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Medical marijuana centers will be big winners if Denver plan goes through, activist says

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In a post published yesterday, Denver City Councilman Chris Nevitt defended a Denver proposal to limit recreational marijuana license applications to previously existing medical marijuana businesses until January 1, 2016.

Marijuana attorney Warren Edson is a longtime critic of such an approach, and he's not thrilled with this one, either. But he does acknowledge that if the plan passes, current businesses will find the licenses worth more and more with each passing month.

Edson has spoken against vertical integration rules that require retail outlets to produce the majority of their own product, as is currently the case in the medical marijuana industry; he sees it as an impediment to new businesses seeking to compete in the marketplace. Yet the marijuana laws signed by Governor John Hickenlooper late last month leave VI in place until July 1, 2014, and keep new applicants on the outside looking in for the same amount of time.

In a previous interview, Edson portrayed this part of the legislation as a sop to current MMJ businesses that could have unfortunate consequences.

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Warren Edson.
"We're going to have a huge increase in demand with no increase in supply," he told us. "According to state figures, we're expected to go from 100,000 consumers" under the MMJ system "to 1.2 million consumers. That's a ten-fold increase with no preparation for meeting that demand. And cannabis isn't like baking bagels, where, if there's a demand for more of them, you just bake more. You need a two-to-four-month period to grow and properly cure cannabis.

"The industry hasn't been able to meet the demands of 100,000 patients, and we're going to multiply that by ten?" That, says Edson, will "lead to a price increase" made ever greater by much higher taxes.

Nonetheless, a draft proposal shared with members of Denver City Council earlier this week (see it below) extends the exclusivity period for current businesses by a year and a half beyond the state's requirement -- and Nevitt told us he thinks that's a good idea for several reasons. He fears the equivalent of a gold rush in which a bunch of unqualified "knuckleheads" get into the business, besmirching the reputation of the state and the industry at a time when most of the "bad apples" that jumped in during the original 2009-2010 dispensary boom have been "weeded out."

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Chris Nevitt.
Moreover, he thinks people who may have voted for Amendment 64 but are still trepidatious about its implementation will be reassured by the idea that the number of businesses will remain stable for the first couple of years. And he dismisses the thought that new entrepreneurs will be kept out by the statute, because they can always buy the operations of those already in the game.

Edson's response? Bringing vertical integration back from the dead "seems to fly in the face of the way they tell us liquor needs to be regulated."

As for exclusivity, he sees it less of a benefit for consumers and more a boon for MMJ businesses. In his words, "Folks who are looking to sell a license in the City of Denver that has a certificate of occupancy just had the value of that license increase exponentially with the City Council statements" of earlier this week.

Here's the complete draft of the proposed Denver regulations.

Draft of Denver Retail Marijuana Local Licensing Ordinance

More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: Governor John Hickenlooper signs six pot bills that 'are charting new territory.'"


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17 comments
Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

People can grow their own veggies, but the average person prefers the convenience of purchasing from a store . Why would pot be any different ? Especially considering the amount of work necessary to maintain a solid harvest . Much harder and more difficult than the common vegetable .

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

I'm crippled & blind . I recently began growing 'MYSELF', thanks to people like Hotay, Cog, Cloud, Monkey, ect ... I do this w/o the intention of sales . I DON'T & WON'T partake in ANY activity that includes dealing w/ thieves, liars, & any other reasons for strangers to visit my home . There's a sweet 70 (+) yr old lady up the way a bit,  and a quarter lasts her a month . I'm pretty sure I can take care of her as well . Free of charge of course ! I began smoking regularly when I was 15 . I recall talking the 'What If's' & being legally permitted to grow even a 1/2 a dozen plants far surpasses anything I would've believed back then . I'm under the forever impression that America is all about the ever-growing LAW & it's enforcement .

What more am I missing ?

