It all started on Nov. 3, 2009, when the Littleton city council called for an emergency meeting to begin studying the impact of medical marijuana dispensaries. The seminal meeting ended with a 90 day moratorium on new dispensaries in place.
The group formally met four more times before the second reading and final vote for Title 3 Chapter 20 of the city code concerning dispensaries last night (1/19/10) at 7pm.
This regulation has proved to be the most controversial and divisive in the State of Colorado to date.
The open meeting was well attended with MMJ proponents outnumbering those who were opposed. Several persons from each side were allowed to share their concerns with the council and answer questions from the council.
While it had many of the same "distance" rules, on-site consumption, security measures, licensing and fee schedules many have come to expect, it also introduces many seemingly random rules that dispensary owners say "will land the city in court."
Here are some examples of the more controversial regulations:
• Signage may not display the words "marijuana" or "cannabis" or any other word or phrase referring to marijuana - no related images either
• Cultivation of plants is limited to 20% of the floor space
• Dispensaries are limited to only selling to patients who have named them as their "caregiver"
• Limit the number of dispensaries for all of Littleton to only four
• No medical marijuana "grow facilities" anywhere in the city
The new license application fee will be $2500 with a CBI background check or $38.50 per person. The annual fee is set at $2000 with change fees that range from $200 to $400 per event.
The dispensaries in question are Green Mountain Care 5423 S. Prince St., Mother Nature's Miracle 315W. Littleton Blvd., The Hemp Center 2430 W. Main St., Blue Sky Care Connection 1449 W. Littleton Blvd., Metro Cannabis 241 W. County Line Rd., A Cut Above 2690 W. Main St., Mile High Medicine 5241 S. Santa Fe Dr., Colorado Organic Caregivers 250 E. Dry Creek Rd., Cannamart 72 E. Arapahoe Rd. and Green Alternative Pharmacy 1830 W. Littleton Blvd.
In the second of this two part series we will look into more of the details surrounding these controversial regulations. Also, here is a link to television coverage of the proceedings.