Marijuana groups backing outdoor ad ban won't disclose membership

Categories: Marijuana

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Despite the pleas of patients, dispensary owners and infused-product entrepreneurs, Denver City Council members unanimously approved going forward with a ban on all outdoor medical marijuana advertising in the city -- a more draconian measure than the original proposal for a ban near schools, parks and other facilities.

CB12-0586 would prohibit all advertising that can be seen by the public except a dispensary's sign on its building or parking lot. That means posters inside a shop for things like Cheeba Chews would be a no-no if they were visible through a window. The measure also includes leaflets and sign twirlers. Some have argued that the language could go so far as to outlaw dispensary T-shirts and bumper stickers that patrons willingly wear or display.

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If you could see this image through a dispensary window, it would be off limits.
And although the ban doesn't include print advertising (at least not for now), it would require any such ad to feature the phrase: "For registered Colorado medical marijuana patients only." Read the entire document below.

Out of the fifteen or so people who commented publicly at Monday's council meeting, most were against the proposal. Representatives from industry groups such as the Cannabis Business Alliance and the Association of Cannabis Trades of Colorado said an outright ban would hurt their members. Several small medical cannabis business owners spoke in opposition to the full ban as well.

Kristi Kelly, owner of Good Meds and an ACT board member, argued that advertising not only helps current patients find meds, but it also normalizes the process for people considering alternative treatments like medical cannabis. "Thousands of patients have yet to find that relief because of this stigma," she argued.

Vocal supporters of the bill included representatives of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 7. MMIG, which has led the push to get the measure through City Council, says that a citywide prohibition against outdoor advertising could prove beneficial to the industry.

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Local 7's Mark Belkin favors the ban.
Proponents say the ads currently target the general population and give the impression that medical cannabis is for everyone, not just registered patients. Here's an excerpt from the bill's language, which MMIG helped to craft: "Medical marijuana advertising that uses the same techniques and media utilized to advertise products and services that are available for sale to the general public is inherently deceptive, because such advertising obfuscates the fact that marijuana is not lawfully available to consumers in the same manner as other products and services are, and creates the false impression that the sale of marijuana may be available for non-medical uses."

UFCW Local 7 spokesman Mark Belikin spoke before council and said that a negative public perception of marijuana caused by obnoxious advertising in Fort Collins led to that city's banning medical marijuana businesses altogether.

In public remarks, MMIG and UFCW Local 7 representatives said they were speaking on behalf of their members. Westword asked both for a membership list, but both declined to provide one.

Page down to learn why MMIG and Local 7 wouldn't disclose their membership.

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It's possible that many of the early Prohibitionists did not actually intend to kill hundreds of thousands worldwide and put 1 in every 30 American adults under supervision of the correctional system while bringing shame upon what was once a shining beacon of liberty and prosperity. But predictively similar to our "Great Experiment" of the 1920s, this foolish and counter-productive 're-run' has once again spawned rampant off-the-scale criminality, corruption, a bust economy, mass unemployment, the world's highest incarceration rate, a civil war in Mexico, an un-winnable war in Afghanistan, and an even higher rate of drug-use (both legal & illegal) than in all other countries that have courageously refused to blindly follow us down this sadomoralistic, dystopian rat hole. 


Prohibition has helped fill our Prisons and Jails to capacity. Violent criminals, murderers, rapists and child molesters are released early to create space for so called 'drug offenders'. Half of court trial time and also a huge chunk of police officers time is pointlessly wasted. Enormous untaxed profits from illegal drugs fund multi-national criminal empires which bribe law enforcement authorities and spread corruption faster than a raging bush fire. Prohibition takes violent criminals and turns them into multi-billionaires whilst corrupting even entire countries, including our own. Our drug laws are also funding the Taliban and al-Qaeda whose illegal opium profits allow them to buy weapons and pay it's fighters more than $300 a month, compared with the $14 paid to an Afghan policemen.


Alcohol prohibition in the US ran from 1919 to 1933 - Now google 'The Great Wall Street Crash' and see when that happened!


To support prohibition is such a strange mind-set. In fact, It's outrageous insanity!  --Literally not one prohibitionist argument survives scrutiny. Not one!


The only people that believe prohibition is working are the ones making a living by enforcing laws in it's name, and those amassing huge fortunes on the black market profits. This situation is wholly unsustainable, and as history has shown us, conditions will continue to deteriorate until we finally, just like our forefathers, see sense and revert back to tried and tested methods of regulation. None of these substances, legal or illegal, are ever going to go away, but we CAN decide to implement policies that do far more good than harm.


If you have liberty then expect prosperity, but there’s most definitely no chance of prosperity without liberty.


DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Perhaps Billy Breathes will now start reporting whether the dispensaries he reviews are members of MMIG or not.


Maybe IcePick is correct on this issue, and MMIG is an empty organization in name only, consisting of only a handful of dispensaries that the MMIG staff owns themselves or has a direct interest in.


