Medical marijuana: Fort Collins voters to decide about retail ban (again)
Martinez went on to say that repealing the dispensary ban would be made obsolete if voters approve the Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, which would allow for retail sales and decriminalized possession of limited amounts of marijuana.
"In some respects, they lose either way," Maritnez maintains. "If the statewide initiative passes, it renders the medicinal stores useless."
Martinez points to the high cost of going to a doctor and paying the state to receive a medical marijuana card as major factors that would contribute to the decline of the MMJ industry if Amendment 64 passes.
That almost sounds as if he's in favor of recreational marijuana stores over medical marijuana stores. But Martinez refuses to say whether or not CFCC would push a ban of recreational marijuana storefronts should Amendment 64 be approved. He calls it a "moot point," because he's not sure whether or not Amendment 64 would allow for local municipality bans.
FYI, Ray: It does.
And although Martinez assures us that his group based its MMC ban on the ability to prohibit dispensaries by law and not on principle, it isn't hard to see how an organization opposed to state-legal medical marijuana sales in Fort Collins wouldn't feel just as negatively toward recreational-cannabis stores.
Ackerman admits that even if the repeal is passed, the fear of another attempt to approve a ban during an off-year election has made most dispensary owners gun-shy about opening up again. "My indication that I have gotten so far [from other owners] is that they certainly have not been showing a great degree of interest," he admits.
"The way that it is set up with the local option, this could go on and on until somebody at the state level does something to change it," he continues. "Maybe to say that it can only happen in presidential election years or something like that. Our hope is that the voters in the community will tire of it after two go-arounds with it, and say, 'Hey, this is a good thing for our community.'"
Proponents of overturning the ban say that closing the shops forced medical marijuana patients away from regulated, monitored and state-legal dispensaries and into private homes. UFCW organizing director Mark Belkin believes the ban has also cost the town hundreds of jobs and will cut off nearly $500,000 in taxes in the first year alone.
More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: Brandon Coats filing argues using MMJ is a lawful activity" and "Marijuana: Elisa Kappelmann acquittal ends another wasteful pot prosecution, attorney says."