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Denver City Council is considering the largest overhaul of marijuana regulations in the city since the plant was commercially legalized in the state in 2012. Chances are everything will be done on April 20th, the date of the unofficial pott vacation in America.
During the council meeting on April 12, the bills to see Denver opt for marijuana delivery, hospitality and socially fair licensing were further developed after their first hearings. The proposed ordinances, tabled by the city’s Ministry of Excise and Licensing after nearly two-year stakeholder meetings, would also allow for permanent windows in pharmacies – a temporary store adjustment during the COVID-19 pandemic – and numerous other technical changes made by city rules as well.
If the measures are approved during a full council vote on April 19, they could be signed by Mayor Michael Hancock the next day. A combination of Black Friday, Christmas, and St. Patrick’s Day for cannabis users, 4/20, was celebrated in non-pandemic years with a boisterous bash that brought more than 50,000 people to Civic Center Park. This park closed last year and no one has applied for a permit to enter the civic center on April 20, 2021.
And Excise and Licenses swears that the timing of the final invoices before the council is a coincidence.
“If the city council voted on April 19th, the mayor would likely sign the most massive changes to marijuana rules and regulations in Denver since legalization on April 20. That was purely coincidental and not intentional. I can’t see the mayor Said for sure would sign the legislation that day, but usually he signs the legislation the day after it is passed by the city council, “says Eric Escudero, spokesman for Excise and Licenses.
Colorado Legislature passed laws in 2019 that legalize the supply of marijuana and hospitality at the state level. According to these laws, however, the municipalities must choose to do so. Denver, the first major city in the country to open recreational pharmacies – a city so proud of its marijuana rules that it does host annual marijuana management symposiums to educate other government leaders about pots regulation – has become the Taken time to target these two commercial marijuana growing areas while Aurora, Longmont, Boulder, and Superior have already approved programs.
If the council approves the delivery proposal, Denver would allow both medical and recreational deliveries within the city limits, following most of the rules of the state’s marijuana enforcement department. Delivery would be interrupted when the local pharmacy closes at 10 p.m., orders could only be delivered to residential addresses, and those who place the order would have to show their IDs to the delivery driver. Supplies would be limited to 1 ounce of flower, 8 grams of concentrate, or food containing 800 milligrams of THC.
Denver already has a hospitality program that allows qualified businesses to apply for permits to use social pots. However, this program, established in 2017, only has one current licensee and is more restrictive than the state version. If approved, the city’s new hospitality program would allow more types of businesses to apply for licenses and would include indoor smoking and even micro-sales and mobile lounges – but the 1,000-foot buffer between a social-use business and a daycare center, drug treatment center, and urban park, pool, or recreation would stay in place.
Marijuana industry officials and supporters have come out against the buffer, suggesting changing it to 500 feet or removing daycare requirements altogether. Excise tax and licenses, and especially Mayor Michael Hancock, are in favor of the restrictions.
Another proposed provision would require all new marijuana business licenses in Denver outside of testing labs to be reserved until 2027 to owners who qualify for a new social justice designation.
The definition of social justice, adopted by the legislature at the end of the 2020 session, stipulates that a qualified applicant must be a citizen who has been arrested or convicted of a drug investigation or lived in a designated zone with low economic opportunities or high Crime; Anyone with a family member who has been exposed to drug offenses would also be eligible.
“Not only is this regulation a huge step forward in the Denver and Colorado cannabis landscape, it has historic and national implications,” says the Black Cannabis Equity Initiative. “If this ordinance is approved by Denver, it will show the city’s commitment to correcting a false and a ‘social evil’.”
Governor Jared Polis signed a bill in March to establish a $ 4 million fund for social justice in the state marijuana industry. The money will be distributed by the state’s Bureau of Economic Development and International Trade and will be used for low-interest loans, grants and technical assistance to social justice licensees.
If the proposals are approved by the council on April 19 and signed by Hancock, the new programs will likely not be implemented until July, but some delivery and hospitality businesses have already been licensed by the MED to await the move from Denver.
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Thomas Mitchell has been writing about everything cannabis-related for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate, and general news en route to publications like the Republic of Arizona, Inman, and Fox Sports. He is currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.