case in Michigan. interesting.

But we're talking about a specific Colorado law here. Try and keep up.

GFY
GFY

thanks for citing something with Michigan law. that was interesting.

We're in Colorado, though, and discussing specific Colorado laws.

Try and stay on track.

GFY
GFY

but paying retail prices with a caregiver makes you not a retard? you make little sense, child.

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