Medical marijuana banking bill dies in Senate committee

Pat Steadman.
For months, Senator Pat Steadman has been talking about the need for a credit union for the medical marijuana industry. But yesterday, a proposed bill that could have paved the way for such an institution died in committee, leaving Steadman to wonder if the state can provide a solution to the MMJ industry's banking problems.

Over the last year, banks have been dropping medical marijuana businesses due to a rift between state laws allowing medical marijuana and federal laws that do not. Since the feds regulate banking, institutions that used to handle dozens of MMJ accounts, including the Colorado Springs State Bank and the Bank of Denver, have terminated almost all accounts in order to avoid federal scrutiny.

That leaves hundreds of dispensary owners without a place to make cash deposits, forcing them to store large amounts of money in their safes along with the medicine they sell. Some dispensaries have found creative ways to work around the issue, including paying employees in cash or buying pre-paid credit cards for online bills. But most realize that isn't practical. With credit card providers also dropping dispensaries, patients are increasingly forced to pay in paper.

Steadman's bill would have enabled legislation allowing various groups to come together and form a medical marijuana credit union. But the bill was shot down by a 5-2 margin after several hours of deliberation by the Senate's finance committee.

We spoke with Steadman yesterday morning before the hearing. He said that even if the bill were to pass, he wasn't sure it would have been a fix for the banking problem facing medical marijuana businesses.

"The solution doesn't lie at the State Capitol in Denver," he maintained. "This is a problem with federal law and federal law enforcement agencies. We have been searching and searching for some kind of work-around. The bill we came up with has the potential, but for various reasons, I'm not sure it's all there."

Michael Elliot, executive director for the Medical Marijuana Industry Group, which represents a number of dispensaries around the state, believes the failure to pass the bill puts medical marijuana dispensary employees in danger and creates problems with transparency. "A lack of banking services leads to a decrease in public safety, particularly for patients, employees, and business owners; and less accountability to local, state, and federal tax collectors," he said in a statement. "It's unfortunate that this bill failed, leaving these public safety concerns unaddressed."

In our conversation yesterday, Steadman said the solution ultimately lies at the federal level, adding that he spoke with Representative Jared Polis about the issue as recently as last week. "He is aware of the problem and trying to help," Steadman said. "He's in a much better position to work towards a solution than I am."

We've put in another call to Steadman. If and when he gets back to us, we'll update this post.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana ban: All Fort Collins dispensaries must close by midnight" and "Medical marijuana centers cost Boulder more than they bring in?"

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dead horses tell no lies
dead horses tell no lies

DEAD HORSES

 

Tribal wisdom says that when you discover you are ridinga dead horse, the

best strategy is to dismount and find another horse.However, in the drug

prohibition business we often try other strategies withdead horses,

including the following:

1. Buying abigger whip. 2. Changingriders.

3. Saying thingslike "This is the way we always have ridden this horse."

4. Appointing acommittee to study the horse.

5. Hire aconsultant to study the horse.

6. Arranging tovisit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.

7. Increasingthe standards to ride dead horses.

8. Appointing atiger team to revive the dead horse.

9. Creating atraining session to increase our riding ability.

 10. Comparing thestate of dead horses in today's environment.

 11. Change therequirements declaring that "This horse is not dead."

 12. Hirecontractors to ride the dead horse.

 13. Harnessingseveral dead horses together for increased speed.

 14. Declaring that"No horse is too dead to beat."

 15. Providingadditional funding to increase the horse's performance.

 16. Do a CA Studyto see if contractors can ride it cheaper.

 17. Purchase aproduct to make dead horses run faster.

 18. Declare thehorse is "better, faster and cheaper" dead.

 19. Form a qualitycircle to find uses for dead horses.

 20. Revisit theperformance requirements for horses.

 21. Say this horsewas procured with cost as an independent variable.

 22. Promote thedead horse to a supervisory position.

 23. Claim that"The other guys' horse is deader than ours."

 24. Criticize thepress for "pandering to the lowest common denominator"

by persistently reporting that the horse is dead.

 25. Complain thatopponents never mention the good points of dead horses.

 26. Explain that,because the horse died during the previous

administration, it is unfair to blame the presentadministration.

 27. Complain thatschools do not devote enough time to teaching pupils

about horse deadness.

 28. Complain that,if we didn't have (choose one:  so muchaffirmative

action, so many immigrants, so many irresponsiblepoliticians, so many

lawyers, such a small budget for this department) wewouldn't have so many

dead horses.

 29. Explain theparadox that dead horses are indispensable to successful

functionning of the program.

