Marijuana: Signage restrictions a way to prevent community backlash, activist says
Yesterday, we shared new retail marijuana emergency rules issued by the Department of Revenue and the Marijuana Enforcement Division, along with medical marijuana critic William Breathes's first takes.
Photos and more below.
Breathes noted that a number of matters haven't been specifically addressed thus far. An example is signage regulation of the sort Amendment 64 co-author and activist Brian Vicente sees as extremely important for the success of the industry, since he feels sign spinning and the like can lead to community backlash.
Vicente admits that he's "still working my way through" the new regulations. "But generally, my thought is that they seem like a pretty solid path forward. Obviously, the state took this pretty seriously in crafting these emergency regulations -- and I think it's important for people to know they only apply to new stores. Our current business owners shouldn't freak out when they see them, because they're for next-level businesses."
He doesn't dismiss the possibility of significant changes to the regs as they move from temporary to permanent status. But he says "my expectation is, this is probably the basis for the permanent rules. It's my understanding that the state will now create some subcommittees to examine issues raised within these rules, and that will be more of a public process that's open to stakeholders and others to really help craft the final rules. But I think this is the foundation for them."
An exception is clearly signage. The section devoted to this subject reads:
To develop appropriate and legally sound regulations on this subject, it is necessary to have a public rulemaking hearing at which interested Persons may submit written data, views, or arguments. Further, the State Licensing Authority wishes to seek the assistance of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment regarding such rules as authorized by subsection 12-43.4-202(3)(c), C.R.S. In connection with permanent rulemaking proceedings, the State Licensing Authority will consider all data, views and arguments, as well as any input from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and will determine signage, marketing, and advertising regulations applicable to licensed Retail Marijuana Establishments.The passage's cautiousness is likely motivated in part by a recent decision tossing out a regulation that would have treated marijuana magazines like porn on First Amendment grounds. Although no such complaints have been filed in the wake of a Denver City Council ordinance banning outdoor advertising at dispensaries, which was approved last August, statewide prohibition could make a bigger target.
At the same time, though, plenty of folks don't miss sights like this....
...outside dispensaries. And that includes Vicente.
Continue for more about retail marijuana emergency rules and signage regulation, including photos and documents.