Early last month, there were over 450 medical marijuana dispensaries operating legally with Denver sales tax licenses. Then came the new city ordinance requiring new rules including an operating license costing $5,000 and change.
The first day applications for the license were available, only 20 applicants were accepted. A quick check this morning with the Denver office of excise and licensing revealed that only 75 applications have been accepted to date. The deadline for making application is now only one week away.
When state legislation requiring non-profit status for medical marijuana providers finally passes, the number of dispensaries may go down even further. In Denver, anyway. It makes one wonder if criticism of the newly formed lobby group Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation (CMMR) might have some substance.
The Denver Post reported recently, "CMMR also has earned critics, including some from within the multi-faceted cannabis community who consider the group representative of big money interests that they fear will corrupt the medical marijuana system."
According to the Post, William Chengelis, a marijuana activist with Mile High NORML, said his organization has been at "loggerheads" with CMMR over CMMR's lobbying campaign. "We don't feel they have been representing the patients."
The Post also reported, "Laura Kriho, a longtime marijuana activist, agreed, saying she sees CMMR as too quick to compromise and in favor of a system that would give large, more profitable dispensaries an advantage over smaller caregivers and cooperatives."
Whatever happens in the next few weeks, it appears that the wild and woolly marijuana industry in the city of Denver has already been adequately reigned in, as State Sen. Chris Romer is fond of saying.
The next step is corporate consolidation, I suppose.