Boulder Considers Medical Marijuana Regulations
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Boulder Considers Medical Marijuana Regulations
Posted by CN Staff on November 07, 2009 at 18:15:54 PT
By Erica Meltzer, Camera Staff Writer
Source: Daily Camera
Colorado -- Boulder had just seven medical marijuana-based businesses at the end of August. At the end of October, the city had granted business licenses to another 30, and just within the last week, it had received another 15 applications. In the face of an apparent green rush, the Boulder City Council on Tuesday will consider whether to adopt a moratorium on new cannabis-related businesses and whether and how to further regulate dispensaries and related businesses.
The Planning Board on Thursday recommended not imposing a moratorium and instead using some interim regulations to prevent problems until permanent regulations can be adopted. Those interim regulations include not locating a marijuana-based business within 1,000 feet of a school, not opening more than three dispensaries within 1,000 feet of each other and restricting marijuana-based businesses in residential areas. Officials have not shown support for an outright ban on dispensaries, like Broomfield, Superior and other Colorado towns have done, but there have been worries about everything from safety at dispensaries and over-saturation in areas like University Hill to the amount of electricity needed for large grow operations. The businesses range from straight retail operations where customers walk in, buy pot and leave, to wellness centers that offer a range of services like massage and meditation. There are also three growing operations licensed as greenhouses or nurseries. Dozens of would-be dispensary owners have inquired about opening shop near the University of Colorado campus, prompting the University Hill Commercial Area Management Commission to send a letter to the city asking for intervention. "When you see that sort of velocity in that sort of industry, it's worth taking a look at why that is," said William Shrum, manager of Shipping on the Hill and a member of the commission. Shrum stressed that he does not oppose the medical use of marijuana and doesn't object to having dispensaries on the Hill. But he does think having too much of one kind of business would be bad for the economic environment. And because dispensaries are so profitable, dispensaries can afford to pay above-market rents, potentially raising rents for everyone, Shrum said. The high level of interest in locations close to CU also raises questions about whether all of the use is medical, he said. Councilman Macon Cowles raised environmental concerns about having too many dispensaries and grow operations in Boulder in an e-mail to the city's Hotline, a public e-mail group between City Council members and city staff. He asked whether the amount of electricity used in grow operations might make it more difficult for the city to meet its Climate Action Plan goals and whether it might become harder to buy locally produced food if crop land is converted to medical marijuana production. He also solicited testimony from business groups about how medical marijuana might affect the economic climate in Boulder -- from commercial rents to tourism. Reached by phone, Cowles said he doesn't think it's appropriate to talk about the matter publicly before Tuesday's meeting. Councilman Ken Wilson, who lives on University Hill, said he has concerns about where dispensaries are getting their marijuana from. "How are they getting a legal supply?" he asked. "I'm not saying it's legal or illegal. I don't know. But it's not clear whether people have the right to grow for dispensaries, and that might have implications for the neighborhood." Despite his concerns, Wilson said he thought the Planning Board's recommendations sound reasonable. Dispensary owner Ryan Hartman, of Boulder Wellness Center on Arapahoe Avenue, said regulations should focus on protecting patients by making sure scales are accurate and basic health standards -- like not sealing joints with saliva -- are met. He said worries about safety and underage buyers are unfounded "No one has ever come in with a fake ID," he said. "We've had one known robbery of a dispensary in Boulder, while I've read about dozens of bank robberies, liquor store heists and gas station hold-ups." He said he would like to see regulations for growing operations so he can be sure the marijuana he buys is from legal grows dedicated to medical use and that it comes from Colorado. Hartman said he was impressed with the interest and care the Planning Board brought to the discussion and hopes the City Council takes a similar approach. While a majority of City Council members have expressed support for some regulations around dispensaries and related businesses, both Cowles, in an e-mail, and Wilson said they aren't sure a moratorium is necessary while the city studies the issue. And Community Planning Director David Driskell said city planners' recommendations will echo those of the Planning Board, including backing off a proposed moratorium. Laura Kriho of the Boulder-based advocacy group Cannabis Therapy Institute said that will be in the best interests of patients and the city of Boulder. "What a moratorium would do is freeze the current situation in place and protect some of the bad actors who would be weeded out by market forces," she said. Source: Daily Camera (Boulder, CO)Author: Erica Meltzer, Camera Staff WriterPublished: November 7, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Daily CameraWebsite: openforum dailycamera.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on November 08, 2009 at 07:55:25 PT
I think that because of how the pot shops have run ahead of the law that it will need to be fixed. It will take time but in the end it will work out. Taking an illegal industry and making it a legal and controlled industry will take time. I feel sorry for those that have looked at the money and haven't been concerned because the war isn't over yet.
