Elko County's 1st Medical Pot Dispensary Could Be on Its Way

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Pre-rolled joints sold at Denver marijuana dispensary recalled over contamination concerns

DENVER — A large chain of marijuana dispensaries in the Denver area is voluntarily recalling medical and retail marijuana products over contamination concerns.

Pre-rolled joints recently purchased from Lightshade Dispensaries were found to contain potentially unsafe levels of yeast and mold, according to a release from the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment.

The agency said it opened an investigation after receiving a complaint of illness potentially associated with the pre-rolled joints.

Inhaling high levels of mold could lead to short and long-term health issues, the release warns.

All medical and retail marijuana pre-rolls sold from the following Lightshade Labs locations prior to February 16, are subject to the recall.  

330 S. Drayton St., Denver, CO  80247 (402-00405/402R-00106) 3950 Holly St., Denver, CO  80207 (402-00603/402R-00073) 1126 S. Sheridan Blvd., Denver, CO  80232 (402-00970/402R-00360) 11975 E. 40th Ave., Denver, CO  80239 (402R-00396) 745 E. 6th Ave., Denver, CO  80203 (402R-00479)

Health officials say the recalled joints should be disposed of or returned to Lightshade. For more information about the recall, contact Lightshade Labs at [email protected]

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Trial begins for man charged in pot dispensary robbery

Peter Ferrera laid his cheek on the witness stand and pointed his fingers, arranged in the shape of a gun, at the base of his skull, showing jurors how he was held at gunpoint during an armed robbery in 2013 at his medical marijuana production facility in Santa Fe.

Ferrera was the first witness to testify Tuesday in a state District Court jury trial for Reyes Barela, a Rio Rancho man accused of 12 felony counts, including robbery, aggravated burglary, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, kidnapping, false imprisonment, vehicle theft and tampering with evidence.

Authorities say Barela, 32, is one of three gunmen who burst into New Mexico Top Organics, held the two owners at gunpoint and stole about $30,000 worth of marijuana before fleeing in one victim’s SUV. But he is the only person to stand trial in the case.

This week’s trial is Barela’s second on the charges.

First Judicial District Judge T. Glenn Ellington declared a mistrial midway through the first trial in October because a Santa Fe police detective had given information on the witness stand about Barela’s criminal history after the judge ruled that any wrongdoing in the Rio Rancho man’s past could not be introduced in court.

Judges routinely prohibit the introduction of a defendant’s criminal history to ensure jurors reach verdicts based on the evidence in the case and not on the defendant’s past.

Barela has been charged in several robbery and burglary cases in recent years, including another case pending in the First District Court, in which he’s charged with four counts of armed robbery and four counts of conspiracy. He also was charged with armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery in a 2015 case that

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Medical Marijuana Businesses May Find Trouble Ahead

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As we wait to hear the decision on the five cultivation centers, high taxes could make it difficult for the new medical marijuana businesses in Arkansas to operate.

In 1982, Congress passed an amendment to the Federal Tax Code in response to a case involving a Minnesota drug dealer.

“Filed for a bunch of business deductions for his cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana business,” explains Neal Levine with the New Federalism Fund. 

The IRS denied the deductions but the drug dealer went to court and won.

Congress responded by adding Section 280E to the tax code.

“It essentially says if you traffic in a Schedule 1 or 2 substance that’s illegal under state or federal law, you may not take any standard business deductions outside of the true cost of goods sold,” Levine adds.

Fast forward 35 years and 29 states, plus the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for some users.

Dispensary Owner Jeffery Kahn is a 65-year-old Rabbi who owns the Takoma Wellness Center in DC.

He got in the medical marijuana business after watching his father-in-law suffer for decades with Multiple Sclerosis.  

“It made a huge difference for him,” he says.

But after five years in the business, Kahn says it hasn’t been the cash cow many people assume.

“It’s been quite complicated and I must say, we haven’t quite mastered the turn a profit part yet,” he continues.

Kahn says one of the major obstacles is Tax Code 280E. 

“Rent and employee salaries and everything else that the average business is able to take off their taxes… we can’t,” he explains. 

Industry experts say 280E hits marijuana businesses with tax rates that can be double what other businesses pay. But efforts to create an exemption have stalled in Congress.

“I

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Pharmacists, investors hope to open first medical marijuana dispensary in Metairie

METAIRIE — Pharmacists and investors are working to open the first and only medical marijuana pharmacy in the Greater New Orleans area.

They say pharmacies are legally approved by the legislature and the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy.

But those who say marijuana is not proven to be safe and effective, say they are violating the intent of the law, lawmakers and the Louisiana board of medical examiners.

The Rx Greenhouse in Metairie hopes to be open by the end of the summer.

Nothing that can be smoked will be sold here, only pills, oils, patches, capsules, tinctures, concentrates, topicals and suppositories. There will be a safe and two armed guards around the clock, according to Dr. Sajal Roy, owner of The Rx Greenhouse.

“Our goal is not to have the medical marijuana stolen or diverted. Our goal is to use it to help patients,” Dr. Roy said.

As a pharmacist, Dr. Roy has opened similar businesses in other states and was ranked first out of all the applicants by a subcommittee of the Louisiana Board of Pharmacy to open the local facility. His team is moving forward, even though the full pharmacy board has not voted yet. He says a half dozen doctors or so have been approved to write what are called “certifications,” not prescriptions, for specific ailments that are good for only 30 days.

“And that mandates the patients return back to the physicians so that the patient can be properly monitored to determine if this is actually working,” explained Pharmacist

Danielle Neupauer, the Corporate Compliance Officer of The Rx Greenhouse.

Groups like the GNO Drug Demand Reduction Coalition lobbied against medical marijuana, saying it is against federal law and has not gone through the rigorous testing as every other prescribed drug to get FDA approval.

“If they

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