Mar 012011
 
Authors: Emily Johnson

Editor’s note: Cindy Acree was incorrectly referred to as a man.

A recent proposal to ban edible marijuana products might go up in smoke.

House Bill 1250, co-sponsored by Rep. Cindy Acree, R-Arapahoe and Elbert Counties, and Sen. Scott Renfroe, R-Weld County, would prohibit the manufacture and sale of medical marijuana-infused consumable foods and beverages.

Acree proposed the ban earlier this month when she discovered marijuana food products.

“I don’t see something like this passing,” said Drew McNeil, owner of a local dispensary Nature’s Medicine. “The state constitution allows for patients to use marijuana in any derivative. You can’t just change that.”

Those who stand to lose the most with this proposal’s passing are marijuana-infused product manufacturers. Steve Horwitz, owner of Ganja Gourmet, in Denver, predicts uproar if that happens.

“The state took $1,200 from every one of us to be licensed manufacturers,” he said, referring to the licensing fees paid by infused products manufacturers in Colorado. “How can they outlaw it after taking our money?”

“We bought kitchen equipment and buildings,” he said. “I can tell you there will be a lot of lawsuits coming their way if this is passed.”

Horwitz’s company makes marijuana-infused lasagna, pizzas and cheesecakes, to name a few products. Its food is distributed all over Colorado.

McNeil also said one of the reasons doctors are willing to recommend marijuana be used medicinally is because of the alternative ways to use it.

“A lot of people don’t want to smoke it,” he said.

The bill, if passed, would affect adversely patients and businesses. McNeil said not being able to distribute edibles from his dispensary would be the city’s loss.
“My sales generate revenue to the city,” he said. “Banning any products just means less tax I pay.

Kyle Kaufman, who works at Top Shelf dispensary, understands the legislators’ concerns.

“They feel like it’s an easy mix-up,” he said. “But they aren’t taking patient’s preferences into consideration. Some people prefer not to smoke it.”

Medical Marijuana became legal in Colorado in 2000. Legislators have been struggling to regulate it ever since.

Staff writer Emily Johnson can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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