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Marijuana: What happens to medical shops whose towns have banned recreational pot?

natures.kiss.jpg
Nature's Kiss in Englewood.
So far, 24 Colorado cities have banned recreational marijuana sales since the passing of Amendment 64. This is not a surprise, since most already had an ordinance prohibiting medical marijuana stores. But what about those that have MMJ shops that now won't be able to switch to recreational -- like, for instance, Englewood, which briefly allowed dispensaries in 2009 but has since banned them. The three dispensaries that were grandfathered in have found it hard to stay open ever since.

"There is a strong push to get dispensaries out of the city," says Colby, manager for Mile High Dispensary; he asked that we not use his last name. "Basically, our plan right now is to open a recreational shop outside of the city, since you have to be a medical facility in Englewood."

Along with the ordinance banning recreational marijuana, which was passed last month, Colby says the city also doubled the distance marijuana operations must be from schools, from 1,000 feet to 2,000 feet.

This isn't an issue for the dispensary itself, but Mile High's cultivation facility is within the new limit -- and if it's forced to close, the business as a whole may be at risk. Colby says owners will be taking the city to court over the issue next month -- and the shop hopes to win the battle and remain open. To do so, though, it will have to remain a medical store, unlike Mile High Dispensary 2, a sister shop in Lakewood that hopes to open its doors to recreational as well as medical customers once it's legal to do so.

Calls to Englewood city council members on the subject were not immediately returned.

Five other cities in Colorado offer similar challenges as those in Englewood, including Dacono, which prohibited dispensaries at the beginning of the year before giving them the okay to reopen at around the same time recreational facilities were banned.

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Dacono Meds shut down during this change in laws and has yet to reopen.

"We are trying to come back, but the application fees are very high," says Brad Henson, Dacono Meds' owner. "It has taken a lot to fight the community and get reinstated."

He's not exaggerating. Last November, after learning about the Dacono ordinance to shut down MMJ stores, Henson transferred his license in order to open a shop in Sedgwick. Now, in order to begin operating in Dacono again, he basically has to begin the licensure process again as if the business was brand new. That means reapplying for licenses, which cost thousands of dollars. In addition, the city changed its zoning rules for medical marijuana operations, and while the ones in disallowed areas can stay there for now, they must move by the end of 2014.


Henson is optimistic that he will get the Dacono shop up and running again, and he thinks the inability to sell recreational marijuana might not prove fatal to his profit margin.

"I did notice there are a lot of people dropping off the registry," Henson says. "But I hope there are enough that want to avoid taxes by staying medical."

For about $7 a month, Henson says, patients can keep their red card active -- and depending on a person's consumption, that may be a lot cheaper than taxes.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Christine Tatum: Anti-pot jihadist's questions about Westword, THC tie to terrorism, murder."



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30 comments
thekave
thekave

I think towns and cities that ban pot either medical or recreational should not benefit from any tax revenue that comes in from it state wide. They should not get any money at all that comes in from taxing pot. PERIOD. The state should only disperse tax revenue from recreational and medical pot to cities and towns that allow pot shops in their sovereignty. I say fuck those towns. They don't deserve any extra tax money that comes from the sale of pot.  

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

I am beyond grateful I did NOT get sucked up in a MMJ investment ! I had many opportunities w/ more than enough financial backing . I feared it would turn out like 50 ice-cream trucks working Washington Park at the same time . My reservations were most accurate !...

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Why Dispensary Weed SUCKS -- 

** Many Colorado pot business owners don't have marijuana backgrounds **

http://www.denverpost.com/news/marijuana/ci_23520365/many-owners-states-pot-businesses-dont-have-marijuana


***

The list of owners provided comes with significant limitations.

One quarter of the state's roughly 500 medical-marijuana dispensaries don't have a state license but are instead operating under a pending license application. Colorado Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division officials, saying those applications are not public records, will not provide the names of the dispensaries' owners.

The list also fails to differentiate between current owners and previous owners who may have since sold their interests. The state says its computer database cannot make the distinction. The only way for the state to check who currently owns a dispensary is to look at the scanned copy of the documents the dispensary owner filed when applying for a license.

The Medical Marijuana Enforcement Division, though, recently lost some of those documents because of a computer-hardware failure. The state has not said how many records were lost but cited the computer problem in telling The Post that certain records requested could not be produced.

***

For instance, a number of owners and ownership groups have begun assembling formidable chains of dispensaries.

The list provided contains 585 names. Of those, 112 people are listed as owning more than one dispensary. Twelve people are listed as owning at least four, although some of those people are members of overlapping ownership groups.

***

That most dispensaries are mom-and-pop affairs is evident in surveys that Walsh's industry publication has done of dispensary owners. Asked how much revenue they bring in annually, 60 percent of dispensary owners say less than $500,000. Fifteen percent report generating less than $100,000 a year in revenue ...

Walsh said he believes a large number of dispensary owners in Colorado are just trying to keep their doors open until recreational sales kick in at the beginning of next year, hoping that will provide a jolt to keep their store running.

"Some are just hanging on by a thread," he said.



RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

A belated correction:  "... Englewood, which briefly allowed dispensaries in 2009 but has since banned them ..." -- Wax, in 2009 the State had not unconstitutionally regulated medical cannabis.  Dispensaries in 2009 were caregivers' storefronts, and there were as yet no municipal regulations in place; Englewood, like other towns and the State, realized that Article XVIII, Section 14 of the Constitution made implicit provision for caregivers to engage in the long list of activities involving cannabis which are still felonies when they involve non-medical use, and so they did not move against them, so it is inaccurate to writw that Englewood allowed them.  If you have any information to the contrary, please share it,. 

