SAN DIEGO, Nov. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Medical Marijuana Inc. (OTC: MJNA), a leading hemp industry innovator, commends the millions of Colorado voters who helped pass Amendment 64 by about 66 percent in the November 6 elections. The positive vote, which crossed partisan lines, marked history by making Colorado the first state in the U.S. to remove prohibition and legalize marijuana for recreational use for adults over 21. The decision will allow large-scale commercial production and sales, is expected to bring both jobs and significant tax revenue to the state economy. The regulation will be overseen by Colorado's Department of Revenue.
According to The Denver Post, "The amendment will allow those 21 and older to purchase up to one ounce of the drug at specially regulated retail stores. Possession would be legal but not public use. Adults could grow up to six marijuana plants at home. It sets up a direct challenge to federal drug law, which regulates it as an illegal substance. Federal authorities have not said how they will respond."
State criminal penalties for possessing the drug won't disappear until the election is certified, which could take up to two months, and questions about regulation and enforcement still need to be worked out, according to The Denver Post, which also states that the first recreational stores would be slated to open in January 2014 and would be separate from existing medical marijuana dispensaries.
In addition to Amendment 64 passing, voters in Fort Collins, CO approved an ordinance that would allow medical marijuana businesses to once again operate in the city. The vote came a year after a city election that shut down the businesses. The ordinance allows dispensaries to reopen, but it includes some restrictions, such as capping the number of dispensaries at one per 500 registered medical marijuana patients, according to The Coloradoan. Additionally, voters in Berthoud showed support Tuesday for Herb's Medicinals, the town's only medical marijuana dispensary, that would have been forced to close its doors in ballot Question 300 had they not opposed the measure and successfully won.
These winning votes in Colorado, along with other successful initiatives across the country, have clearly set a precedent for the medical marijuana industry. Months before the November 6 elections, CNBC had already reported that pending marijuana legislative decisions "could set up a State vs. Federal debate similar to President Obama's health care bill, which made it all the way to the Supreme Court." The winning vote in Colorado now positions medical marijuana even more so as a critical issue facing the country. It also encourages additional states pursuing legalization efforts to forge ahead with their propositions. "Marijuana legalization has become an issue that defies the stereotypes of party lines, garnering the support of key progressives and conservatives in Colorado, Washington and Oregon," said a November 6 Huffington Post story. "Colorado's Amendment 64 would mark a true watershed for the fractious and often hapless legalization movement, a motley crew of potheads, civil libertarians, and billionaires that's been set back many times before but has the wind of public opinion at its back," according to The Atlantic's Oct. 9 story on legalization.
The decision to pass Amendment 64 in Colorado opens the doors for a significant customer base expansion of MJNA portfolio companies such as Red Dice Holdings, parent company of the Dixie Elixirs & Edibles brand, which is already known as the leading manufacturer of edibles supplying most of the 500 plus dispensaries in Colorado. According to the Associated Press, analysts project that that tax revenue in CO could generate somewhere between $5 million and $22 million a year in the state. An economist whose study was funded by a pro-pot group projects as much as a $60 million boost by 2017.
"We are thrilled that Amendment 64 has passed in Colorado and that voters in Fort Collins successfully lifted their medical marijuana ban after nearly a year. We eagerly await the opportunity to open additional manufacturing facilities, as well as stores, throughout the state," said Tripp Keber, President of Red Dice Holdings. "Studies have indicated that our market in Colorado will increase from 110,000 patients to over one million customers."
It is important to note that although this legislative victory is a milestone for all industrial hemp and medical marijuana advocates, the outcome will not impact the future corporate strategy of MJNA. As a company, MJNA continues to primarily focus on hemp oil, derived from seed and stalk, with a strong concentration on the cannabinoid, CBD (cannabidiol).
"This decision marks quite an exciting achievement for the medical marijuana industry. For MJNA, the passing of Amendment 64 and lifting bans in Fort Collins and Berthoud will undoubtedly open new avenues and licensing partnerships for our portfolio companies, as well as bring awareness and acceptance to the industry in general. That is surely a benefit to us as we continue to focus our main attention on branding our Hemp-based products," says Ted Caligiuri, President and CEO of Medical Marijuana, Inc.
About Medical Marijuana,Inc.
Our mission is to be the premier hemp industry innovators, leveraging our team of professionals to source, evaluate and purchase value-added companies and products, while allowing them to keep their integrity and entrepreneurial spirit. We strive to create awareness within our industry, develop environmentally friendly, economically sustainable businesses, while increasing shareholder value.
Medical Marijuana Inc. does not grow, sell or distribute any substances that violate United States Law or the controlled substance act.
For more information, please visit the company's website at: www.MedicalMarijuanaInc.com
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SOURCE Medical Marijuana Inc.