2014: The Year in Marjiuana in Colorado

A year after Colorado voters legalized sales of marijuana, the state wrestled with numerous issues surrounding pot sale. I-News reporter Katie Kuntz and photojournalist Joe Mahoney delved into a number of these issues throughout 2014.

Here are a few of those stories.

Demand for marijuana outpaces legal supply; black market filling gap

Regulators may examine legal marijuana production caps to curb black market sales

After seven months of recreational marijuana sales in Colorado, the newest goal of state regulators is to increase the amount of marijuana produced and sold by legal retailers. (Read more…)


Pot plants line racks at Medicine Man, a marijuana dispensary and retailer, in Denver on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014.

Joe Mahoney / Rocky Mountain PBS I-News

Pot plants line racks at Medicine Man, a marijuana dispensary and retailer, in Denver on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014.

Warehouse v. Greenhouse: A Rift in the Recreational Marijuana Industry

Whatever else comes from the public hearing last week on proposed new production rules, it’s apparent that Colorado’s still nascent recreational marijuana industry does not speak with one voice.

As Rocky Mountain PBS I-News reported following the hearing, the most contentious issue is placing more stringent limitations on the number of plants that can be grown in greenhouses. This as opposed to the different number of plants that the proposed rules would allow to be grown in warehouse settings. (Read more…)


Mitch Woolhiser owner of Northern Lights Cannabis Company, rubs his forehead as he talks about federal taxes he pays from operating his medical and recreational marijuana store in Edgewater, Colo., on Friday, Oct., 31, 2014. Under a federal tax law, Code 280E, marijuana shops in Colorado report that they regularly paying taxes of more than 70 percent compared to 30 to 40 percent business exempt from Code 280E.

Joe Mahoney / Rocky Mountain PBS I-News

Mitch Woolhiser owner of Northern Lights Cannabis Company, rubs his forehead as he talks about federal taxes he pays from operating his medical and recreational marijuana store in Edgewater, Colo., on Friday, Oct., 31, 2014. Under a federal tax law, Code 280E, marijuana shops in Colorado report that they regularly paying taxes of more than 70 percent compared to 30 to 40 percent business exempt from Code 280E.

Federal Tax Burns Up Recreational Pot Profit

Voters in Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C., legalized recreational marijuana on Tuesday.

But without the support of the U.S. Congress, any of the new, voter-approved pot shops may not be able to survive a drug war-era tax code that already threatens many businesses in Colorado and Washington state.

Under this tax code the federal government stands to make more money from the sale of marijuana than those legally selling it. And that could be enough to shut down many shops. (Read more…)


Feds connecting legal marijuana transactions with suspicious activities

The federal government is stockpiling hundreds of “suspicious activity reports” that could provide federal agents with sufficient evidence to shut down any state-legalized marijuana business.

While it may appear that federal authorities have taken a wait-and-see approach to marijuana legalization in the 23 states that now allow either medical or recreational use, these reports are poised like a blade over the budding industry should federal laws be enforced.

This risk of federal prosecution has led some cannabis companies to literally launder their money. (Read more…)

Read more of Rocky Mountain PBS I-News’ coverage of marijuana here.

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