Medical marijuana stores impact neighborhoods in Denver no more than coffee shops, study says

Categories: Marijuana

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A medical marijuana dispensary in the Denver area doesn't have any more impact on its neighborhood than does a coffee shop or a drugstore, according to a recent study released by the University of Colorado Denver. Not only that, but residents don't perceive a dispensary as an undesirable use of a storefront.

These findings counter the constant negative messages coming from law enforcement and anti-cannabis crusaders. And apparently, even the researchers were shocked by the results.

The CU Denver study looked at ways race, ethnicity and economic status played into the location of the centers themselves, with researchers taking the position that the 275 dispensaries they studied were largely located in lower-income areas. And while the findings showed that dispensaries are more likely to be located in areas that have higher rates of criminal activity, that's simply a matter of logistics: Crime generally occurs more often near commercial retail areas, and dispensaries are zoned as retail centers.

Paul Stretsky, a research student at the CU Denver School of Public Affairs who helped lead the study, says his team had predicted from the outset that dispensaries would change the neighborhoods surrounding them for the worse and create more crime. But that just wasn't the case, he notes. The researchers even went back through their methods to find some error that could account for the findings and found nothing.

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"We argued a bit among ourselves and divided the data up every way we could think of to find evidence of inequality where we may have missed it," Stretsky says in a release on the study. "We replicated the analysis independently. Nothing. It simply looks like these are not as undesirable as they are made out to be in the media and by law enforcement."

While the researchers here might have been surprised, similar studies in Colorado and California have come up with the same conclusions in recent years. A 2012 study on dispensaries in Sacramento using police-compiled crime statistics showed no increase in crime whatsoever near the shops. Researchers in that study did note, however, that because of the nature of marijuana businesses, any crimes that did occur tended to receive more media attention than a similar robbery of a dry cleaner or gas station.



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24 comments
Clayton Capra
Clayton Capra

I think there have been more Church break-ins and robberies this year than dispensaries. Maybe we should zone churches now.

Mane Rok
Mane Rok

...& the irony was being told I was "brainwashed"

Mane Rok
Mane Rok

The worst part about this is...it also convinces it's audience the same as I realized today in convo with one of them.

Kathy Wedzik
Kathy Wedzik

proof is in the pudding, as we say...smartest thing we ever did....if anything they bring customers to surrounding businesses.

Richard Scott Taylor
Richard Scott Taylor

(Psst: Don't tell NBC or FOX31.. They are still convinced that it causes people to rape each other, and get young people to sell their souls to Jazz musicians..)

ItsTheBeesKnees
ItsTheBeesKnees

"Medical marijuana stores impact neighborhoods in Denver no more than coffee shops, study says"

Did anyone ever believe any different? The propaganda that was coming out of law enforcement and some of our legislators was laughable, at best. They push their agendas with fear tactics. Because they have learned that this approach works best on the terrified sheep.

Propaganda is a form of communication aimed towards influencing the attitude of the community toward some cause or position by presenting only one side of an argument. Propaganda statements may be partly false and partly true. Propaganda is usually repeated and dispersed over a wide variety of media in order to create the chosen result in audience attitudes.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

        *** Banks won't finance properties where pot shops are located ***


Bankers with commercial loans on properties that lease to a marijuana business say they're unlikely to refinance the loans when they come due — contrary to normal business practices — leaving some property owners scrambling for financing.


In addition, Colorado's two largest banks — Wells Fargo Bank and FirstBank — say they will not offer any new loans to landowners whose properties have a preexisting lease with a marijuana business.


Wells Fargo and Vectra Bank have already told commercial loan clients they'll have to either evict the marijuana business or refinance their loan elsewhere.


In every case, bankers said their decision lies on the simple fact that marijuana, though legal in Colorado, remains illegal under federal law, which is their primary directive.


A landowner in Denver who leases to a marijuana dispensary said Wells Fargo has refused to refinance his note after a clean 10-year history of repayments and years more of other business loans.

That didn't happen until the landowner, who asked that his name and location not be identified for fear the bank will begin immediate foreclosure, inquired about refinancing. The bank sent a representative to see the property, a normal business practice, and noticed the marijuana business.

"We have recently been informed that one of your tenants has been operating a medical marijuana dispensary on the real property that secures the above-referenced loan from Wells Fargo Bank," a letter sent to the landowner says. "The operation of a medical marijuana dispensary is a violation of federal law."

A possible forfeiture through federal prosecution "is not a risk that Wells Fargo can reasonably take," the letter notes.

"Our policy of not banking marijuana-related businesses and not lending on commercial properties leased by marijuana-related businesses is based on applicable federal laws," spokeswoman Cristie Drumm said in an e-mail.

Although the note has come due, the bank appears to be allowing the landowner time to find other financing. His best bet: a private lender who will offer only about 80 percent of the money needed at a term of two years, 12 percent interest on an interest-only loan and about $6,000 upfront in fees.

"And in two years, I'll need to do it all over again," he said, noting he had approached about two dozen banks and was politely turned away.

A check of public records shows a number of marijuana businesses located on land where the owner is financed not through normal banking channels but through private financing, including hard-money lenders with heavy terms.

"Part of the interpretation (of laws) is the Controlled Substances Act prohibits anyone from dealing with the substances or their proceeds," said Ron Tilton, executive vice president of FirstBank. "Someone collecting rent from a dispensary or grow house, that's the proceeds of an operation and therefore is illegal."

Said Alexander: "Anyone paying attention would not make a loan to anyone housing a marijuana business."


/////////////

Monkey
Monkey

Guess we could have made this a lot easier and just allowed coffee shops to sell weed. It's worked in Amsterdam for a long time, and they even let the people toke while sipping a cup of java. But here in Colorado, we decided to go a different route, organizing a well funded weed army to protect us from all the dangers.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... and who elects them to office?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Clayton Capra "I think ..." ... therefore you fail.

dnl_slf
dnl_slf

It does man. Every night, when me and my girl smoke a doobie, she attacks me and ravages my body. Help, please help? She ties me up, and then, she's mean to me.

DocOzee
DocOzee

@DonkeyHotay  So as applies to this article and crime ... sound like you're saying the clandestine white collar crime rate, the one that never makes the papers, has gone up.  Where bankers use laws they had made to fuck with owners and questionably toss them out.  Them and the criminal Feds.  You make a very good counter point:  "Invisible White Collar Crime UP!"

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

////////////////


""Someone collecting rent from a dispensary or grow house, that's the proceeds of an operation and therefore is illegal." -- Ron TIlton, FirstBank 


"Anyone paying attention would not make a loan to anyone housing a marijuana business." -- Bruce Alexander, Vectra Bank"


/////////////////


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter


"Someone collecting rent from a dispensary or grow house, that's the proceeds of an operation and therefore is illegal." -- Ron TIlton, FirstBank


"Anyone paying attention would not make a loan to anyone housing a marijuana business." -- Bruce Alexander, Vectra Bank

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Monkey  .


                       *** REGULATION WORKS! ***


Bück Dich and get REGULATED, Bitches! -- you voted for it!

MikeParent
MikeParent

In the case of the police, no one.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@DocOzee ... sucks to be a blue-collar stoner criminal, don't it?


MikeParent
MikeParent

Yet they didn't have any trouble laundering billions of dollars of drug money.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@DocOzee ... stick around, there's plenty of Donkey Therapy available.

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