Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Are Under Siege Around the State

June 16 2010, 10:16 AM
Earlier this month, Governor Bill Ritter signed a pair of bills meant to regulate Colorado's booming medical marijuana industry. And already, municipalities are taking advantage of the law, which allows cities to ban marijuana dispensaries or make their moratoriums on dispensaries permanent. Earlier this week, in a 6-0 vote, the town of Superior, just southeast of Boulder, became the first in the state to ban shops that provide pot to patients (via The Associated Press). Other towns, including Vail and Broomfield, are also moving toward bans. Broomfield, which already has a moratorium on dispensaries in place, is expected to vote on a ban next month, according to Boulder's Daily Camera. Supporters of the ban there argue that patients would still be able to obtain medical marijuana under Amendment 20, which voters approved in 2000: Caregivers would still be able to grow marijuana for up to five patients. "Given what I understood Amendment 20 to be about, it didn't have anything to do with medical marijuana dispensaries or creating a new business model," says Broomfield Mayor Pro Tem Walt Spader (pictured). Meanwhile, in Colorado Springs, an initiative to outlaw dispensaries could appear on that city's November ballot, reports The Gazette. And in Greeley, the city council worked fast Tuesday night to extend a ban on dispensaries. "With Greeley's revised ban...there is no chance a dispensary, called 'medical marijuana center' under statute, will set up shop and operate for the next year," writes The Tribune. Grand Junction, on the other hand, is taking a more "mellow" approach to the issue, according to The Daily Sentinel. As for Denver, city officials are "scrambling" to close loopholes that could allow dispensaries to open in residential neighborhoods, reports Westword.