Monkey
Monkey

Better watch out. Remember our letters from the feds, about being 1000ft from a school? Washington is getting those now too, but with some additional letters. Seems they're using new tactics, sending letters to those who advertise, and threatening 20 years for the property owner if they don't shut down, regardless of proximity to schools. Very interesting.

http://blog.seattlepi.com/marijuana/2013/06/02/dea-letters-is-this-how-the-feds-might-fight-states-marijuana-market/

http://www.scribd.com/doc/144950277/Us-Doj-Letter-5-13-2013

Jethro
Jethro

Why is Warren Edson considered an "activist" as opposed to a greedy lawyer again?

thedawg
thedawg

This is just regulations for Denver right? Fuck Denver. 

If I was Golden or Arvada or any outlying municipality (especially if I was located on the I70 mountain corridor, are you listening Idaho Springs?), I'd setup my rules so that ANYONE with the proper small business licensing can setup a pot-shop. Cut Denver off of this revenue altogether.  Grab all the pot-skiing-tourists dollars I can...

Monkey
Monkey

"The industry hasn't been able to meet the demands of 100,000 patients"

I don't think that's true. From what I've seen, commercial grows sling weed out the back door, and launder some of the proceeds through the "regulated" businesses/fronts to clean the money they need to stay open. If the shelves are low, it's not because of legitimate sales, it's because they got a better offer from Tony, on his way out of state. I've also noticed some "high-end shops" buying their "top-shelf" from "black market" growers, so they can again, sell their warehouse weed out the back door, and have better quality on their shelves than their competition. I bet Colorado produces 5 times the amount patients consume right now, but the weed goes to the highest bidder, and patients are notorious for complaining about prices. Why sell it to a whinny customer buying a couple grams, when you can sell a 10 pack it to Tony, who actually appreciates it. The "black" market will always be a part of the "regulated" market, they need each other to survive. Learning to cheat the "regulated" system is essential, any legitimate business man knows that, and the ones that don't often fail in the first 3 years.

shamanhawk
shamanhawk

Absolutely DH!  

Chris Nevitt is proposing MONOPOLIES!  Doesn't this country have enough oligarchs as it is, and isn't this just suppressing entrepreneurs.   How about no more coffee shops can open, just Starbucks?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

             *** Boycott the Greedy Big $$$ Retail Dispensary Pigs! ***

... support your Local Independent Caregiver - Grower!


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Monkey ... the Feds can pull the plug on Colorado anytime they desire -- the entire dispensary / commercial grow industry -- and it won't cost them more than a letter and a postage stamp.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Monkey "From what I've seen, commercial grows sling weed out the back door, and launder some of the proceeds through the "regulated" businesses/fronts to clean the money they need to stay open. If the shelves are low, it's not because of legitimate sales, it's because they got a better offer from Tony, on his way out of state. I've also noticed some "high-end shops" buying their "top-shelf" from "black market" growers, so they can again, sell their warehouse weed out the back door, and have better quality on their shelves than their competition. I bet Colorado produces 5 times the amount patients consume right now, but the weed goes to the highest bidder ..."

Go Monkey!

And the MMED is incompetently impotent to stop them. 

Colorado's touted "model of regulation" = Galactic FAIL!


shamanhawk
shamanhawk

@DonkeyHotay @shamanhawk  

That is dumbing down with a blanket statement and is not always true.  How many of our "regulators" are in bed with the people (corporations are people too) who they regulate?  Just look at Washington where if you lose your job you just become a Lobbyist.  

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@shamanhawk "That is dumbing down with a blanket statement and is not always true."

Which explains why the prevaricating pimps who promoted A64 used that as their scampaign slogan.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@BackOffImStarving

Support Our Murderous Mercenaries!


BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay "It's like allowing Arsonists to get paid to put out the fires they start."

That's currently happening in Iraq and Afghanistan.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@shamanhawk ... like former DEA goon / MMED Czar Matt Cook who helped create the original MMJ Clusterfuck under HB1284 ... then promptly jumped ship from government parasite to private consultant/lobbyist who profiteers off the very disaster he created?

Or in the opposite direction, lyin' Brian Vicente and Christian Sederberg who wrote that pathetic piece of shit A64, and are now working FOR the Government as paid consultants to fix the fuckup they wrote.

It's like allowing Arsonists to get paid to put out the fires they start.

Fucking obscene.



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