Mountain News: Marijuana retailers plan for openings 

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BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. — Breckenridge has five dispensaries of medical marijuana, and four of them are submitting applications that will, if approved, allow them to sell marijuana to the general public.

Currently, no medical marijuana can be sold to out-of-state residents; the only customers are those who have cards from physicians certifying they have conditions specified by state law.

"We get a lot of patients from out of state, who can't get a card, no matter how much they might qualify, and we have to turn them down," Caitlin McGuire, co-owner of the Breckenridge Cannabis Club, told the Summit Daily News.

One problem for retail marijuana stores, as it has been for medical marijuana businesses, is that they must work on a cash basis. "We can't accept credit cards; we have to be cash only, because there's a gray area on the legal side of it," McGuire explained.

Because marijuana is still illegal under U.S. law, banks — which are dependent on the federal banking system — have been leery of doing business with retailers of marijuana, whether it is for medicinal purposes or pure pleasure.

State law also bans open consumption of marijuana. Enforcement will be problematic in some cases, points out Shannon Haynes, the Breckenridge police chief. How can you distinguish a marijuana-laced lollipop from one confined to sugar?

It's sometimes a cat-eat-dog world

JACKSON, Wyo. — It's a dog-eat-dog world.

A cat-eat-dog world? Not so much.

But researchers tell the Jackson Hole News&Guide that they have clear-cut evidence it happened recently in the headwaters of the Gros Ventre River. There, they found that a 46-kilogram female mountain lion, which they had had been following for the last six years thanks to radio-collared telemetry, had killed and eaten a yearling wolf.

The biologist saw lion tracks, then blood, then a jet-black pelt at the base of a subalpine fir tree. They also knew the wolf, which they say was born earlier this year, but was already larger than a normal-sized coyote.

Lions, also called cougars and pumas, usually flee when confronted by wolves, researchers tell the News&Guide. When they do tangle, the wolves almost always come out on top.

Confirmed exceptions are rare: a 2003 case in the Paradise Valley north of Yellowstone National Park, and a 2006 case in Alberta's Turner Valley. In 2002, two other wolf deaths at the fangs of lions were also confirmed in Montana.

Big cats claim small horse and a dog in Banff

CANMORE, Alberta — Cougars nabbed one horse and also a dog in the Canmore-Banff area.

A one-metre-tall miniature horse was killed at the Rafter Six Ranch, a guest operation in the Kananaskis Valley near Canmore. The killing was not seen but was within close proximity to the main lodge.

"It's like losing a member of family. They were just pets," Rafter Six owner Stan Cowley told the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Last year, a cougar pounced on a large horse, but the horse escaped by running through a barbed wire fence. Cameras showed the cougar was over one metre tall. Instead of the horse, the lion downed a white-tail deer.

In Canmore proper, a cougar killed an off-leash dog. The Australian shepherd was being walked along a golf course in a wildlife area when the dog chased a squirrel into the forest. Wildlife officers tell the Outlook that the dog ran into the cat, which acted defensively. The dog never saw it coming.

And in the Tahoe area, it's a dog-eat-dog world

STATELINE, Nev. — Sir Willie Great White Whippet Goode had a long, long name for a dog, but a too-short life. While being walked on a trail in the Lake Tahoe area, the dog took off — and was immediately surrounded by coyotes.

When the owners got to the ridge where Sir Willie had disappeared, they found he had been ripped to shreds by coyotes. "We found them eating him. It was really horrific," one of the dog's owners told the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

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