Marijuana business ban in Denver? Councilman doubts it will pass

marijuana plants in pots cropped.JPG
The Denver City Council has agreed to consider a ban on recreational marijuana businesses in April, joining dozens of Colorado cities and counties mulling similar proposals. In addition, it's Amendment 64 Special Issues Committee will put proposed Denver regulations on hold until spring, so it can collect more input. But at Monday's meeting, it got plenty from groups including the Denver Police Department, the Office of Excise and Licenses and marijuana-related business owners.

Denver police chief Robert White told committee members that he believes medical marijuana has increased crime. Residential grows pose the biggest problem, with marijuana-related burglaries at the top of that list. In 2009, before the industry boomed to what it is today, there were ten marijuana-related burglaries in Denver, he said; in 2012, there were 102. According to the DPD, more than half of those burglaries occurred at the private residences of home growers. Police also contend that one out of every 22 grow operations catches fire, with the majority of those fires occurring in residential grows.

michael elliott mmig.jpg
Michael Elliott.
Michael Elliott, who represents the Medical Marijuana Industry Group -- a lobbying outfit that has consistently refused to divulge the size of its membership and which dispensaries it actually represents -- also came out swinging at home growers. Elliott told the committee that regulations on MMJ businesses have helped limit trouble, but home grows (and illegal sales from them) cause a problem that could increase if a recreational retail industry isn't allowed by the city.

Expanding on his comments before the committee, Elliot tells us that he isn't against state-legal home growers specifically. Rther, he says, he was pointing out that a regulated recreational sales industry would put a dent in illegal home sales that he believes will still happen regardless of what Amendment 64 allows. "The main point of what I was saying is that we can centralize or decentralize how it's sold," he explains.

With so many issues on the table, the council committee decided to wait until April to make a decision about whether to allow more marijuana-related businesses -- including cannabis-friendly smoke/vape lounges -- in the city. So far, though, council members seem to favor allowing some new businesses. And with about two-thirds of Denver voters approving Amendment 64 in November, they say they'd have a hard time banning such businesses outright.

Replying Monday to a Facebook post from attorney Warren Edson, Councilman Albus Brooks sounded hopeful that a compromise could be reached. "I don't see us opting out of commercial," he wrote. "The Nation is watching how we handle this, and also the 66 percent of Denver voters. We will deliver smart regulations that protect neighborhoods yet allow a new industry to succeed."

If a ban on new businesses is enacted, the city would be passing on substantial tax revenue. According to Denver officials, the city collected about $4.6 million in sales tax from medical marijuana last year, an increase of more than $2.8 million over 2010 figures.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: Obama administration has done poor job of talking about drug policy, czar says."

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35 comments
betweenthelines
betweenthelines

Banning the retail shops in Denver would essentially be a ban on the 'model' for the rest of the nation to follow.....Not to mention the biggest indoor  'black-market' this country has ever seen.....Never gonna happen....The Council are buffoons, but they enjoy their careers.

Case
Case

Michael Elliot, Pro-law enforcement MMIG PIG with ZERO credibility, wants to put growers in jail. Remember this next time you shop at an MMC that does not display the sign "Proudly NOT a member of MMIG". MMIG pigs are too afraid to disclose their membership; they don't want patients to know who to boycott.

Mish Desmarais
Mish Desmarais

Stupid idea. Go ahead and put those people out of business. Not only will you raise unemployment but you won't be getting any revenue from those places either. Dumb.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

"Police also contend that one out of every 22 grow operations catches fire, with the majority of those fires occurring in residential grows."

Gee...their crops probably wouldn't catch fire if they were allowed to GROW IT OUTSIDE UNDER THE SUN, without the expensive high-power lamps, A/C, etc!

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

ORLY? Gee...more home grows, more home burglaries involving pot. No! Ya think? Who are the victims? Oh, the people you probably want to protect from themselves by depriving them of the right to grow? Thanks for that!

Not to mention--once "everyone" grows it, the crop won't be valuable enough to steal...

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Please do it! I can't wait for all the good shops to open up in unincorporated Jefferson County.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Good thing that the Pro-Law Enforcement Pimps who wrote A64, and the fools and tools who supported it, included a clause that granted every City and County in Colorado the EXPLICIT POWER to BAN ALL commercial Marijuana operations -- at any time -- if they so desired.

The VOTERS have SPOKEN!! -- REGULATION WORKS!!

