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The Final Verdict: Denver City Council Passes Final Recreational Regulations

By Anna Wilcox — 9/20/2013

All eyes are on Denver. The night of September 16th, Denver City Council made history after passing the first bill to provide rules and regulations for recreational cannabis retail locations. A couple of key changes were made to the bill, which could affect the number of medical dispensaries in the city. 

First, any medical dispensary that has not applied for a licence by October 1st will be shut down by the government. While it’s probably safe to assume that most dispensaries who would like to remain in operation in the recreational market have already applied for licences, this reform will crack down on the many unlicensed dispensaries working in gray market, right on the edge of the law. 

Secondly, similar to Washington State’s new change, the way distance is measured has been redefined in the new version of the bill. Previously, the bill restricted dispensaries from popping up within 1000 walkable feet from school zones, children’s areas, and drug and alcohol treatment centers. Distance will now be measured “as the crow flies,” further restricting where storefronts can be located. 

Though the rules have been finalized, much work still needs to be done to ensure both law enforcement and the public are on the same page. Charlie Brown, a councilman who was in charge of the committee on the issue, plans to meet with the police chief in the next few weeks to address emerging issues, such as public cannabis consumption. After the final regulations were announced, Brown expressed the feelings of Colorado and Washington legislators working on reform, stating, “We did what we could, but this is a huge unknown.”

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