Pot sales of $5 million in five days and no place to put the money? Denver City Council reacts

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Video and more below.
The inability of marijuana businesses to straight-forwardly stash their cash in standard financial institutions due to federal banking regulations aimed at stopping drug trafficking has been an issue in Colorado for years. But despite Obama administration statements about possible fixes and a request from Governor John Hickenlooper more than three months ago, nothing has been done. Now, however, with the recreational pot biz reportedly taking in more than $5 million in the first five days of sales, the Denver City Council is raising its voice.

At last night's council meeting, the body unanimously passed a proclamation calling for the feds to rewrite banking regs to allow for state-legal weed operations to use banks like any other business.

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The Denver City Council at last night's meeting, in a 7News image.
The text of the entire proclamation is below, but here's a telling excerpt:
....Forcing Colorado's legal marijuana industry to operate on a cash-only footing creates heightened risks of crime -- risks that marijuana businesses themselves will become targets of crime, risks that criminal elements will seek to become involved in the marijuana industry, and thereby risks that governments will be defrauded, employees will be victimized, and customers and nearby neighborhoods will be put in danger....
Getting all the council members to agree on anything regarding pot is something of a miracle. Note the contentiousness over initial attempts to ban smoking on front porches -- a proposal that was defeated by a single vote only after weeks of back-and-forth drama.

But given the $5 million-plus sales estimate in less than a week (a figure shared by the National Cannabis Industry Association), the prospect of bad things of the sort mentioned in the passage above convinced even the most reluctant councilpersons to set aside their pot suspicions and sign on.

That's a good thing, according to the council's Charlie Brown, who says some shops have taken to using decoys in order to safely get cash out the door.

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Councilman Charlie Brown speaking in support of the proclamation last night.
Glad of the council's support is Medical Marijuana Industry Group executive director Michael Elliott. Prior to the meeting, he issued the following statement:
A lack of banking services has created significant public safety and accountability issues for licensed and regulated marijuana businesses. While we in Colorado have built a comprehensive and robust regulatory and licensing framework, banking needs a federal solution. A lack of a federal solution will lead to increases in the worst sort of crimes. We hope the federal government resolves the banking issue quickly; the safety of Colorado citizens depends on it.
Continue to see coverage of the meeting and the complete text of the proclamation.

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254 comments
Dontbelieveit
Dontbelieveit topcommenter

Looks like it's time to start their own credit union!

William Bishop
William Bishop

I'm shocked that people are shocked just like they will be shocked when the taxation of the porn industry, the legalization of

Frans Vanderfeesten
Frans Vanderfeesten

yay for Colorado and the people! Charlene is right, the staggering amount of money spent by the public on recreational drugs is now brought to the surface, ready for taxing and democratically controlled supervision. What more do you want? Imagine all that money going to criminals buying weapons and other societally disruptive goods and services. I am completely envious of the guts and wisdom of Colorado legalizing marijuana. Although the Netherlands has been dabbling in decriminalization for decades we are nowhere near the progressive policy you recently put in place. Only good thing about the Netherlands is you can purchase your pot with your bankcard in a pot-shop. Get it done, United States! And keep up the good work!

Elaine Proffitt
Elaine Proffitt

k, What good does announcing that there is $5million under Denver mattresses do? Maybe if you post this article AGAIN we can be 100% sure that somebody will rob them.

Jesse Montes
Jesse Montes

STOP FUCKIN AROUND & LEGALIZE THE SHIT ALREADY!!"

Marcia Hunsaker
Marcia Hunsaker

Dugh why do you think the Dope man drives the ride he/she does.

Jay Baca
Jay Baca

It should go into public school music programs. But that's not what is going to happen.......it don't take a rocket scientist to know what pocket's this money end up in.

Jon M Richards
Jon M Richards

Mandy. Whether you are correct or not, you should really use somewhat proper grammar in a debate. You could be 100% correct and still look ignorant when you write like that.

Michael Eaton
Michael Eaton

Obama administration statements about possible fixes and a request from Governor John Hickenlooper more than three months ago, nothing has been done. WHAT A SHOCKER! LOL!

