Pubdate: Wed, 23 Dec 2015
Source: Colorado Springs Independent (CO)
Column: CannaBiz
Copyright: 2015 Colorado Springs Independent
Author: Griffin Swartzell


Cannavengers assemble

A few Colorado Springs cannabis clubs are moving to self-regulate. On 
Dec. 7, Jaymen Johnson announced on Facebook the formation of the 
Association of Cannabis Social Clubs.

It's a project that the Speak Easy Vape Lounge owner has been working 
on for some time, in collaboration with Jason Warf, director for the 
Southern Colorado Cannabis Council (SoCoCC); Ambur Rose and Jason 
Stark of Studio A64; and Jered McCusker of One Love Club (closed 
currently due to fire-code violations).

They have yet to form a board, but have drafted goals related to 
education, advocacy and setting standards. Warf says the association 
will seek nonprofit status in the future, but for now, SoCoCC will 
provide support.

ACSC's proposed standards line up with Amendment 64's stated 
"regulate like alcohol" declaration: Cannabis purchased from clubs 
must be consumed on site; nobody under age 21 can enter; employees 
must complete a training program. Also, clubs can't produce their own 
edibles or concentrates. ACSC is discussing membership requirements 
and standards for member conduct, plus a guideline for how much 
cannabis constitutes a single serving.

As for education, Johnson is adapting the training videos he uses for 
his staff at Speak Easy into a direct analog to Training for 
Intervention Procedures (TIPS) certification. The DABS program - 
short for Displaying Appropriate Budtending Safety - will help club 
employees reduce stoned driving incidents, he says, and identify 
people who are too high and assist as needed. DABS standards will be 
scrutinized and finalized as the ACSC develops.

The ACSC's founders hope that mass self-regulation can prove to 
legislators that cannabis clubs are viable. Ultimately, the ACSC 
wants to keep bad actors from sparking a regulatory crackdown akin to 
when House Bill 1284 closed many of Colorado's MMJ dispensaries.

"It doesn't seem to matter how we vary in our conduct," Johnson says. 
"We're only seen as one group, so we either act as a group, or we 
fall as a group."

Courting legalization

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr., has advised the U.S. 
Supreme Court to throw out Nebraska and Oklahoma's lawsuit against 
Colorado. Last December, Nebraska and Oklahoma sued Colorado, 
claiming that Amendment 64 violates the Supremacy Clause of the 
Constitution. Further, the suit claims that marijuana smuggled out of 
Colorado has caused "irreparable damage," though the suit cites no 
figures as evidence.

"Entertaining the type of dispute at issue here - essentially that 
one State's laws make it more likely that third parties will violate 
federal and state law in another State - would represent a 
substantial and unwarranted expansion of this Court's original 
jurisdiction," the brief says.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom