Colorado

Colorado: Researcher To Study MS Patients Who Use Medical Marijuana

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Some multiple sclerosis patients use medical marijuana to reduce their pain and muscle spasms, and a Colorado State University researcher is launching a crowdfunding campaign to study possible benefits and side effects of this long-term marijuana use.

The research project will not involve providing cannabis or encouraging its use; it will simply examine existing users who have decided to treat their MS symptoms with medical marijuana and voluntarily agree to participate in the study.

Thorsten Rudroff, director of CSU’s Integrative Neurophysiology Lab, said local clinicians estimate that up to 50 percent of their patients are using marijuana to alleviate their symptoms.

“Marijuana use may have additional benefits, such as improving motor function, but this is all based on anecdotal evidence,” Rudroff said. “We don’t have scientific evidence that this is working, so we think this research could provide valuable information.”

Rudroff would like to conduct tests on at least 20 MS patients in northern Colorado who are already using medical marijuana and compare them to a control group of the same size who don’t. He said that Colorado, which voted to allow medical marijuana use in 2000, is an ideal location for the study.

“This research can’t be done in many other states that don’t have the same marijuana laws,” Rudroff explained. “Also, Colorado has one of the highest rates of MS in the country. More and more dispensaries are coming, and we need to give patients solid information.”

Colorado: Cannabis Chamber To Hold Press Conference On Marijuana Edibles Standards

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The Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce (C4) has scheduled a press conference for Thursday afternoon. Attendees will hear from several C4 members, as they discuss C4’s recent all member, voluntary adoption of new edibles standards. There will be time for questions.

The newly adopted standards are as follows: C4 manufacturers will no longer produce or sell marijuana infused edibles that are in the shapes of humans or animals. Animal shapes such as gummy bears, gummy worms, “sour patch kids,” and other items will be prohibited.

“I am proud to announce that members of the C4 organization, along with our Board of Directors, began discussing this initiative to address these concerns in the fall of 2015,” said Tyler Henson, C4 president.

“C4 has worked to ensure our members adopt manufacturing and sales standards which recognize that legal marijuana should only be consumed by adults," Henson said. "This is done in good faith and in the spirit of cooperation with cannabis regulators, community leaders, and our elected officials as we work together to continue to advance both public safety and robust industry standards.”

Colorado: CanopyBoulder Announces New Slate of Cannabis Startups for Spring

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Cannabis companies developing everything from a Consumer Reports-style publication for cannabis to innovative vaporizers, grinders and tools for home growers move to Boulder next week to begin a 16-week CanopyBoulder entrepreneur boot camp.

The new class of 10 companies, with roots ranging from North Carolina to California, marks the third class of cannabis entrepreneurs to gain acceptance into CanopyBoulder, a year-old program that already has helped raise more than $10 million for 19 companies.

“As the commercial side of cannabis matures, so do the applications we receive from around the country,” said CanopyBoulder co-founder and CEO Patrick Rea. “The business ideas being pursued by this spring class are phenomenal. We can’t wait to help them build the leading cannabis companies of the future.”

Hundreds of companies apply to CanopyBoulder’s immersion boot camps, but the accelerator program selects only 10 for each four-month session. The entrepreneurs that make the cut receive $20,000 investments from CanopyBoulder, space in CanopyBoulder’s Boulder office and intense guidance from veteran business leaders. CanopyBoulder anticipates opening a San Francisco office and accelerator in the fall.

The fresh slate of emerging businesses is poised to capitalize on the fastest growing industry in the nation. The ArcView Group investor network, a partner in CanopyBoulder, has helped to raise more than $65 million for cannabis companies and estimates the cannabis market will reach $22 billion in 2020.

CanopyBoulder’s Spring Class

Colorado: Pesticides Remain Hot Button For Cannabis Industry

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Cannabis Business Alliance calls for sensible regulations

As pesticide legislation works its way through the Colorado General Assembly, the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) is calling for sensible regulation of pesticides.

The Schedule I federal status of marijuana has presented challenges to the Colorado industry: pesticides do not contain labeling for cannabis use, and research is non-existent for the use of pesticides on cannabis. As of now, pesticides cannot be registered with the EPA to be labeled and approved for use on cannabis.

Applying many pesticides off-label may not be dangerous, but the ambiguity puts the industry in an uncertain position as a whole. The same pesticides barred for use by the cannabis industry are, in fact, used every day on strawberries and tomatoes that consumers purchase at major natural grocery chains.

“The cannabis industry wants to comply and work with the government to provide proper regulations for businesses across the state,” said Mark Slaugh, CBA Board Member and iComply CEO. “However, the industry needs more labs certified for pesticide testing, as well as clear and consistent guidelines for businesses.

"Guidelines rooted in evidence-based in science," Slaugh said. "Some facilities may choose to go pesticide free, but there are many options to mitigate pests.

"Not all pesticides are harmful if used properly," Slaugh said. "The current issue is that the industry hasn’t been able to identify pesticides that are labeled for use on cannabis, because of the crop’s federal status.”

U.S.: Start-Ups Step In For Wary Banks To Serve The Marijuana Industry

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Several recently created start-ups are looking to solve one of the most persistent problems facing the nascent marijuana industry in Colorado, Washington and other legal states: the cash-only nature of a business which is still defined as illicit by the federal government.

While voters in Washington and Colorado in 2012, chose to bring marijuana commerce into the mainstream, with Oregon and Alaska joining the club in 2014, the federal government hasn't, shall we say, shown much political courage when it comes to biting the bullet and joining the 21st century.

VISA and MasterCard won't process transactions from marijuana dispensaries, fearing federal racketeering charges since cannabis is still nonsensically considered a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law. And most banks are scared silly by the prospect of "marijuana money" being in their vaults, for the same reason.

This means most medical marijuana dispensaries and recreational pot stores have a constant influx of cash, and the options of what to do with it range from dangerous on the one hand to more dangerous on the other.

Tokken, Hypur, and Kind Financial, among other start-ups, have started putting together software that helps banks and pot shops monitor and record sales, with the eventual goal of moving transactions away from cash, reports Nathaniel Popper at The New York Times.

Colorado: Marijuana Trends Analysis Includes Comparisons With Washington State

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Shatter is the most popular style of concentrate in Colorado, candy is the first edible choice for most cannabis consumers in the state, and sativa is more popular in Colorado than in Washington state.

This represents a small look at the sweeping range of insights released on Thursday through BDS Analytics’ GreenEdge™ database, which the company says is "the cannabis industry’s most reliable source of data analytics."

Among other things, the in-depth analysis of the Colorado cannabis market, with comparisons to trends in Washington state, finds:

• The top 10 flower strains in Colorado account for roughly 20 percent of total flower sales
• Durban Poison, a pure sativa, was the No. 1 strain in Colorado in Q4 2015
• Colorado’s leading edibles brands include Wana, Cheeba Chews, Incredibles and Dixie Elixirs
• Colorado’s total cannabis sales for 12-month period through Sept. 2015 were 3.8 times larger than Washington’s
• Data analysis reveals zero correlation between top strains in Washington and Colorado, other than popularity of Blue Dream, a sativa-dominant hybrid.

“We have now normalized and categorized millions of transactions in Colorado and Washington State in our GreenEdge™ database, which is the backbone of this detailed report,” said Roy Bingham, BDS Analytics founder and CEO. “Sales growth in both states remains impressive — compared to growth in other industries, it is jaw-dropping.

Colorado: Cannabis Chamber Adopts Voluntary Edibles Standards

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The Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce (C4), a state association of 43 parent companies that employ more than 1,600 people, on Wednesday announced the adoption of new, voluntary edible standards that encompass both manufacturer and retail business members.

“I am proud to announce that members of the C4 organization, along with our Board of Directors, began discussing this initiative to address these concerns in the fall of 2015,” stated Tyler Henson, C4 president.

“C4 has worked to ensure our members adopt manufacturing and sales standards which recognize that legal marijuana should only be consumed by adults," Henson said. "This is done in good faith and in the spirit of cooperation with cannabis regulators, community leaders, and our elected officials as we work together to continue to advance both public safety and robust industry standards.”

The newly adopted standard is as follows:

C4 manufacturers will no longer produce or sell marijuana infused edibles that are in the shapes of humans or animals. Animal shapes such as gummy bears, gummy worms, “sour patch kids”, and others items will be prohibited.

As a business organization, C4 is committed to producing products that are marketed and sold only to law-abiding adults over the age of 21. C4 members will thereby begin to phase out all these products – with an estimated complete implementation date of October 1.

Colorado: Regulated Marijuana System Generated More Than $135 Million In Revenue For State

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Revenue Includes More Than $35 Million for School Construction Projects

Total revenue raised from 2015 surpassed original projections and far exceeded the costs associated with regulating the system

Colorado’s regulated marijuana system generated more than $135 million in revenue for the state in 2015, including more than $35 million for school construction projects, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

There were just under $588 million in adult-use marijuana sales in Colorado from January-December 2015, producing approximately $109.1 million in tax revenue in addition to $4.7 million in license and application fees. The state’s regulated medical marijuana system produced more than $11.4 million in tax revenue and $9.8 million in license and application fees.

In 2014, the state’s regulated marijuana system raised just over $76.1 million in total revenue, including about $56.2 million from adult-use marijuana tax revenue and fees and $19.9 million in medical marijuana tax revenue and fees.

“There are hundreds of millions of dollars in marijuana sales taking place in every state,” said Mason Tvert, the Denver-based director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). “Colorado is one of the few where those sales are being conducted by licensed, taxpaying businesses.”

Adult-use marijuana sales in Colorado are subject to the state’s standard 2.9 percent sales tax, plus a 10 percent special state sales tax. Additionally, wholesale transfers of adult-use marijuana are subject to a 15 percent state excise tax.

Colorado: Cannabis Industry Reaches Nearly $1 Billion In 2015

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Cannabis Business Alliance applauds Colorado’s impressive growth while noting regulatory challenges ahead

Colorado has released the cannabis industry sales report for 2015, with total sales reaching more than $996 million, an increase of more than 42 percent over the previous year.

The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) noted this impressive industry growth even as many of its members prepare for more regulatory challenges ahead.

“With greater growth and continuation of operators entering the industry, Cannabis Business Alliance members and Colorado operators have continually set the standard of the maturing industry nationwide, impressively thriving amidst increasing regulation, including stamping, equivalency, and pest management,” said Mark Slaugh, CBA Board member and iComply CEO.

“Amidst these regulatory hurdles, CBA and its members continue to be committed to protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public," Slaugh said. "We are especially focused in protecting our adolescents and youth, by encouraging and actively supporting adult-use education, responsible parenting, and pragmatic and sensible regulations.”

During the second full year of recreational cannabis sales, Colorado retailers sold more than $587 million of recreational cannabis and more than $408 million of medical cannabis. In 2014, the total sales of medical and recreational cannabis in Colorado added up to roughly $700 million, making this year’s growth an impressive 42 percent.

Colorado: Some Companies Encourage Marijuana Breaks At Work

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

If you like cannabis, you're going to love the future. At offices in Colorado and other legal states, some companies are encouraging their employees to take marijuana breaks at work.

Denver-based startup Flowhub, which provides software for the cannabis industry, has been a marijuana-friendly workplace since it launched last year, according to founders Kyle Sherman and Chase Wiseman, reports Parija Kavilanz at CNN Money.

"Our philosophy at Flowhub is to get shit done," Sherman said. "If it helps our employees get work done, then we don't care if they consume at work."

Sherman and Chase themselves both consume cannabis at work, either in weekly brainstorming meetings or toward the end of the day. "It definitely surfaces new ideas and a fresh take on things," Sherman said.

Smoking of any kind isn't allowed in the office building, but since recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado, Flowhub's 18 employees are free to bring in cannabis-infused edibles, sodas and juices. So far, there haven't been any negative outcomes.

"Our clients are some of the biggest firms in the cannabis industry," Sherman said. "We have to be on point with our work. We've never had a problem yet."

High There! and Mass Roots, two social networking platforms for cannabis users, have headquarters just across the street from each other in Denver. Both startups allow marijuana at work.

Colorado: Denver Attorney Named To Boulder Cannabis Advisory Board

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Robert Hoban, the managing partner of the Denver law firm Hoban and Feola LLC which specializes in the cannabis industry, has been named as a member of the newly-formed Boulder City Council’s marijuana advisory panel.

Hoban was chosen as the only attorney on the 11-person panel whose mandate is to provide recommendations on making the city’s cannabis regulations more comprehensive and easily implemented.

The panel will review sections of Boulder's cannabis code that may need revision in order to make them more workable and coordinated with the state’s cannabis regulations. Among the issues that the panel may consider will be regulations related to packaging, transportation, advertising, chain of supply, and security.

“The advisory panel serves as an important source of information from key segments of the medical cannabis industry, the community and the general public,” Hoban said.

“The city of Boulder and Colorado have been on the leading edge of passing and enacting legislation in the cannabis industry and the Boulder advisory panel is an important link to make sure effective public policy is developed and enacted at the community level," Hoban said. "The city of Boulder is to be commended for establishing this panel so all interested parties can be confident that their various concerns are being heard.”

The group is advisory, and any ordinance changes the panel recommends would require the approval of the Boulder City Council. Panel meetings will be open to the public and their input is invited, according to city officials.

Colorado: Cannabis Industry Responds To Dismissal Of Marijuana Credit Union Lawsuit Against Federal Reserve

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NCIA executive director:
"This ruling sends a message loud and clear - Congress must act."

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Fourth Corner Credit Union against the Federal Reserve in hopes of providing banking services to the legal cannabis industry.

In his ruling, Judge R. Brooke Jackson said Congress must provide the answer, stating, "I regard the [cannabis banking] situation as untenable and hope that it will soon be addressed and resolved by Congress."

Fourth Corner is a credit union chartered by the State of Colorado and designed to serve legitimate cannabis businesses, but the Federal Reserve had denied its request for a master account, which would have allowed them to provide checking services to its members.

"This ruling sends a message loud and clear - Congress must act," said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA). "There's no shortcut, there's no band-aid, there's no work-around to fix this industry-wide.

"Forcing cannabis businesses to operate without banking access is a crisis, affecting public safety, law-abiding businesses, and the state officials in charge of regulating them," Smith said. "It's time for Congress to do its job and fix the problem."

Colorado: Cannabis Industry Facing Robust Growth, New Regulations

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With Colorado marking the two-year anniversary of legalization for the adult-use/recreational marijuana market, the cannabis industry is predicting new milestones in both Colorado and the United States in 2016. With a burgeoning industry on the precipice of enormous growth, education and consumer safety will be a top priority for cannabis leaders as the industry expands throughout the country, according to the Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA).

“This year, the cannabis industry made great strides in protecting and educating the consumer,” said Peggy Moore, chair of CBA and owner, Love’s Oven. “The industry heard early on after legalization for the adult-use market about concerns of unintended access as well as overconsumption.

"We take our role in ensuring public safety very seriously," Moore said. "As such, we are working to bring best practices to the entire industry to ensure that all consumers are educated about how and when to consume cannabis, and how to avoid cases of accidental ingestion. The industry has embraced and furthered certified child resistant packaging, safety warnings on labeling and product testing, and will continue to promote this and other industry best-practices in 2016.”

The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) offers the following observations on the rapidly evolving cannabis industry and an outlook for 2016:

Colorado: Pesticides Lead To Biggest Marijuana Recall Yet

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

More than 99,500 packages of marijuana-infused Mountain High Suckers were recalled on Wednesday.

It was the largest recall of marijuana or cannabis products yet, and the 15th such recall in 16 weeks, reports Ricardo Baca at The Denver Post.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in November ordered the destruction of any marijuana tainted with unapproved pesticides, including any products made with that marijuana.

Mountain High Suckers tested positive for imidacloprid and myclobutanil, both of which the Governor has called "threats to public safety" and the state has banned for use on cannabis, reports Michael Harthorne at Newser.

Mountain High Suckers apologized to its customers on Facebook.

"We decided to take a proactive step and submit samples of all of our products for pesticide testing so we can help make sure that our products are safe," the company posted. "Going forward, we will be voluntarily submitting every concentrate batch we make for full pesticide screening before we make products."

The federal Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) hasn't ruled on what pesticides are safe for use on marijuana, since the crop remains illegal at the federal level, being classified as a Schedule I controlled substance.

U.S.: Robust Growth, Consumer Safety, New Regulations Are Cannabis Trends For 2016

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With Colorado marking the two-year anniversary of legalization for the adult-use/recreational market, the cannabis industry predicts new milestones in both Colorado and the United States in 2016. With a burgeoning industry on the precipice of enormous growth, education and consumer safety will be a top priority for cannabis leaders as the industry expands throughout the country.

“This year, the cannabis industry made great strides in protecting and educating the consumer,” noted Peggy Moore, chair of Cannabis Business Alliance and owner of Love’s Oven Bakery. “The industry heard early on after legalization for the adult-use market about concerns of unintended access as well as overconsumption.

"We take our role in ensuring public safety very seriously," Moore said. "As such, we are working to bring best practices to the entire industry to ensure that all consumers are educated about how and when to consume cannabis, and how to avoid cases of accidental ingestion. The industry has embraced and furthered certified child resistant packaging, safety warnings on labeling and product testing, and will continue to promote this and other industry best-practices in 2016.”

The Cannabis Business Alliance (CBA) offers insight into the rapidly evolving cannabis industry and an outlook for 2016:

U.S.: DOJ Asks Supreme Court To Dismiss Suit Against Colorado Marijuana Legalization

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The U.S. Solicitor General, on behalf of the federal Department of Justice, on Wednesday filed a brief urging the Supreme Court to dismiss a lawsuit that the neighboring states of Nebraska and Oklahoma filed against Colorado's marijuana legalization law.

Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., in the brief, argues that the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) "does not preempt a 'State law on the same subject matter' as the CSA's control and enforcement provisions 'unless there is a positive conflict' between federal and state law 'so that the two cannot consistently stand together.'

"Here, for example, it is conceivable that the Court could conclude that whether Colorado's scheme creates a 'positive conflict' with the CSA ultimately turns on, among other factors, the practical efficacy of Colorado's regulatory system in preventing or deterring interstate marijuana trafficking," the Solicitor General -- whose duty it is to represent the federal government before the Supreme Court -- wrote.

“This is the right move by the Obama administration," said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority. "Colorado and a growing number of states have decided to move away from decades of failed prohibition laws, and so far things seem to be working out as planned.

Colorado: 13th Marijuana Recall In Denver In 13 Weeks

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Denver-based marijuana company has recalled 27 cartridges of its THC-infused vape pen oil due to potentially dangerous levels of pesticides.

The Denver Department of Environmental Health found that Advanced Medical Alternatives vape pen oil contained pesticides not allowed to be used on cannabis in the state, report Ricardo Baca and David Migoya at The Denver Post.

The recall is the second in eight days for Advanced Medical Alternatives, and the 13th in 13 weeks issued by the city's Department of Environmental Health.

“Advanced Medical Alternatives, LLC is committed to excellence in providing safe and the highest quality products to its customers,” the company wrote on its website. “Accordingly, the company has voluntarily recalled certain products that may contain potentially unsafe pesticide residues.”

The business said it is changing its testing program to try to avoid similar problems in the future.

“Furthermore, the company is voluntarily implementing a new testing program for each crop produced by the company and/or that is incorporated into products produced by the company," the note read. "The company will continue to strive to be a leader in developing and/or implementing the highest industry standards. Thank you in advance for your continued support of such efforts and the company.”

U.S.: Dropleaf and Julian Marley's JUJU Royal Will Contribute 1% Of Annual Sales To Charity

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Dropleaf, the brand management firm that has obtained the exclusive rights to the Julian Marley JUJU Royal brand, has announced it will begin making charitable contributions to the Weed for Warriors Project on an annual basis beginning in 2016.

Dropleaf said it will donate 1 percent of annual sales to a limited number of select charities and the Weed for Warriors Project is the first charity chosen to be a recipient. The charitable donation program will be based on Dropleaf’s annual sales made in 2016, according to Jeffrey Britz of Dropleaf. Other charities will be selected in 2016, he added.

The Weed for Warriors Project benefits military veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.) The Project seeks to raise public awareness about the need for the U.S. Veterans Affairs Administration (VA) to change its policies regarding the use of medical cannabis to treat PTSD symptoms. The VA’s current policy is to treat PTSD with prescription psychiatric drugs that are addictive and have debilitating side effects. More information about the Weed for Warriors Project is available at their website, http://wfwproject.org.

Colorado: Fast-Acting Cannabis Beverage To Be Released In Denver This Thanksgiving

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Quigley's, described as "the first and only fast-acting cannabis drink," will be available in the Colorado market this Thanksgiving.

"Quigley’s patent-pending formula is considered uniquely safe due to its fast-acting effects and precise dosing formulation, providing a reliable solution for the rocky road of the edibles and drink market today," according to Dixie Elixirs, which will produce and distribute Quigley’s in Colorado.

Available in the 10mg and the 50mg - 2oz. bottle, the Quigley’s cannabis “shot” and multi-dose “shot” have zero calories, zero fat, no caffeine, and it's gluten-free. Plus, every bottle of Quigley's provides the same precisely measured dosage, according to the company.

"Quigley’s Formula is different from any edible and drink product in the cannabis industry, because it allows you to know the precise amount of THC to be ingested, without needing more,” said Quigley's inventor and co-founder Tony Alfiere. “For people who cannot, should not, or do not like to smoke, or do not want to wait up to two hours, this is a groundbreaking alternative.”

"Quigley's quality formula, delivers a reliable and unique experience in minutes unlike any other edible or drink currently on the market," the company claims in a press release. "In early testing, those who have tried Quigley’s say they’ve felt euphoric and uplifted, but grounded and assured. While invigorated, they describe a calming effect, and others claim clear-headedness and an enhanced sense of creativity."

Colorado: Cannabis Start-Up Businesses Strut Their Stuff At DemoDay

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Cannabis entrepreneurs taking part in CanopyBoulder’s fall class will offer in-depth public demonstrations of their fledgling businesses on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 5 p.m. in Boulder’s eTown Hall.

The event, which is open to the public and live-streamed, features demonstrations by the founding partners of companies in everything from grow-tech to media to accessories. All nine CanopyBoulder companies are presenting during the event.

“Cannabis innovators pack our fall class, and all of them are excited about discussing their businesses,” said CanopyBoulder co-founder Patrick Rea. “The industry is still so young, and the entrepreneurial ferment bubbling up around it gets fizzier every month.”

CanopyBoulder, the nation’s only business accelerator for the cannabis industry, accepts two classes of entrepreneurs a year to participate in prestigious 13-week boot camps. By the time the businesses graduate, they should be poised to gain investors and begin engaging with the marketplace.

The first class of CanopyBoulder, which graduated in June, has already raised more then $3 million from investors for a wide range of business, including business analytics, media, an online cannabis marketplace and more.

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