Mandy Duran
Mandy Duran

i guess priya is going to enlighten everyone With her vast knowledge of prohibition marijuana And the english language!!!! lmao thanks for your internet education... lol:-)

Mandy Duran
Mandy Duran

yeah i speak english i have your a crazy phone lol educate yourself mmj field... especially if you are Not Part of this industry

Priya Butani Nye
Priya Butani Nye

Lexi dear, Prohibition was not 200 years ago. Maybe you should know what you are saying before you post or reply to a solid point.

Priya Butani Nye
Priya Butani Nye

Intelligent reply Charlene. I guess Lexi unfortunately went to a school that didn't teach history, or maybe dropped out before US History class.

Priya Butani Nye
Priya Butani Nye

Mandy, do you speak English? It's hard to understand what you are trying to write.

Charlene McCune
Charlene McCune

Thank you... I have aged very well... on the other hand.. I attended school and paid attention to my history lessons...

Mandy Duran
Mandy Duran

And the money is ging to the schools People need to feuchte educate themselves it chas only been Since the first damn... give them some time....

Mandy Duran
Mandy Duran

it is because The dispenary has a separate Business Name And account i work for One... banks are just starting to decide if they want in this industry

Che Harness
Che Harness

Out of the hands of criminals and used for good? You are talking about our government aren't you?

Jordan Snyder
Jordan Snyder

That's completely false. I have *always* bought legal weed with a credit card.

Jordan Snyder
Jordan Snyder

What does that have to do with this? Marijuana businesses pay taxes, in fact more taxes, than other businesses. This article is about where marijuana businesses keep their money, since, you know, most businesses don't stash their earnings (after taxes) in their mattress at home.

Alyssa Sepsey
Alyssa Sepsey

i'll take some of it to get it off your guys hands!?!?

Mandy Duran
Mandy Duran

it is cash sales because credit card companies And banks Do not work With dispensaries Lee roy

Jared Forqueran
Jared Forqueran

Kids, the first $45 million is going to new school construction, the rest will be spent according to the whims of the state...

Che Harness
Che Harness

it took them a week after legalization to realize this would be a problem? This has been a problem for quite awhile now. I think all of their delays on implementing procedures to help the industry is just their way of trying to let problems flourish so they have a reason to berate the law. I think they keep hoping the feds will step in and repeal the law so they can get what they want with less chance of being voted out of office.

Lee Roy
Lee Roy

Funny that it was cash only sales what do you think the books look like lol

Aaron Betcher
Aaron Betcher

hey, keep your promise give it to schools you bastards.

Marc Khan
Marc Khan

Stop with all your sensibility and logic!!!!!!!

Joyce Terlaje
Joyce Terlaje

I was trying to figure out how much $$ the schools will get .. lol

Sarah Bay
Sarah Bay

Only surprise is that it's not more.

Chris Vann
Chris Vann

Very surprised that people like weed {pulls carb for couch lock toke}

Lexi Lutz
Lexi Lutz

Charlene, are you 200 years old that you remember prohibition? Color me impressed.

Mike Golletz
Mike Golletz

I've been saying it for years the tax rev. for rec. MJ would pull us out of our slump

Charlene McCune
Charlene McCune

This tells you how much pot is being sold without some kind of regulation... the taxes being lost is ridiculous... it reminds me so much of the prohibition years with alcohol... having mobsters control so much revenue scares me to death... I am glad that at least this revenue can be monitored and used for some good rather than making a bunch of criminals rich....

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

                     ... $5 million in 5 days? ... LOL! 


... more bullshit industry hype from the usual self-serving paid propagandists shilling for the Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Cartels.


Lets see the actual SALES TAX collections and SUBMISSIONS to the State Dept. of Revenue for $500,000.00 due on that $5 million in retail sales, otherwise it proves once again that the Pot Pimps are LYING, or that they are EVADING TAXES.


As usual Wasteword will regurgitate ANY LIE fed to them -- no matter how absurd or impossible, because they know their core reader demographic is TOO FUCKING STUPID to know the difference.


There were only ~25 licensed rec. dispensaries statewide on Jan. 1 -- eighteen in the Denver metro area. They'd all have to do $40,000 / day ON AVERAGE to have taken in $5 million. Even using the inflated and exploitative $40 / eighth pricing, those dispensaries would have to serve approximately 125 people per hour -- average -- every hour -- every one of the 25 dispensaries -- every day -- all five days.