 30. Brag that theagency's dead horse is natural, organic, and

biodegradable.

 31. Tell reportersthat the dead horse is an aberration.

 32. Complain thatforeign horses cost less and live longer but that

obsolete national security regulations prevent purchaseand importation of

foreign horses.

 33. Explain thatthe horse died because we didn't have a dalmation running

with it to protect it, and that this problem is going tohappen over and

over until we are willing to buy enough dalmations toprotect our horses.

 34. Remind peoplethat riding horses is Biblical, that the family that

rides together stays together, that many traditionalAmerican family farms

have a horse, that horses are an indispensable part ofthe American way of

life, and that many voters like horses.

 35. Making deathillegal.

 36. Making deadhorses illegal.

 

 

PS: they left out:

 

Commission an exit poll to see if the horse is reallydead.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

And the slaughter continues --

Boulder pot attorney urges some medical marijuana shops to move

A Boulder attorney who specializes in medical marijuana is urging dispensaries in the city that are within 1,000 feet of a school to move now before the federal government has a chance to shut them down.

 Jeff Gard is now warning his clients and other dispensaries that Boulder is the "very likely next target" for federal authorities, given the proliferation of medical marijuana businesses in the city. Boulder has 37 cultivation facilities, 32 dispensaries and six marijuana-infused product manufacturing sites licensed to do business.

According to city records, 13 dispensaries are within 1,000 feet of a school -- including the University of Colorado.

http://www.dailycamera.com/bou... 

Note to competing dispensaries: the list of the unlawful 13 can be found at the link above.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

18 USC § 1956 - LAUNDERING OF MONETARY INSTRUMENTS

(a)(1) Whoever, knowing that the property involved in a financial transaction represents the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity, conducts or attempts to conduct such a financial transaction which in fact involves the proceeds of specified unlawful activity—

(A)(i) with the intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity; or

(ii) with intent to engage in conduct constituting a violation of section 7201 or 7206 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or

(B) knowing that the transaction is designed in whole or in part—

(i) to conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, or the control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity; or

(ii) to avoid a transaction reporting requirement under State or Federal law, shall be sentenced to a fine of not more than $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, whichever is greater, or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both.

For purposes of this paragraph, a financial transaction shall be considered to be one involving the proceeds of specified unlawful activity if it is part of a set of parallel or dependent transactions, any one of which involves the proceeds of specified unlawful activity, and all of which are part of a single plan or arrangement.

(2) Whoever transports, transmits, or transfers, or attempts to transport, transmit, or transfer a monetary instrument or funds from a place in the United States to or through a place outside the United States or to a place in the United States from or through a place outside the United States—

(A) with the intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity; or

(B) knowing that the monetary instrument or funds involved in the transportation, transmission, or transfer represent the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity and knowing that such transportation, transmission, or transfer is designed in whole or in part—

(i) to conceal or disguise the nature, the location, the source, the ownership, or the control of the proceeds of specified unlawful activity; or

(ii) to avoid a transaction reporting requirement under State or Federal law,shall be sentenced to a fine of not more than $500,000 or twice the value of the monetary instrument or funds involved in the transportation, transmission, or transfer, whichever is greater, or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Why do you keep doing this?  We know that cannabis remains illegal under Federal law, but you beat, beat, beat on this dead horse.  Why don't you explain what your beliefs are?  You previously alluded to having been arrested with a gun and cannabis -- did that experience convince you of the error of your ways?

The supremacy of Federal law does not extend to the operation of our State government or courts.  I suppose that you want to prevent ignorant people from being used as catspaws, which is admirable, but you can do that and still admit that the People of Colorado's decision has prevented many criminal prosecutions, helped many suffering people, and furthered the cause of ending Prohibition generally.  You make many references to other drugs illegality -- why?  Do you believe that Prohibition should continue, or are you just trying to indicate how monumental the task of overthrowing it is?

As much as you post and snipe, I think you owe us much more of an explication of what your own views are -- no one can accuse me of being cryptic or obscure on these points, but as for you -- j'accuse!

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

"We know that cannabis remains illegal under Federal law, but you beat, beat, beat on this dead horse."

And that horse you think is dead drags 100s of deluded, ignorant and naive people to Federal prison every year.

" Why don't you explain what your beliefs are?"

Beliefs are irrelevant. I deal in facts and reality.

"You previously alluded to having been arrested with a gun and cannabis"

WTF are you smoking?

"The supremacy of Federal law does not extend to the operation of our State government or courts."

The supremacy of Fed law DOES extend to the individuals, and 1000s of clueless fools languish in Federal prison for their willful ignorance of that fact.