If that's the case, then Westword has been grossly remiss in giving them so much free press, to the detriment of other real member-based organizations and the patient groups and individual patients themselves.


Note: RiverRock -- an MMIG pig -- seems to be one of the largest online advertisers on the Westword web site.





life is good since i left that shit show known as CO MMJ and got my feet back on the BEAST COAST. 10 years in CO was more than enough to learn you are all clowns and CO MMJ is nothing more than a continuous calamity. have fun a-holes. reap what ya sow from either actions or in-actions. you all hold some blame. beat it shit stains. 


I don't know how an MMJ patient with any sense of responsibility or sense of duty to the community could shop at any of the MMC's listed below. It's like buying organic vegetables from Monsanto--you're supporting the enemy.


It comes as no surprise to me to see River Rock on the list. I toured their 80000sf warehouse, where the owner--a guy from New Zealand-- showed us his "Walmart Weed" (his own words, not mine). That guy was 100% about profit and profit only. He could care less about the quality of his cannabis--he just wants to know what the margins are. His caring for patients is limited to him caring how much money he's going to make off of them.




Not allowing outdoor advertising such as billboards and bus stops plus bus benches hurts the community as a whole. The owners of those types of ad venues depend on customers. Paid advertising creates EMPLOYMENT. Employment is on the tip of everyone's tongue, This statute would curtail EMPLOYMENT. So it is counter productive. If the community is really concerned they need to forbid cigarette advertising on gas station & convenience store outdoor light poles and windows. They also need to  prohibit cigarette and liquor ads in liquor store windows including neon signs. Both seen by passing youth. Both known killers unlike cannabis which there are no recorded deaths.


And while we are at it let's protect the adults from gambling. No outdoor casino advertising 


This is so draconian I can't believe it was even introduced but who thought the Marijuana Stamp Act of 1937 would be still haunting us today.

Peace, Pot, Politics,

Wayward Bill Chengelis

Chairman, US Marijuana Party


also dont forget #6, the first thing Josh did with the money he stole from COMMR (his 1st attempt to mislead legislators and patients, see westword story about Matt Brown) was partner MMIG, his new group, up with CPA the colorado fracking lobby, who MMIG shares office space with to this day. So Kara, Kristen (now Cba still a dirty bitch) and Mike were already scumbags who left their fracking jobs pushing environmental destruction and carcinogenic profiteering to promote MMJ.  I have always felt that this was a red flag, and MMIG used the same arguments the fracking industry uses when asked to disclose chemicals used to grow their plants. Norton argued himself blue in the face that the chemicals used are "proprietary". sound familiar? 


MMIG won't give us their list because people are boycotting them.  Here is what MMIG has done:


1. Lobbied to destroy caregivers via HB 1043

2. Lobbied for HB 1284 = The shit show that created this mess

3. Its main founding member, Josh Stanley, testified that he turns in growers to police

4. They SUPPORTED a THC DUID Bill, so did CBA

5. They supported taking from the patient fund to shore up the MMED and to link the database. 


The above items can all be found through westword/denverpost articles over the past few years. 


Here is the list of the board of directors from last year: 

Norton Arbelaez, River Rock

Josh Stanley, Budding Health

Steve Ackerman, Organic Alternatives

John Salfeld, Local Product

Dan Rogers, Greenwerkz

Bryan Swanton, Dayz's

Tripp Keeber, Dixie Elixers

Jake Salazar, MMJ Amercia

Brian Cook, Altitude Organic Medicine


IF YOU SHOP AT AN MMIG DISPENSARY, YOU SUPPORT THE TRAMPLING OF OUR RIGHTS. Ask your MMC if they are a member, if they are, boycott them!


who is going to enforce the ban??? 


 @DonkeyHotay Mr. Breathes doesn't report on whether or not those dispensaries he is reviewing have a state license or not, despite repeated requests to do so, so I doubt if he'll dig any deeper to ask if they are MMIG members. The simple solution is to boycott all dispensaries and go back to the caregiver model that worked so well for 10+ in Colorado. No MMIG-pigs, no MMED-pigs, no RFID chips, no surveillance cameras, no registry cards needed. Just you and your caregiver in private growing quality herb and making quality medicines. The commercial mmj model has failed due to the greed and stupidity of the di$pen$ary owners, making all cannabis users look bad.




 @JohnSuthersVagina Waaa waaa waaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaa.  You took the time to become john suthers vagina and this is the best you could do?

DonkeyHotay topcommenter



The funniest part is, Westword helped gore their own Ox by promoting those puerile pot clowns.


Stupid is as Stupid does.


**** Boycott ALL Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Pigs ****





 @DonkeyHotay Looks like Donkey is still bringing up old news.  Can you please point to something new, interesting or relevant?  Please?


 @DonkeyHotay from last year. a lot has changed since then. RiverRock & MMJ America are CONFIRMED members as of last week.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @IcePick  Deliberate Violation of City ordinances and codes = loss of City MMJ license = loss of State MMJ license



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