Even Bongsucker Billy reported that the 2 hour long wait times at SOME dispensaries were NOT because the shops were models of customer efficiency, rapidly greeting, showing, serving, bagging, tagging, taxing and ringing up customers every 30 seconds, every minute of every hour, all day long, every single day, for 5 days straight. 


Quite the contrary, the lines and waits were due to massive -- typical -- inefficiencies where stoned clueless customers needed to touch, look at and sniff every pathetic bud they're contemplating purchasing, then do it all over again when they forget which bud "smelled" the best. Anyone who has ever been to a dispensary knows that the typical customer purchase transaction takes anywhere from 10 - 30 MINUTES depending on who's more stoned, the minimum wage clerk or the minimum wage / unemployed customer.


Come on Bongsucker Billy, fess up! ... how long does it take YOU to make a selection and purchase, honestly?



An entire customer transaction complete from greeting through selection through sale every 30 seconds ??? ... 100,000 times back to back for 5 days straight ??



... ROTFLMAO !! ... why does Wasteword publish and promote such obviously absurd LIES ?? ... have you NO journalistic integrity? ... not even a crumb left behind from previous real journalists who once worked there? ... check under the desks and behind the copy machine.



Lets see the actual SALES TAX collections and SUBMISSIONS to the State Dept. of Revenue for $500,000.00 due on that $5 million in retail sales, Let's see the reports from the magical "seed to sale" RFID tracking system that MMED spent $1.2 million on.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @Frans Vanderfeesten "Imagine all that money going to criminals buying weapons and other societally disruptive goods and services."


Did the people YOU bought pot from all these year -- friends, family, associates -- purchase weapons and other "societally disruptive goods and services" with the $$ you paid them?



killertunes
killertunes

I'd rather have the mob controlling the money. I think the government is more corrupt than the mob and no morals to boot. At least the mob has rules and they stick by them.

Joedee
Joedee

@DonkeyHotay You are a fucking asshole. Please shut the fuck up, then clip your nuts so you dont contaminate the world any further. 

Scizmz
Scizmz

@DonkeyHotay You've got some issues kid.  Your logic is WAY off on a few points.  I'm not sure where your hostility comes from but you seem to be quite the protagonist behind your little computer screen there.  Lets look at a few falicies with your rational shall we? 


A) Who said anything about every transaction being $40?  

  Between having the options of multiple strains, edibles and several other factors, I can see the average sale price upwards of $200-$300 on the first few days per person.  Thats with some people just buying a gram, and others buying an 8th, or even an ounce total, toss in some edibles... maybe a pipe, bong or vape, and ticket totals can skyrocket.



B) You feel that its not an issue for business owners to have tens of thousands in cash on hand with no option but to buy a safe to keep it in?  This doesn't pose some public saftey issues?  There will always be somebody trying for an easy score.  The reason for access to the banking system is to reduce risk to the business, its customers, and the general public as well.  I know that cops don't want to have to answer calls to prevent robberies at dispensaries by people with automatic weapons.


C) The minimum due in taxes on that $5 million total, will be $1.25 million.  Now if they had made $4million in sales they might have 5 mill cash on hand.  This is simple math, and the city and state don't want to lose that much tax money due to lack of action by the feds.


Oh, and your 18 dispensaries open, that was day 1.  Everybody is working hard to get more businesses up and running so that there isn't a huge shortage, and so no real issues come up.  


Please stop thinking in such linear terms.  Plenty of people will eventually grow their own.  However not everybody can afford to, or has the ability to.  As an adult that has never tried weed, i would certainly go to a shop instead of spending months growing a plant, and tending it... just to decide i didn't like it?


If you have an issue with cartels and out of state money comming in, GREAT! Lets do something about that.... but relax your rhetoric a little and make it a conversation.  People will listen to you more.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Scizmz "The minimum due in taxes on that $5 million total, will be $1.25 million.  Now if they had made $4million in sales they might have 5 mill cash on hand.  This is simple math "


LOL! ... simple Math FAIL!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Scizmz A) Who said anything about every transaction being $40?  