"I suppose that you want to prevent ignorant people from being used as catspaws"

So why do armchair cheerleaders like yourself play and encourage those gullible ignorami like some Pied Piper leading them down the primrose path?,,. straight to minimum mandatory prison sentences!

Have you no shame, Robert? ... Have you no shame?

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Nothing I have written could be construed as encouraging any ignorami, gullible or otherwise -- I am at considerable pains to communicate the whole truth, (though I get taken to task for the volume of my posts).

Nothing I have written could be construed as suggesting that the anyone involved in the cannabis-trade did not risk Federal prosecution -- we originalists have been pointing out the increased risk to those who operate or work in MMCs, OPGLs, and MIPs since the General Assembly first connived to subvert the Constitution!

I have absolutely nothing of which to be ashamed with regard to my activism to end Prohibition or my postings -- your rhetoric is inconsonant with reality.  I have never encouraged people to operate dispensaries.  I observe that people opened them in the face of some degree of risk and that they continue to serve patients.  May those who undertake that risk continue to serve patients or not as they see fit.

I do not undertake that risk, but I militate for patients' interests, and I believe those interests include the ending of Prohibition, the dissolution of the DEA, and the repeal of the Controlled Substance Act itself.  Arguing for the abolition of these institutions could in no wise be confused with denying their existence or the threat they pose.  It has been my principal aim to stir others to perceive the prohibitionist establishment as a direct threat to their lives and liberty, so I find it bizarre that you can level the accusations above.

William Breathes
William Breathes

Thanks for commenting and giving us your insight, folks. Much appreciated. 

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

I am proud to have called out the prohibitionist scum for being opposed to the bill because they hope for violent crimes directed at cash-only dispensaries, the better to tar medical cannabis as causing crime -- and this time I didn't get thrown out.

Monkey
Monkey

You're proud of yourself?....Big surprise. If you can't get anyone else to pat you on the back, do it yourself, right Robert. No need to retaliate, I'm just an observant monkey who finds your ego amusing.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

You are right -- I've got one.  I spent yesterday afternoon trying to defend patients' access to medicine when I have none myself.  It is disheartening that so very few people understand that there is a need to attack the prohibitionists themselves.  I am the only person who drew attention to the motivation of all the cops and prosecutors at yesterday's hearing -- it was the right thing to do, and more of you need to do likewise. Does it occur to you that a failure to unite behind principled opposition to the counterrevolution against medicinal cannabis might have something to do with its success?

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

A20 provides limited protection to Patients and Individual Primary Caregivers for small personal use quantities.

A20 does NOT authorize nor protect Commercial Retail Dispensaries.

Period.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

"The Blue Book IS NOT BINDING"

So you admit that the promoters of A20 LIED to the electorate when they stated that "sales of marijuana would remain illegal" if A20 were passed.

And you wonder why there is both political and public backlash against the duplicitous clown-show that is the MMJ industry in Colorado ?

Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

The Blue Book IS NOT BINDING--the language of the Amendment is.  It is an inferred protection.   Why did A20 work for 10 years?  Why did cops leave patients alone for the most part for 10 years?  Inferred protection.  Your argument sounds good but is not the law.  Are you an attorney?  Cause you sure are doing a disservice to everyone.  Your chirping with with Suthers,

Kathleen Chippi
Kathleen Chippi

From definitions in Article 18 section 14

lll (b) "Medical use" means the acquisition, possession, production, use, or transportation of marijuana or paraphernalia related to the administration of such marijuana to address the symptoms or effects of a patient's debilitating medical condition, which may be authorized only after a diagnosis of the patient's debilitating medical condition by a physician or physicians, as provided by this section.

Acquisition:  the act of acquiringAcquire:  to gain possession

That has to happen some how.  Patients need to be able to obtain plants or seeds or bud at some point.

From Article 18 section 14

ll (d) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, no person, including a patient or primary care-giver, shall be entitled to the protection of this section for his or her acquisition, possession, manufacture, production, use, sale, distribution, dispensing, or transportation of marijuana for any use other than medical use.

Sale: The exchange of goods or services for an amount of money or it's equivalent.  The act of selling.

Distribution: The act of distributing or the condition of being distributedDistribute:  To divide and dispense portions.  To supply goods to retailers.  To deliver or pass out. To spread.

Dispense (ing): To deal out or distribute.  To prepare and give out (medicines).

