Marijuana: Wanda James on closure of edibles business, MMJ banking, Obama and more


simply pure peanut butter.jpg
Simply Pure peanut butter.
Despite her frustration, though, James hasn't opted out of the medical marijuana business for good. "We're working right now with Jared Polis, Diana DeGette and Ed Perlmutter. All of them have signed on to the banking bill in Congress. Right now, the government and the banks are operating under a 1980s law that was designed to stop cocaine dealers from having bank accounts, and to the best of my knowledge, Scarface isn't on the Secretary of State's website. We have a business here, so it shouldn't fall under that law."

She's also a big supporter of Amendment 64, and if the measure is approved by voters, she's hoping banking reform will take place in its wake.

"Last cycle, I believe something like 2.4 million people voted," she says. "If and when Amendment 64 passes, that will mean at least 1.2 million people will have voted for it, and that's a whole lot of people for every elected official to face. Even [Colorado Attorney General and marijuana opponent] John Suthers wouldn't be able to come back and say people were confused about what they were voting for. It makes every politician realize his job's at stake if they don't get with the will of the people. And that will put a lot of pressure on the powers that be, and on Wells Fargo and Chase and everybody else.

"We'll be able to say, 'There are over a million people who feel pretty strongly about this business.' So while Amendment 64 definitely does some things to ease arrests and other things, the bigger piece is the message it sends politically."

The measure's enactment would also mean a business rebirth for James. "If 64 passes," she says, "we'll bring back Simply Pure as the first legal retail center -- as long as we're allowed banking and investors.

"I'm fighting with everything I've got," she adds. "At this point, the government has just released a crazy activist. They can't arrest me for anything now, because I'm in full compliance with federal law. So the gloves are off."

Here's the 2010 Daily Show segment.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana and PTSD: Dispensary owner Wanda James reaches out to vets."



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