Between having the options of multiple strains, edibles and several other factors, I can see the average sale price upwards of $200-$300 on the first few days per person.  Thats with some people just buying a gram, and others buying an 8th, or even an ounce total, toss in some edibles... maybe a pipe, bong or vape, and ticket totals can skyrocket.


LOL! ... and with ALL those other options and choices and transactions, would it take MORE or LESS than 30 SECONDS -- on average -- to process the entire customer transaction ??


So go with $80 average ticket sales, do you really think the handful of dispensaries open the first week processed customers continuously at the rate of 1 every 60 seconds continuously -- 62500 customers in 5 days ??  ... 60 seconds for the ENTIRE customer interaction, from greeting, to showing, to sniffing and touching, to talking, to more sniffing and selections, to bagging, to tagging, to taxing and collecting the $$ -- EVERY FUCKING 60 seconds for EVERY FUCKING customer ??


Does it hurt to be so damn stupid and gullible?


Show us the verified STATE Sales Tax DEPOSITS for the 5 days in question, otherwise it's just more Dispensary Propaganda BULLSHIT ... or Tax Evasion on a grand scale.



KathleenChippi
KathleenChippi topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay@KathleenChippi if your single you could be missing the green bus.....come on give me something.

Joedee
Joedee

@DonkeyHotay What is your major malfunction, numbnuts? I dont think Ive ever heard anyone take such a hissy fit over people enjoying a little gange. Here's an idea: mind your own fucking business, or start smoking. You could use it. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@notimetowasteinthisl <== typical stoner math FAIL.


Even using your $60 / eighth average, the impossibility of the few dispensaries that were open when faced with the REALITY of how inefficient and unprepared they were at handling even moderate foot traffic does not change. 


There is no way ALL the dispensaries handled a complete customer transaction every 45 seconds -- or even one every minute, every minute of the hour, every hour of the day, all day long, for 5 consecutive days straight. It's just another GIANT LIE proposed by the Paid Propaganda Pimps for the Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Cartels.


Bongsucker Billy was there, in person, he saw the complete clusterfuck, how few budtenders there were, how few "certified cash register - certified scale" combinations there were, and how fucking long it took the average idiot customer to select and pay for their pathetic $50 worth of schwag.



Show us the ACTUAL SALES TAX Deposits to the Dept. of Revenue for those days, otherwise it's just more stoner bullshit.


notimetowasteinthisl
notimetowasteinthisl

@DonkeyHotay @notimetowasteinthisl Once again, just avoiding my argument. $50-70, ~$60 eighths, I don't need to now tax rates to know total REVENUES...Anyways, I'm done arguing here; you're not even making any points, just name calling...I don't have time to sit here all day and make posts like you do (Mr. Top Commenter AKA Mr. internet troll with too much time on his hands). Keep wasting your life away trolling while I go live my life like normal people do. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@notimetowasteinthisl "1/8ths were going for way higher than $40..."


How much higher, ON AVERAGE, exactly?


You don't even know the correct State sales tax rate for pot, you stump-stupid stammering stoner.



notimetowasteinthisl
notimetowasteinthisl

@DonkeyHotay @notimetowasteinthisl Correct me please. Please correct me. I'm waiting. Break down the numbers for me because the numbers you came up with were just nonsense. 1 customer every 60 seconds?  I did all my math from your facts(25 dispensaries, 62,500 customers). 1/8ths were going for way higher than $40...Do you have any idea how a business is run? What, are you assuming each dispensary has 1 employee working to help 1 customer at a time? LMAO, the numbers don't lie, but your retard logic does

notimetowasteinthisl
notimetowasteinthisl

@DonkeyHotay You're pulling numbers just to fit your argument. 5million/25=$200,000/5 days=$40k a day like you said. Say they are open 12 hours a day, they're raking in $3,333 an hour. Say average customer time is 10 minutes(it's not a dispensary, theres no verification process, just a simple ID check for age). There's not going to be 1 budtender. if they have 6 bud tenders and each customer is there for 10 minutes, then that's 36 customers per hour. $3,333/36=an average of $92.60 spend per customer...not that hard to believe. Especially with the lines out the doors, people would probably stock up on a lot more than $92 worth(8ths were going for $50-$70 from what I've speculated). So there...Does math prove it for you? It's OBVIOUSLY fucking possible.

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