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

What is now considered to be the legal basis for medical cannabis dispensaries isn't -- HB10-1284 unconstitutionally reposed responsibility for regulating medical cannabis with the Department of Revenue instead of the State health department.  Under our Constitution, caregivers may provide cannabis to patients even in the most backwards, stupidest communities in Colorado, without let or hindrance from authorities.

Monkey
Monkey

Regulate like alcohol! Every place that bans the sale of weed should also ban the sale of alcohol. The State should prohibit owning multiple storefronts, like liquor stores, and separate manufacturing, wholesale and retail sales, like liquor stores. Or treat it like brew-pubs, allow manufacturing on site, use on site, retail sales to customers and wholesale to other businesses, all for a fraction of the price of MMJ licenses. While I'm at it, regulating like alcohol would also allow individuals to start their micro-grow business at home, in their garage, like micro-brews often start.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 "This is not a surprise, since most already had an ordinance prohibiting medical marijuana stores. "

Behold the sheer brilliance of lyin' Brian Vicente and mendacious Mason Tvert to then write and include a provision in that festering turd A64 that explicitly allows ANY City or County to COMPLETELY BAN commercial recreational marijuana businesses.

[ Cue the plaintive whine of witless stoners who were too stupid to read, much less comprehend what A64 proposed before they voted for it. ]


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@thekave ... too bad Stupid Stoners like you didn't put that in A64, eh? ... instead of the provision that does allow any city or county to completely ban commercial marijuana operations of they so desire.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase "...for caregivers to engage in the long list of activities"

Complete bullshit.

A20 allowed very limited exception to extant criminal drug laws, specifically it allowed Caregivers to procure up to 2 (two) ounces or grow up to 3 (three) flowering mature plants for their bonafide patients.

Nothing more, nothing less.

A20 did not even contemplate, much less mention or allow Commercial Retail Sales or Large Scale Commercial Cultivation in it's provisions.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Mitch Siff ... or get a real job.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase 

From the fantasy world of Robert Chase:

"unconstitutional" = any law he doesn't like

"constitutional" = those laws he supports


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Monkey ... only clueless fools and tools would BEG the GOVERNMENT to REGULATE a "harmless plant that NEVER killed anyone" LIKE DEADLY Alcohol that harms, maims and kills 10s of THOUSANDS of people EVERY YEAR.

No banana for you!

thekave
thekave

@DonkeyHotay @thekave Guess what fuck face, I don't smoke pot. I don't do any drugs of any sort. Shows what you know, moron. 

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  You are a liar.  You have consistently tried to mislead readers who will not read the text themselves.  Your stupidity in trying to deny what was a fact on the ground in Colorado for well over a year boggles the mind:  many dispensaries operated by caregivers did business in Colorado from late 2008 until June of 2010 absent any State regulation of their businesses; neither the State nor local police shut them down or arrested their owners.  Your determination to deny the meaning of the words in our Constitution drives you to the absurd extremity of denying the origin of our many dispensaries just five years ago.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  No, it was the clear intent of the People when they declared that cannabis is a medicine that the "state health agency" should be responsible for the medical cannabis program.

Your post is not a response to mine; it is deliberate misdirection aimed at those who have never read Article XVIII, Section 14 of our Constitution.

thekave
thekave

Failed at what... proving you're a troll? Oh no... I think I proved that LONG ago. Thank you and good night!

thekave
thekave

You seriously have nothing better to do than to sit around and reply on the Westword website... what a pathetic fuck. I'm going to finish my work and go home to my family and enjoy my day. You will probably jack off to gay porno, play some video games and cry yourself to sleep. Enjoy bitch. lol. 

thekave
thekave

@DonkeyHotay @thekave Who's touting it as a "cure" for anything? I've never heard anyone say it was a "CURE" but I've heard people say that it eases some of the symptoms of their various ailments. I just know what it does to me, and it doesn't work for me as a pain killer or nausea reducer in anyway. All you are doing is proving that you are what I'm saying you are... a moron, to the highest degree. Keep it up... maybe we haven't convinced some of the people who are reading your trolling remarks. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@thekave ... so you DO do drugs, of many sorts!

... and reject Pot as a "cure" for your cancer.


thekave
thekave

@DonkeyHotay @thekave Less you count the ones the doctor gives me due to the fact that I have cancer moron. I don't prefer to take pot because it makes me dizzy and nauseous but I know a number of people who benefit from it. You are a fucking moron choke on your own excrement and die.  

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase = can't provide a citation to a single provision of A20 that even mentions, much less authorizes Commercial Retail Dispensaries or Large Scale Commercial Grows.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase @RobertChase "it was the clear intent of the People when they declared that cannabis is a medicine that the "state health agency" should be responsible for the medical cannabis program."

Once again Stoners FAIL to write a simple, concise, unambiguous law.

A20 merely establishes an OPTIONAL "registry" with the "State health agency" ... an impartial 3rd party "registration" office not an active "licensing" authority who meddles in all things MMJ.

Just as the County Clerks across the State act as impartial registrars of document, like Deeds, Mortgages, Promissory Notes, etc -- without prejudice, authority nor control over the content of those documents. The County Clerk doesn't "approve" your deed or mortgage, they are bound by law to simply accept and record it, no matter what it says.

Likewise the CDPHE should NOT be "approving or rejecting" optional registrations by patients of their physician referrals or caregiver assignments, they should merely accept and record, without prejudice, the documents submitted to them.

And there is NOTHING in A20 that ever granted them the power or authority to make LEGAL determinations over such things as Caregiver - Patient limits, nor mandate Social Security Numbers be disclosed, etc.

Stupid stoners along with fools like you immediately surrendered unlimited MMJ powers to the CDPHE, powers not granted by A20.


You LIKE getting fucked in the ass by the Fist of Government, don't you Robert?


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