Medical marijuana: Office of Excise & Licensing tackles mountain of MMC applications

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The photo seen here isn't a screen capture from the last scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

No, these boxes contain medical marijuana business applications that have been gathering dust up until now. And I was invited along to watch the first of them get brushed off.

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Last week, we told you that nearly 200 MMJ business aps were sitting in limbo at the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division offices, waiting for Denver officials to view them, verify the information and sign off on them. At the time, Denver officials weren't sure when they would even begin looking at them. But yesterday, Denver office of Excise and Licenses director Tom Downey and his staff trekked across town to the MMED to begin processing the boxes of information.

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For legal reasons, I wasn't allowed to review any of the applications, photograph any of the information or even touch the boxes (seriously). Most dispensary files looked as thick as your average paperback novel, though some were closer to unabridged-English-dictionary size. They were typically held together by thick rubber bands.

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Tom Downey.
The staff divided up the files using color tabs to differentiate dispensaries with just a grow, dispensaries with a grow and a marijuana-product (MIP) license, and stand-alone MIPs. Downey said the staff will now start the process of making sure the dispensaries, grows and MIPS meet city zoning laws as well as to verify they met all deadlines for applying. However, one setback to that has been the fee structure.

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If only we were using hemp paper...
Currently, a shop that has applied for a Medical marijuana center (MMC), a grow and an MIP all in one location would still have to pay three separate licensing fees to the city. A bill currently going through council would require only one application fee. Downey says that if his folks have collected fees from dispensaries now, they may run up against the issue of having to refund money later -- something that's not in the statutes and would cost the state a lot of money to process the refunds.

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Boulder, Denver and other metro-area counties.
For the few standalone MIP manufacturers, multiple fees won't be an issue, and Downey says his staff will be moving forward with processing those this month. That should provide time for the new city regulations to shake out while still affording them the opportunity to chip away at the mountain of paperwork. However, he still didn't have a timeline for when all the other chores could be completed.

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Medical marijuana licensing more liberal in Denver than in Boulder?"

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10 comments
Jake Browne
Jake Browne

According to the latest draft of CB11-0596, only the MMC application fee would be waived. Hopefully this is just an oversight that the city council will correct. http://www.denvergov.org/sirep...

The real question is why are MMC's still paying four times what it costs to license a retail liquor store? Why is the city of Denver trying to reproduce a system we've paid millions of dollars to create in the MMED? 

Great article, Breathes. Looking forward to your review at 4:20.

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

That's a lot of paper work just to fuck everyone!

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

Because people were stupid enough to believe that the millions of dollars you spent to create the Medical Marijuana Criminal Enforcement Division would actually get you licensed. Usually when a whore gets fucked the whore gets paid. But not "the industry" you get fucked and you pay them to fuck you, wonderful.

stanley alvarez
stanley alvarez

not to forget another irrational part of the process and that has to do with employees.  if an employee comes up late on student loans they can't work e.g. the axe falls.  in this sort of business there is no good reason for this provision and in fact it makes no sense whatsoever.  what good comes from preventing people from working, employers from hiring?  this provision doesn't exactly enable people to pay student loans so again i ask why?  i own a bar and the only restrictions i have on hiring is age which makes sense. this particular restriction is nothing more than a provision made up by someone opposed to mmj who just wanted to make life as difficult as possible for those trying to abide by the law.  i bring this up because one of my customers told me their story on how they finally got a job locally only to lose it a few weeks later because he couldn't pay his student loans.  note to those writing up regs, if you want someone to pay their student loans help them to work don't prevent them from working or how else do ever expect them to pay the loans?! especially in this economy!

Guest
Guest

Why so much hate?

Jake Browne
Jake Browne

What's your talking point after licenses are issued? They're closer than you think.

Matt in Boulder
Matt in Boulder

That would have been a good response back when our military was actually used to protect the constitution.  Unfortunately those days are long gone.  The military is mostly used to support politicians' goals of dismantling and/or rendering the constitution meaningless these days...

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

I don't know why do our service men and women give their lives to protect our constitution? Probably because the constitution is pretty damn important.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

If the State licenses the cultivation and sale of cannabis, it will likely provoke a confrontation with the Federal government and DEA raids -- that will be more than a talking point.

Corey Donahue
Corey Donahue

What's my talking point for a hypothetical situation in the future?  Fuck you, this whole thing is unconstitutional. The Attorney General’s Office testified against the bill, saying dispensaries were illegal. Now caregivers making a profit is legal and they can open up a shop with a state sales tax license as the AG stated but the system you suck off is illegal and unconstitutional why do you think MMC are getting shut down across this state?  

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