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on November 08, 2009 at 07:44:07 PT:
Churchill had American pols pegged
He said, “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.”We've 'tried everything else ' when it comes to drug prohibition. Every few years, somebody comes up with some 'new' means of trying to tweak or adjust drug prohibition so that it will become a smoothly running, lean mean machine...forgetting that just a few years ago, the same proposals were made, implemented, and failed just as badly. Memories are as short among prohibitionists as they claim a cannabist's are.It's time to stop this pointless Rube Goldberg-ism of drug policy, adding more and more layers of senseless beetle-tracking and monkey-motion to something that has about as much chance of moving as the proverbial dead horse. We simply cannot afford this nonsense anymore.It's time to talk re-legalization. Nothing else will do, and all this blah-blah-blah by pols is being undercut by municipalities like Breckenridge CO which has made the voice of the electorate loud and clear on this issue. If the pols can't 'wake up and smell the coffee' brewing under their noses, then it's time for the ammonia capsules. And if that doesn't work, let them have a taste of what millions of Americans are going through right now, thanks to being jobless and desperate.The people are speaking, but the pols aren't listening. But they'll listen fast enough, next year, when it becomes obvious the degree of anger felt by the electorate that needs the money being wasted in chasing down and incarcerating cannabists for basic life support like UI and food stamps. that anger will be translated into votes, and those votes will spell the end of many a dim-bulb pol's career.
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Comment #4 posted by duzt on November 08, 2009 at 06:46:59 PT
our politicians
We have no jobs, our economy doesn't exist and as a country, we only consume and don't produce much of anything anymore. They have no answers except to try to limit the only thing that is booming in the economy. Until we get rid of the bad apples (which make up most of the tree at this point) things will stay like this. It has to be seen as absurd by the general public (like the world is flat) before politicians will keep spending so much time attacking a flower and feeling justified in doing so. Of course, we all know that politicians being against drugs is like politicians being for babies, it's just an easy way to win votes from simple, thoughtless people.
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Comment #3 posted by EAH on November 07, 2009 at 23:26:09 PT:
Politicians will now turn into contortionists doing headstands to appear to be preventing anybody from making a dollar by providing cannabis.
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on November 07, 2009 at 22:57:46 PT
More CO News
US CO: Legislator wants CSU to grow pot for the state 
Webpage: 6 Nov 2009Source: Boulder Weekly (CO)A state legislator is hoping to corner the market on medical marijuana by having Colorado State University oversee the cultivation of all pot used in the burgeoning industry.It could give a new meaning to “higher education.” At least half of the revenue generated by the proposal would be used to fund the state’s colleges and universities.Sen. Al White, R-Hayden, told Boulder Weekly that the state’s marijuana-growing operation should be handled by CSU because it is the state’s primary agricultural school. White says the operation could probably be accommodated with about 10 acres of land.He says has not yet discussed the issue with CSU or higher-ed leaders. cont.
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Comment #1 posted by josephlacerenza on November 07, 2009 at 18:50:20 PT
O.T. Barney Frank
I hope this in no way slows him down from doing the work in the congress at the federal level that he has committed to doing.He has been a staunch supporter of our cause.
Barney Frank Present at Pot Bust		 	 	 		
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