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OfflineSpaceMonkey
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Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Vow To Stay Open (Denver)
    #417324 - 05/13/10 08:17 PM (6 years, 6 months ago)

Written by Alan Gionet

Good Question: When will we see dispensaries closing?




DENVER  ―It seems many dispensary operators have gotten the memo when talking about marijuana that only a few years ago was largely thought of as a recreational drug.

There are now about 50,000 people with a doctor's permission to get medical marijuana in Colorado.

The number of dispensaries is growing so rapidly it's hard to count. There are hundreds in Denver city limits, far more than the number of Starbucks.

But now it's going to get a lot harder. With the passage of a bill by Colorado lawmakers this week, a number of tougher new regulations go into effect.

"For the long term, it's just another part of your investment that's important," said Margaret Kimokeo, owner of the Hawaiian Herbal Health Center.

The dispensary is only a stone's throw from the Denver Police Department.

Kimokeo is referring to the cost. Under the bill, medical marijuana dispensaries will have to pay into a statewide system that will license them to grow and sell marijuana. The Department of Revenue has estimated half of the current shops will close.

But that's hard to back up. We had a tough time finding shops that said they would close.

One of those was Grateful Meds in Nederland. The owner said he's a low budget operation that isn't likely to have the money it will take to stay in the business. He also said a past felony drug conviction means he's now excluded.

You can add to the uncertainty about the bill, the possibility that local municipalities will make their laws stronger, effectively prohibiting clinics.

Denver has already kicked in tougher laws that mean some which opened shop after mid-Denver 2009 are potentially in trouble already.

A map published by the city on its website shows Kimokeo's facility in red, indicating its commencement and registration dates were after December 16, 2009.

Those shops must observe circles not allowing them within a thousand feet of a child care center or school.

"I don't know what that means," said Kimokeo about the map.

She's planning on staying put, even after the tougher state laws go into effect, as they are expected to after Governor Ritter signs the bill.

"For us we have a long term goal, we always have," she said.

It could cost her tens of thousands of dollars to pay for a license.

"My attitude has always been whatever hoops they put in front of me, I'm going to jump through," said Chris Hardesty, owner of Herbal Health.

That may put the dispensaries at odds with predictions from the state and even organized opponents of the bill.

"They're going to have to send in some fairly large non-refundable fees if they want to continue operating," said Brian Vicente of Sensible Colorado, which lobbied against the bill. "Also by September they're going to need to essentially produce all of their own medical marijuana or 70 percent of their own medical marijuana."

Vicente thought some of the dispensaries, particularly the smaller so-called mom and pop operations could close as soon as July.

There's likely legal action ahead.

"The state really went from zero regulation of this to 60 miles an hour in one fell swoop," said Sam Kamin, associate professor of law at DU's Sturm College of Law. "There's no way this doesn't end up in court."

That means a legal tangle as cities and towns and the state attempt to enforce old and new regulations.

"All the things that it says are limits on someone's exercise of their constitutional right," said professor Kamin.

That right was added to the state constitution by voters nearly ten years ago.

But the sponsor of the new marijuana law thinks it will stand up to constitutional muster.

"Well it's not a perfect bill, but I guarantee you this is a constitutional bill," said Sen. Chris Romer on the CBS4 Morning News. "What we put in the constitution was the right to medical marijuana, we did not put a business model in the constitution."

Marijuana is still a substance prohibited under federal law, with dispensaries permitted, but restricted under the Colorado Constitution and now open to further local ordinances. Judges may want to start scheduling their vacations now.

Since the new state law gives dispensary owners a year to get things pulled together, don't expect mass closings until at least then.
Clipped


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:guns: Don't Mistake My Kindness For Weakness :guns:


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InvisibleFurrowedBrowM
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Re: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Vow To Stay Open (Denver) [Re: SpaceMonkey]
    #417347 - 05/13/10 08:42 PM (6 years, 6 months ago)

Nice job keeping up with the articles SM!

Quote:

Denver has already kicked in tougher laws that mean some which opened shop after mid-Denver 2009 are potentially in trouble already.




The writer and editor must have been stoned!

Quote:

"My attitude has always been whatever hoops they put in front of me, I'm going to jump through," said Chris Hardesty, owner of Herbal Health.




Holy shit!  I went to high school with a guy named Chris Hardesty!  He wasn't a known stoner or anything, was a nice guy though.  I wonder if it's the same. 

Interesting article.  I'm going to have to get a lesson on medicinal cannabis when i move up to denver.  my goal is to get a job and move up there before the end of 2010.  I'd really like to do it this summer.  Denver's a really cool place and I will be up there for a few days in june to look at homes for rent.


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Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies - Become a member!
The Growery's Herb Museum (post #24)
I prefer dangerous freedom to peaceful slavery.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~


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InvisibleHarry_Ba11sachM
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Registered: 04/20/08
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Re: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Vow To Stay Open (Denver) [Re: FurrowedBrow]
    #417354 - 05/13/10 08:46 PM (6 years, 6 months ago)

I was at that Grateful Meds just this weekend. The owner said his "Drug felony" was for cultivation of marijuana. Someone please explain to me how much sense it makes to exclude someone like THAT from the dispensary business? Fuck


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InvisibleFurrowedBrowM
Free yourself from yourself
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Registered: 04/20/08
Posts: 12,037
Loc: Carpal Tunnel
Re: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Vow To Stay Open (Denver) [Re: Harry_Ba11sach]
    #417393 - 05/13/10 09:24 PM (6 years, 6 months ago)

can't be done my friend.  laws be crazy.


--------------------





Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies - Become a member!
The Growery's Herb Museum (post #24)
I prefer dangerous freedom to peaceful slavery.
~ Thomas Jefferson ~


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