BY BOB SWEENEY
The horse almost went lame this past week galloping around the pasture to multiple events.
On Friday morning at 7 a.m., Doug Tisdale and Bob Golden, the wranglers for the South Metro Denver Chamber, hosted the monthly economic-development group breakfast at Chamber offices at Southglenn.
The purpose was a panel of experts on the sale and distribution of marijuana. The extensive regulatory framework was described by Lewis Koski of the firm of Freeman & Koski. The “realization” of how the industry works and the challenges facing the industry were explained by Stan Zislis, co-owner of Silver Stem Fine Cannabis. “Follow the Money!” was outlined by Tom Radow, CPA with Bridge West. “Where is the Money?” was summed up by Michael Raisch, CFO at LivWell.
Presenters said marijuana is bringing in more tax dollars now than alcohol, estimated at $2.4 billion. The industry in Colorado is larger than Oregon’s and matches Google in sales. Twenty-eight states now have some measure of legal marijuana sales in medical or recreational areas.
It was estimated that there are at least 300 rules and regulations governing the industry. Zislis outlined challenges in regulations, explaining that the cost of doing business in overhead, such as leases and advertising, cannot be deducted as tax expense items. Also, federal banking regulations prevent banks from making loans, making growth challenging.
Zislis expressed concerns about the high tax rates, and that booming black-market sales pay no taxes. The high taxation has driven an ambitious illegal pot market that affects the legally regulated businesses.
Long term, Zislis said, “there is plenty of opportunity for the industry to flourish.”
Radow explained that early thoughts were to tax the marijuana industry out of business: “Tax it so much it will fail.”
Raisch estimated that marijuana would be a $5 billion industry in Colorado within five years.
There is some apprehension about what Attorney General Jeff Sessions will do from a federal level.
In other Chamber news, the annual golf tournament will be held June 6 at Meridian Golf Club with sponsorships. Contact Hillary Klemme at HKlemme@BestChamber.com or 303-795-0142
Traveled up to Boulder on Saturday afternoon to honor a longtime friend Bob Cox, who once published most of the newspapers in Jefferson County. The occasion was his receiving an overdue journalism degree from the University of Colorado after five decades. Bob is retired and now ranching in New Mexico. The afternoon party was hosted by former U.S. Rep. David Skaggs and wife Linda, who makes wonderful strawberry/rhubarb jam.
In the evening, it was off to the Hope Ball where President Gary Reese held court over the 600 guests who are assisting the Cancer League of Colorado in raising more than $1.2 million this year to fight cancer. The organization operates without any paid staff, with volunteers like Edie Marks and her family, and artists Eva and A.B. Makk, who donate an on-site painting every year, traveling to the ball from Hawaii.
“Dealin’ Doug” Moreland and his family of Dodge dealerships donate a brand-new vehicle each year as a raffle prize. A host of volunteers present this major event every year. Gary Corbett, wearing his southern gentleman straw hat, continues to be the driving force of the live auction that successfully sweeps cash from the generous crowd. Hyatt Hotel does a superb job of supporting this family affair.
Sunday was Mothers’ Day, and we had a family roundup, along with 2,000 other customers, at the Viewhouse in Centennial. The view was spectacular and the Sunday brunch even featured lobster tails.
The buffet started early, went until 4 p.m., and the food, service and ambience were outstanding. There was an endless stream of delicious prime rib, lamb, seafood, salads and desserts flowing out of the kitchen, and the staff were most accommodating under massive customer demand.
This Sunday brunch is a weekly feature at the Viewhouse, which is soon to open another restaurant in Littleton. They also have a location near the ballpark downtown.
This week’s Villager is filled with information on the upcoming Greenwood Village city election to be held June 5. Many opinions on this issue, kind of like the Gunfight at the OK Corral.
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