Feel that FIST of REGULATION deep inside your colon ... and KNOW that YOU begged for IT!


stacy
stacy

The DPD crime stat is useless without all of the associated crime data for the city.  Denver and many places, pot or not, have seen an uptick in crime due to the recession.  The DPD needs to take personal opinion out of their information and present a whole picture on crime. I suspect that crimes in general are reduced around current "medical marijuana" dispensaries due to the strict security and cleanliness guidelines they have to follow.  How has that impacted crime?

melekalikimaka
melekalikimaka

At least a City Council is actually recognizing that their citizens voted for the amendment and going against that will mean losing their council position next election. What I find funny is all these counties and cities banning retail left and right before any regulations have been drawn up or licenses applied for. Yeah, lets vote on something that doesn't exist yet. I really hope now that every county or city that "opts out" will not receive one dime in tax revenue. How do they suppose the black market will be eliminated if no one's allowed to buy it or sell it anywhere, apparently these places love their gangs and cartel affiliations more?

Troy Hoisington
Troy Hoisington

Maybe you should learn about punctuation and sarcasm. @Justin Day.

Justin Novak
Justin Novak

This seems just a tad silly seeing as the commercial sale of pot was supposed to raise money for the school system(am I wrong?). Not to mention the other revenue from taxes. I don't see how the police chief says MMJ has increased crime other than possibly creating a more motivated black market which can be altogether nullified by opening legal places to by weed. No I don't think it will pass, but it could pass if the city feels like shooting itself in the foot.

Justin Day
Justin Day

With comments like the one above maybe.Colorado as a state needs to take this serious in the whole process because we are that state everyone is watching right now to see what's next. Lets try and be more civilized then just tired stoner jokes.

Squi Rrel
Squi Rrel

They better not if I want to open my bed breakfast bongs and Beyond

anoiing
anoiing

Colorado is a preemptive state, therefore any law passed by a city that violates a state law is invalid, Pot is legal in colorado, therefore denver cannot ban it... However, denver has gun bans that violates state laws, so whats another unjust law. 

instntkrma
instntkrma

I got news for ya. the price of pot is about to go down again. many will grow their own and have extra, even more shops will open and supply will be higher than demand. The price of pot a year after these shops open will be $100 an ounce for top shelf. Nobody is going to need to steal anything. Basement growers would benefit greatly from no rec sales. It'll also be a BIG penalty for existing Denver MMCs who wanted to convert to the new model.

Monkey
Monkey

Gotta love the DPD. "one out of every 22 grow operations catches fire" is hilarious, as if they somehow know about all the grows in Denver. I wonder when the "recreational" grows will end up on some sort of registry? Probably Denver first. Law enforcement hates the home hobbyist, and so does the commercial weed industry. The home grower will always have the advantage, lower cost to create higher quality. The only ones who don't care about home growers are the feds, what a funny form of legalization we have.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Case Passionate post, Case. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Case 

Michael Elliot = Mouthpiece for the Greedy Big $$$ Dispensary Cartel who want to FORCE all patients and users to purchase their crappy overpriced warehouse schwag, and who will use LAW ENFORCEMENT to attack private growers/sellers for his personal financial gain.

Fuck Michael Elliot, Fuck MMIG, and Fuck what they stand for.

Boycott ALL MMIG dispensaries / businesses!


Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay What is this about "liking reality" anyway? I've never hallucinated due to pot consumption, and I've had plenty, as a patient. The closest I've come is losing track of time, and that never seems to happen any more.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Justin Novak Interesting post, Justin. Thanks.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@anoiing = another idiot who didn't read, much less comprehend, A64.


michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@instntkrma Interesting theory, instntkrma. We're going to highlight it in an upcoming Comment of the Day. Thanks.

orson
orson

@instntkrma 

Even if the price does drop to $100 per ounce, which I doubt it will, people will still be stealing it at that ridiculous price.  There are people stealing copper wires to sell at $3 per ounce..  Marijuana will definitely continue to be stolen if it's valued at $100 per ounce, 3 times the price for an ounce of silver.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Monkey ... #1 cause of House Fires in Mendocino County = Stupid Dope Growers

SSAASSD!


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident

It's easy to like "reality" when you're Jared Polis, who was in the right place at the right time and cashed in on $500+ MILLION of other peoples' investment money just before the dot.com crash while still in his 20's.

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@DonkeyHotay My hand was forced to like your comment.

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@orson @instntkrma The crackheads downtown steal the money out of the 'self-pay' parking meters....They use coat hangers and masking tape....

betweenthelines
betweenthelines

@DonkeyHotay I agree. Forcing user to 'hide' their grows indoors creates a lot of risks to the public. I wonder who will benefit from seeing this continue?

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