Now I know there was a disagreement here last week about what the meaning of "notwithstanding" and "of marijuana for any use other than medical use."  and I don;t remember who was confused but, qualifying patients and their caregivers are protected for the list in A20 above.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Where in the FOREGOING PROVISIONS -- i.e. what the amendment provides for -- does it define and authorize retail sales or dispensaries ?

[cue crickets chirping]

When you comprehend what "NOTWITHSTANDING" means in regards to an Affirmative Defense from extant criminal law, get back to us.

Only a fool would prospectively base their affirmative defense to existing criminal law upon something other than the unambiguous black letter of the provisions of that limited affirmative defense.

And you continue to ignore the incontrovertible fact that the Voter Information Packet provided by the proponents of Amendment 20 prior to the election clearly told the electorate that "SALES of Marijuana would REMAIN ILLEGAL" if the amendment were passed.

What part don't you comprehend?

PS: you're starting to sound crazier than Rob Corry.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Donkey, we have had this exchange before, and I have cited the Constitution to you before -- you really seem to be intent on lying on this point.  One more time:

Constitution of the State of Colorado, Article XVIII, Section 14 (d):  "Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, no person, including a patient or primary care-giver, shall be entitled to the protection of this section for his or her acquisition, possession, manufacture, production, use, sale, distribution, dispensing, or transportation of marijuana for any use other than medical use."

Do you still not see the word "dispensing"?  You are very clearly wrong, and anyone who can read can see so -- are you capable of admitting just this (repeated) mistake, or are you determined to delude people who do not read long or complicated sentences?

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

The word Dispensary does not appear anywhere in Amendment 20.

The word "dispensing" does not appear anywhere in the Provisions of Amendment 20.

The proponents of Amendment 20 clearly stated that "sales of marijuana would REMAIN ILLEGAL" if the amendment were passed.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

I am fully aware of the distinctions between Federal and State law, attended two of Chris Bartkowicz' motions hearings and his trial, and I did not write anything which could be construed as "lack of enforcement = legal".

The word "dispensing" does appear in Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Constitution.

The word "dispensing" does appear in Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Constitution.

The word "dispensing" does appear in Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Constitution.

Stop beating a dead horse!  Neither of us can make the language of Amendment 20 any clearer than it is, but you are deliberately trying to mislead people (a la John Suthers) as to its import.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Only a deluded idiot would claim that lack of enforcement = legal

Just ask Chris Bartkowicz or Doctor Reefer.

The word dispensary does not even appear in Amendment 20,

The proponents of Amendment 20 clearly stated in the pre-election voter disclosure that "SALE of Marijuana would REMAIN ILLEGAL" if A20 were passed.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

What ridiculously tired rhetoric!  Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Constitution does far more than that -- it did in fact implicitly allow caregivers to sell cannabis to patients, and the proof is the burgeoning of dispensaries in the year prior to the passage of SB10-109 and HB10-1284 and the impunity with which they operated.  You are unlikely to persuade anyone of your simplistic glossing over of the Constitution, least of all me.  Apparently it has not occurred to you that the about the only people reading this who are susceptible to your claim that dispensaries operated illegally are just some of those now operating them or working in them.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Amendment 20 allows you to GROW YOUR OWN ... 

... or appoint a private individual primary caregiver to grow or obtain it for you.

What part don't you comprehend?

Monkey
Monkey

This is a good thing. Most MMC owners are easily lured by words like "regulation" and "legitimate" and fall into traps their "investments" prevent them from seeing. If this weed bank thing went through, I fear many businesses would have trusted the same people who steered them wrong in the past and actually put their money in a place that could be seized. At the beginning I thought the weed bank thing was the DEAs idea, kind of like a joke to see if the industry is really that stupid. Now I realize the industry is just desperate and unfortunately, desperate people often get taken advantage of, again and again. Cash is GREAT!!! The financial institute has no business in your weed transactions, any patient who buys weed with a plastic card is not paranoid enough, you too have been fooled by your captives and it's time you realize those purchases are evidence against you.

Lady
Lady

Highlight of the day: Miguel's calling out of the lil bitches from MMIG, thank you Miguel, you made my day, that was fucking CLASSIC. We come for our three minutes, we stay for the emotional breakdowns and name calling! 

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

Funniest thing happen there that was missing out in this report.  A majority of people, both cannabis supporters and law enforcement, called for the repeal of Hb-1284, Hb-1043 Sb-109 and to return to the constitution.  Because everything they are doing out side the constitution is...well...a crime so, every solution they come up with will put them further down the criminal rabbet hole.  Eventually everyone will realize the only protection we can have is through the constitution but it's fun to pretend that these bills they are trying to pass are going to protect us better from the Feds then our constitution. 

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