Pubdate: Mon, 04 Aug 2014
Source: USA Today (US)
Copyright: 2014 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc
Author: Trevor Hughes
Page: 3A


The gold rush of legalized marijuana in Colorado and Washington is 
creating a confusing market of goods and services, from illegal 
Craigslist pot deliveries to a pot vending machine.

While recreational-marijuana sales are legal in both states, the 
marketplaces are surrounded by a web of laws and regulations intended 
to keep buyers paying taxes and transactions aboveboard.

But with tens of millions of dollars in profits up for grabs, 
entrepreneurs are flooding the market with products and services 
operating in a gray area. Some ventures are illegal, but the vendors 
escape prosecution by trying to stay low-key. Others grab headlines 
that are misleading at best.

Craigslist is filled with advertisements for marijuana-delivery 
services in the Denver area. The ads insist they're offering a legal 
service: "Please do not flag! Amendment 20 and 64 compliant," 
referring to the state's medical and recreational-marijuana laws. But 
Colorado law requires marijuana sales to occur inside licensed stores.

These services try to get around that requirement because the law 
also allows adults to give marijuana to other adults for free and 
without any "remuneration." The delivery services simply ask for a 
voluntary donation or a tip. Is it legal? Nope.

"It doesn't matter how anybody characterizes it," Denver Police Cmdr. 
Mark Fleecs said. "They're trying to make a buck, and they can't do 
that. It's all illegal."

A similar service in Washington state in mid-July stopped delivering 
recreational pot to buyers and switched solely to the less-regulated 
medical marijuana market in that state.

The company, Winterlife, gained national attention for delivering 
recreational marijuana in the Seattle area even though police said it 
was illegal.

In Colorado, a retailer installed a pot vending machine. It's inside 
a medical-marijuana store, so only state residents with a special 
state card can buy from it.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom