Written by Christopher Meyer | 2:52 pm on April 6, 2011
If you had the opportunity to visit the High Times Cannabis Cup this last weekend, you saw a wide variety of businesses that are participating in the marijuana movement; not just from Denver, but from around the country. The volume of people standing in lines on Saturday was a testament to how many are eager to see marijuana culture up close.
If you are legal Colorado medical marijuana patient, you had the opportunity to visit a restricted area where Colorado medical marijuana centers and vendors of infused products had booths to represent their young businesses.
While I am sure there were many who enjoyed their visit to this room, I had the awful feeling that it wasn’t a very good reflection of what a legitimate and professional industry should look like or sound like (there were at least three competing PA systems).
As I was staffing Denver Relief’s booth offering those interested information about our center, the ability to touch and smell our Bio-Diesel and Dopium flowers as well as our water extracted and-critical extracts, I had the opportunity to people watch. While I can respect each individual’s freedom to medicate as they please, what I saw was neither safe (considering that most arrive by car), nor appropriate for businesses operating to serve a medical need.
To my knowledge, out of all the booths in the room, there were two centers not NOT handing out free samples, Denver Relief, and Colorado Alternative Medicine. Estimating there to be 25 booths meant that a patient could walk around and to take a sample from every booth. I myself witnessed a young man who appeared to be falling asleep standing up. I don’t generally cast judgement, but this may have been an an example of excessive medicating.
What’s more is that every vendor or medical marijuana center there has not yet received their license to operate from the state of Colorado. The application deadline has passed, but the applications have not been approved to our knowledge.
The Colorado Medical Marijuana Code (CMMC) which has been written and is presently under legal review explicitly forbids distribution of medicine outside of the medical marijuana center’s retail space.
Denver Relief has always erred on the conservative side of things. In this instance it may have harmed how our business was perceived in the eyes of those who attended the Cannabis Cup, but we are unwilling to risk the future of our business to cater to the opinions of others.
It is unfortunate that those businesses that are committed to respecting the guidelines for operating in this industry are given negative exposure because others are willing to break that code, and that owners present at the cup succumbed to the pressures of others around them and made what we feel is a poor choice to break the yet enforced CMMC.
Whether or not the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division will do anything about this is uncertain. It seems unlikely as thus far we have had little response in terms of real intervention in bad practices, but we can give them the benefit of the doubt as they are still putting their ducks in a row.
That isn’t the worst part though at all. To represent the industry as our peers did injures the viability of representing marijuana as a legitimate medicine and as something that should be treated with respect and welcomed into the homes of the average person.
This type of representation marginalizes marijuana culture, and keeps it in the fringes where it will remain unless we can collectively represent ourselves as responsible business owners, citizens, and care providers.
Stoner culture does not benefit our chances of legalizing this wonderful medicine and to have called it a Medical Cannabis Cup is an awful misrepresentation of an industry that should be striving to gain the respect and approval of the average citizen.
I hope those businesses that chose to violate the code that will determine their right to operate as a medical marijuana business will realize before their doors are closed that their choices not only risk their investment, but risk the future of the industry as whole.