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Denver marijuana centers targeted by U.S. Attorney can move, but to where?

Letters from U.S. Attorney John Walsh tell owners of 23 medical marijuana centers that they must stop doing business within 45 days at their present location. MMJ lawyer Warren Edson says shops targeted in Denver will be able to move, but strict federal rules governing distances from schools will make finding new homes mighty tough.

If Walsh's missives had gone out a couple of months ago or more, Edson says MMC entrepreneurs would have been out of luck -- but then, "new city council rules passed to allow center owners to change location in Denver, as well as to change ownership in businesses.

edson.jpg
Warren Edson.
"The long and the short of it is, they can move" in Denver, he goes on. "But they have to abide by the distance requirements set by local government and MMED" -- the Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, the state agency that oversees the industry in the state. "And keep in mind that Denver isn't all of Colorado. These letters are going to hit the whole state, and each town has slightly different rules about whether you can move and how to move."

Denver center owners face other complications, too. Arguably the biggest involves the ways in which the federal government measures the 1,000 feet distance between schools and dispensaries. The U.S. Attorneys Office contends that the 23 operations that received letters are within that distance, but Edson says the federal government uses a different calculation than does Denver. "The city measures 1,000 feet as a pedestrian walks, from the front door of the center to the property line of the school," he points out. "But the feds count from property line to property line as the crow flies."

For that reason, he explains, "a center may be okay under Denver's rules, but property line to property line as the crow flies, they're not okay. So we have a local government deciding what distance requirements are appropriate and federal government deciding they know better and overriding those requirements."

Another area of concern: While Walsh's letter only cites schools, similar documents sent to medical marijuana businesses in California by U.S. Attorneys there required that shops be 1,000 feet from schools and parks -- and Edson thinks any Colorado MMC owner forced to move should stay 1,000 feet away from the latter, too, in case Walsh adds that restriction in the future. His blunt analysis: "If they add parks, oh shit."

Page down to learn about the shrinking options.



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29 comments
find local attorneys
find local attorneys

When it comes to economical concerns though you may not have a option but to ask for help. Asking for help can be an incredibly humbling encounter. No one wants to confess that they can no more deal with their own matters.

Steve Fox
Steve Fox

2 (d) does create a derivative right to sell marijuana for medical purposes, so says a constitutional law professor of 35 years. Why else have the police been on stand by for 10 years? Brian Vicente is a fraud and his "legal" opinions are bought and paid for.

Pete
Pete

Good policy, smart people everywhere recognize that teenagers won't go 1001 feet from school for drugs.  Pretty sure this is settled science.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

US Attorney Melinda Haag's threats closed the oldest patient collective in California -- it was within 1000' of a disused baseball diamond.  The Department of Injustice's policy threatens most medical cannabis commerce within Denver.

Gary Rose
Gary Rose

Please get out and support Ron Paul. 

"I would absolutely never use the Federal Government to arrest anybody for Marijuana."

"They have no authority to come in and override the state law. That is in an offense on our constitution."

http://youtu.be/0CHVI8Q-OXQ

Ron Paul 2012 

Norman Gooding
Norman Gooding

The two drugstores and titty bars next door to the schools will be visited by the federal enforcers when they need a break from enforcing a failed prohibition law.

Dan Pope
Dan Pope

The safest, most convenient and affordable way for patients to access cannabis is to grow their own.

rain
rain

What happens in, say, three years, when someone decides that 1000 feet "isn't far enough" and it becomes 2000 or 3000 or 5000 feet instead? Oops, time to move again.

You want to talk about actually dangerous drugs that are being used illicitly? Look at (other) prescription drugs like oxycodone. Would anybody accept the notion that you couldn't have a pharmacy within 1000 feet of a school or park? How many grocery store pharmacies are within that border?

It's clear to me that this whole regulation is much more about harrassing MMCs than it is about "protecting children."

Monkeyman280
Monkeyman280

Warren Edson should be sued for malpractice for giving this kind of advice. There is NO EXCEPTION in federal law for dispensaries that are 1001 feet from a school. The school issue is a red herring tossed in by the feds for political reasons AND to lull dispensary owners into a false sense of security. And by all accounts it's working.

Warren: What letter do you have from the feds telling your dispensary owner clients that if they move 1001 feet away from a school, the feds won't try to shut them down? Do you have their written promise? A verbal agreement? Do you have ANY evidence that this is not just the beginnings of a statewide crackdown on dispensaries? Or is your rhetoric just an attempt to cover your ass for all the bad advice you've given dispensaries so far?

Let's see your evidence, Warren Edson.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

"if they add parks?", "if they add grows?" last month it was "if they target Colorado".... with the explanation that "well our regulations protect us".....delusions of grandeur effect those in all walks of life, even highly respected attorneys.... We love you Warren, but dude, come on.... Of course I'm not an attorney, but wouldn't a good honest attorney be telling his clients to shut down, like right now, not to just move locations!!! Come on man, WTF you thinking? The memo says "SHUT DOWN OR LOOSE", it doesn't say "hey do you mind taking a few steps to the left so kids can't buy weed here".  TuTone sees the future 6 months from now:

In Cali, they targeted everyone at once.  Colorado's regulations allow the Feds to be more systematic in their take downs of the dispensaries, which is why today they are saying that raids will come in 'waves'.  Nice and organized just like Colorado's medical marijuana system. The devil is not in the details the whole thing is the devil right now! In the end, 'The Final Wave' the patients who buy ounces will be targeted, because there is video of them buying ounces which the Feds will say was 'clearly not personal but for distribution and likely to children', just watch and see.

Some attorneys in Cali probably gave similar advise and look what just happened 2 days ago in San Diego http://utsandiego.com/news/201...

