Over the past two evenings the City of Littleton has listened to the testimony of six dispensary owners and their council, as well as those speaking in favor of and against dispensaries in Littleton.
The reason; The Littleton city council has determined that, while they have already issued business licenses, allowed the businesses to operate and collected taxes…they would really rather just have four dispensaries within the city limits.
So, in their collective wisdom, they have organized this fact finding mission to determine which four, of the six, dispensaries where open and operational first. No, this is not a type-o, it is really happening.
There are at least two major problems with this course of action.
The first, being the apparent randomness of the number of dispensaries itself. At a previous council meeting, statistics where brought up to support such a scheme. However, they don’t pan out.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) doesn’t list registered card holders by city, but rather by county. At the recent HB 1284 hearing on Capitol Hill, it was admitted that they are at least eight months to a year behind, without appropriations to work on the back-log of applications for medicinal marijuana cards.
They estimate that they receive approximately 1000 applications a day, up from 400 a day less than a year ago. The CDPHE currently lists the number of card holders in Arapahoe County, where Littleton is located, to be 1827. These counties also share a border with Arapahoe and contribute the following number of cardholders:
• Adams 1456
• Denver 3127
• Douglas 732
• Elbert 61
• Jefferson 2526
• Washington 7
The total registered cardholders for all of these counties are 9736. That is approximately 1623 potential patients for each of the six dispensaries to share.
If Littleton were to count the number of patients these dispensaries have on file now; and came up with a number that was less than that, then the dispensaries would clearly be warranted. If the dispensaries had more than that number, then Littleton’s numbers would be in even worse shape.
How can Littleton determine that four is an appropriate number of dispensaries in the area?
Keep in mind, that there are over 500,000 patients in Colorado who take prescription opiates, the vast majority of which medical marijuana would be just as or more efficacious in the treatment of pain and healthier for the patients.
The second reason being, that HB 1284 will be voted on within a week and if the “Opt-Out” amendment, allowing local municipalities to ban dispensaries, doesn’t pass then Littleton’s ruling would be in conflict with the State’s.
Attorney Lauren C. Davis, for Blue Sky Care Dispensary LLC., pointed out after the meeting, that it is unconstitutional to limit a business in this manner regardless.
Lauren asks “Do we limit the number of liquor stores or pharmacies or any other business for that matter?”
It would appear that this is another case of your tax dollars working hard for nothing. The entire exercise is moot.