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Growing Pains Part 3

Municipalities across the state have been forced to weigh in on the marijuana debate. The months ahead will shape the industry.

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Michael Lee, owner of Cannabis Therapeutics in Colorado Springs, also owns Genovations Creations, a lab he opened to study cannabinoids in strains of marijuana. Lee says there are only three other labs in the state that do similar research. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Genovations Creations’ Chief Science Officer John Kopta works at the Colorado Springs-based lab to isolate cannabinoids, the marijuana compounds with medicinal properties. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Strains of dried marijuana are weighed and put in an oven, similar to a convection oven, to dry to make it easier to extract cannabinoids. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Marijuana is ground into a fine powder at Genovations Creations' lab to makes it easier to separate the cannabinoids from the plant material. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Ground-up marijuana is put into a test tube, and an organic solvent is added to dissolve the cannabinoids. Photo by Matt Stensland

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A vortexer is used to mix the solvent and plant material inside the test tube before it’s placed in a sonicator, where sound waves pass through it to break apart the plant material. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Marijuana samples are placed in a high-performance liquid chromatograph to extract the cannabinoids to identify and quantify which types are in each marijuana strain tested. Photo by Matt Stensland

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A high-performance liquid chromatograph sends information to a computer, where the percentage of each cannabinoid in a marijuana sample can be determined and the marijuana can be labeled. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Events like Cannabis Festiva, which was held Aug. 21 in Commerce City and billed as the largest outdoor medical marijuana festival in Colorado, are becoming more common. Kush Magazine, one of the event’s sponsors, plans to bring its world conference to Denver in May. Kush Publisher Michael Lerner said the convention could attract as many as 250,000 people to the Colorado Convention Center and generate as much as $10 million in revenue for the city. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Kush Magazine Publisher Michael Lerner speaks to a group of more than 300 at the Medical Marijuana Business Alliance’s networking meeting in August. He says Colorado is the country’s medical marijuana leader. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Matt Cook, senior director of enforcement for the Colorado Department of Revenue, has started working with medical marijuana stakeholders to draft rules that would regulate the industry. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Genovations Creations’ Chief Science Officer John Kopta says he eventually will be able to breed plants with certain cannabinoids to treat specific medical conditions. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Steamboat Springs City Council President Cari Hermacinski says a new city ordinance to be proposed this fall could allow more than three medical marijuana centers. Photo by John F. Russell

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City Council member Kenny Reisman, center, a Routt County Advisory Board member with Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, says it is crucial for the group, which provides substance abuse prevention, to continue working with schools to provide education about medical marijuana. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall says his office has not seen an increase in crime since medical marijuana centers started popping up across the county last year. He also said his office hasn’t used additional resources to address potential medical marijuana issues. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Tony Lettunich, city attorney for Steamboat Springs, plans to propose a new draft of the city's medical marijuana ordinance to City Council this fall. Photo by John F. Russell

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Steamboat Springs Police Chief JD Hays said his office hasn’t dedicated additional resources to marijuana enforcement since the first centers opened in Steamboat. He also said there hasn’t been any crime associated with the centers and they all passed compliance checks in May. Photo by John F. Russell

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D and C Medical Marijuana and Therapeutic Massage operates in a small office building off U.S. Highway 40. Steamboat Springs City Council member Jon Quinn says the medical marijuana centers in Steamboat have followed the city’s regulations. Photo by John F. Russell

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Steamboat Springs School District Superintendent Shalee Cunningham, left, said the district has not dealt with any students who have been approved to use medical marijuana. Cunningham said she’s more focused on alcohol and prescription drug use among students than marijuana. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Christine Manzanares speaks in favor of medical marijuana during a Yampa meeting, saying she did not notice any problems associated with the center in Yampa, which since has closed. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Yampa Town Clerk Janet Ray reads an opinion from a Yampa resident in favor of medical marijuana during a Sept. 15 public meeting. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Yampa Town Clerk Janet Ray reads an opinion from a Yampa resident who is against medical marijuana during a Sept. 15 public meeting. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Yampa resident William Lee raises his hand showing he is against medical marijuana. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Yampa Mayor Bruce Pitts speaks during the Sept. 15 in Yampa to discuss medical marijuana. Photo by Matt Stensland

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Yampa residents raise their hands in support of medical marijuana. Photo by Matt Stensland

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A sign-in sheet shows the names of the Yampa residents who packed Town Hall for a Sept. 15 meeting to discuss medical marijuana. Photo by Matt Stensland

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