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

Gary, do you mind taking the time to give some examples of how we can best support Ron Paul here in Colorado?  Rally's, fund raisers, what's going on man, tell us what we need to do so we can do it!

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Strong take, Norman -- one we're going to make an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Is this the same Dan Pope who for years claimed that Retail Dispensaries were "perfectly legal" under Colorado Amendment 20 ?

LOL!

Flip-flop much?

Stanley_Cheeba
Stanley_Cheeba

Dude, most ADULTS can't get into dispensaries.  If some shady asshole buys an ounce and sells to middle school kids, does it make a difference whether the transaction was made out in the boonies or on the doorstep of the school?  Not really.  The asshole in question should go to jail and the kid should be grounded for not saying, "NO!"  

joeyrockx
joeyrockx

That's obvious to anyone paying attention, the "children" have nothing to do wih this.

High Country Caregiver
High Country Caregiver

I agree with everything you said, but I don't think there is anything to "lull dispensary owners".  There's no real making sense of the minor details in the memos.  Makes more sense to look at the big picture.  The big picture is pretty obvious, dispensaries must go.  We're slightly sheltered in Colorado about what's happening in California, but I know growers, distributors out there, and have been told that already 66% of dispensaries closed since the October memo, and now the Feds are shutting down 2 - 3 a week and confiscating everything, but no arrests.  This is normal though, I knew someone busted with 50 lbs. and the Feds took 4 full years before turning it over to the State for Prosecution which the State was successful in after being provided with a mountain of composed evidence from the Feds.

Monkey
Monkey

100% correct, just from a threat they closed most of 222 dispensaries in san diego. I think the same will happen here. business men don't want to go to jail, this was suppose to be easy money, get out while you still have some scratch.

Gary Rose
Gary Rose

Yes indeed!!

Colorado Caucuses are on Feb 7th I believe, since they moved them up this year the deadline to register as a Republican was moved back to 12/7/11, so that might be an obstacle for some of us who seek to delegate or vote in the caucuses.

Here is a great video that details how the process works and how we can use it to push Ron Paul forward!!! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

As far as Ron Paul's Colorado Campaign , I am still trying to figure it out but I know they are signing people up as Precinct captains, and trying to get us all in contact with each other.

Facebook is the only place I have been in contact with them.

http://www.facebook.com/RP2012...

Gary Howard is supposed to be available for help @ 1-855-563-6620 . 

Honestly I have never given a shit about politics before so the organizational process is real new to me, and it happens real fast!!! 

Thanks You HCC

Dan Pope
Dan Pope

Why yes, I am the same person that said, and still says, that the state constitution allows patients and caregivers to distribute and dispense medical marijuana:

(d) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, no person, including a patient or primary care-giver, shall be entitled to the protection of this section for his or her acquisition, possession, manufacture, production, use, sale, distribution, dispensing, or transportation of marijuana for any use other than medical use.

They say reading is fundamental. You should try it sometime....... lol

Bruno
Bruno

Yep, and all this is under supposedly progressive Obama? What will happen under a Republican president? Are we going to have a kinder, gentler DEA? Ich don't think so...

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

When you comprehend what "Notwithstanding" means in law, get back to us.

Where in the PROVISIONS of Amendment 20 does it even mention, much less define and authorize Retail Dispensary Sales?

Too bad your legal quackery isn't true, if it were then HB1284 would be a superfluous infringement upon the constitutional right to engage in retail sales of medical marijuana.

Does Brian Vincente approve of your absurd legal assertions?

Amendment 20 never authorized retail dispensaries, it only offered limited defense for very small scale personal possession and limited small scale personal cultivation.

In fact, the proponents of Amendment 20 told the voters that "sales of marijuana would REMAIN illegal" if A20 were passed in the official pre-election blue book.

The electorate doesn't like being lied to.

Guesto
Guesto

That last sentence was so money. Lol 

Duncan20903
Duncan20903

One doesn't need to see Mr. Obama's birth certificate to know that he's a purebred clown. So called "birthers" are idiots. The fact that they're idiots doesn't make Mr. Obama any less culpable for the mess he's made in our White House, or for throwing a significant group of his supporters under the bus to try to gain the votes of big government republicans because he was so certain that we would simply knuckle under and vote for him. Sorry Barry, no right wingers will like you even if you do arrest potheads. Guess what? Barry has lost a significant percentage of his pothead supporters as well. But I must admit the fact that he has any support left in that cohort sure does support the prohibitionist rhetoric that pot makes you stupid.

Guesto
Guesto

Under Ron Paul you won't have a DEA at all, because he will repeal the Controlled Substances Act, and cut all funding to the DEA. 

Its unconstitutional.

Ron Paul 2012

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

You're still searching for his birth certificate, aren't you repug?

Gary Rose
Gary Rose

Don't be blinded by partisan politics. 

Please get out and support Ron Paul. 

"I would absolutely never use the Federal Government to arrest anybody for Marijuana."

"They have no authority to come in and override the state law. That is in an offense on our constitution."

http://youtu.be/0CHVI8Q-OXQ

Ron Paul 2012 

joeyrockx
joeyrockx

This is Obama's bag, just like the economy, stop trying to deflect attention from this idiot and his asinine business killing attitude. President bush didn't do ANYTHING like what we're seeing now. Dispensarys didn't just open up doing obummer's administration. This clown makes the idiots running Greece into the ground look business savvy. If you voted for his moron you shouldn't be sharing your "opinion" on anything, hang your head in shame and hope the rest of us forget what you did to this country. Obama, making that idiot George Bush look more and more like Abe Lincoln every day.

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