Medical marijuana outdoor advertising ban moving forward at Denver City Council
For the past several months, the Denver City Council has been debating outdoor medical marijuana advertising. The main question: Should it be prohibited near schools or banned entirely?
Now, a ban seems to have the momentum, and could be approved in the next several weeks.
Back in May, Denver City Councilwoman Debbie Ortega floated the idea of banning outdoor advertising for medical marijuana dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools, daycares and parks. After constituents complained to her about gaudy weed-leaf billboards and sidewalk sign-twirlers, Ortega had approached several groups with her plan and gained the support of the Cannabis Business Alliance.
However, directors of the Medical Marijuana Industry Group disagreed, countering with a proposal to nix all outdoor advertising for MMJ. Ortega's plan sent a bad message to the general public by amplifying the "We must protect the children" message coming from the federal level, MMIG argued -- so why not go for a full ban? After all, the group pointed out, fewer than 2 percent of Colorado's residents are medical marijuana patients, which hardly justifies the number of bus-stop ads, billboards and sign-twirlers that MMIG members say send a bad message to the general public about acceptable use.
Although Ortega stuck with her original proposal, Councilman Chris Herndon agreed to support a citywide ban, promising to craft a proposed ordinance by the beginning of August. At the time, council members said they'd consider both bills, then select one by August 20.
Now it seems that they've already made their decision. According to a Herndon aide, Ortega has dropped her proposal and is now co-sponsoring Herndon's. The draft language released on August 1 calls for banning signs anywhere in public view, including leaflets and handouts. It does not ban signs at the shops themselves, or prevent the businesses from advertising in print. Medical marijuana centers may also advertise their names publicly when they take part in a charitable event, such as fundraising for cancer research.
Page down to read more about the proposed medical marijuana advertising ban.